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April 14, 2022

Eleanor Eagan Timi Iwayemi

Blog Post

cryptocurrencyEthics in GovernmentFederal ReserveFinancial RegulationFintechRevolving Door

Michael Barr is the Wrong Man to Stop the Next Financial Crisis

Over a decade after the financial crisis, few would still dispute that the revolving door between financial regulators and the financial industry helped pave the way for economic disaster. In the years preceding the crash, regulators who came from the country’s largest banks and planned to promptly return to them, removed regulatory restraints and turned a blind eye to the predictably dangerous effects (see, e.g. Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan). In the next administration, different regulators drawn from the same well let the fraudsters off the hook and left the working people who had fallen victim to them out to dry.  

April 06, 2022

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Ethics in GovernmentFederal Reserve

Congress Should Heed the Lessons from the Federal Reserve's Ethics Scandals

After a stream of stories throughout the pandemic revealed seemingly rampant congressional insider trading, laughable disclosure practices, and nonexistent enforcement, Congress appears finally to be feeling the pressure to clean up its act. In recent weeks, lawmakers have introduced a flurry of new bills to limit conflicts of interest and help restore public trust in our governing institutions.

As they begin to forge a piece of consensus legislation, they should consider that members of Congress were not the only political leaders to violate public trust throughout the pandemic period. The trading scandals within the Federal Reserve system, for example, revealed material ethical deficiencies that have yet to be satisfactorily addressed. It’s important to recognize that these deficiencies are not unique to the Federal Reserve and that they represent an ongoing threat to public trust in other powerful corners of the executive branch as well. To rebuild that trust in government, lawmakers must learn the lessons of the Federal Reserve scandals and develop fixes for these deficiencies there and elsewhere.

January 10, 2022

Letter

Ethics in GovernmentFederal Reserve

Letter Calls on Senators to Grill Powell on Fed Ethics Failures

In the fall of 2021, a series of trading scandals rocked the Federal Reserve and cast doubt on every aspect of its ethics program, from disclosure practices and vetting standards to enforcement mechanisms. The message to the public was clear: under chairman Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve’s sole executive officer and the official to whom the institution’s staff reports, ethical conduct was not a priority. After initially brushing off the seriousness of these revelations, Powell seemingly sought to change that impression by instituting new ethics standards and launching an Inspector General’s investigation.

November 22, 2021

Press Release

2020 Election/TransitionClimateEthics in GovernmentFederal ReserveFinancial Regulation

RELEASE: Revolving Door Project Criticizes Biden For Choosing To Own Ethics Scandals And Deregulation By Renominating Powell

“We are extremely disappointed to see Biden renominate Jerome Powell as Chair of the Federal Reserve Board. Biden’s endorsement of Powell’s deregulatory agenda will greatly harm American families. Biden has an ambitious and urgent agenda on climate, financial stability, and addressing racial and economic inequality. Powell as Chair of the Federal Reserve will make it more difficult for Biden to ultimately be a successful president. Today is a win for the conventional wisdom and Establishment and a defeat for the planet and Joe Biden’s ultimate legacy.”

November 17, 2021

Eleanor Eagan

Newsletter

ClimateDepartment of JusticeExecutive BranchFederal ReserveIndependent AgenciesTreasury Department

After Infrastructure Week

Congressional selfies and self-congratulations inaugurated the week, but a lot of hard work remains to translate the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s (IIJA) policies into real-life results. Given that those policies are (generously) middling and that the most promising ones are underfunded, turning these into winning programs will demand energy, creativity, competence, and a strong commitment to the public interest.

October 26, 2021

Dorothy Slater

Blog Post

ClimateExecutive BranchFederal ReserveFinancial RegulationTreasury Department

Yellen Is Empowering Powell and Selling Out the Climate

It is very possible that President Biden will show up empty-handed to COP26 in Glasgow next week. And that isn’t just because of the apocalyptic vanity of two Senators from Arizona and West Virginia. Many executive-led policies that are just a matter of political will have not been done, and some of those which have are pure paper tigers. Biden’s administration failed last week to take advantage of a lesser known, but extremely meaningful climate action opportunity. The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) released its long-awaited report on climate-related financial risk, which the President personally ordered months ago. And it was a complete flop.