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March 23, 2023
Larry Summers-Linked Payments Company Accused of Criminality
Short-seller Hindenburg Research says the payments mogul Block has inflated user metrics, ignored widespread criminal transactions on its platforms, and evaded regulations.
March 15, 2023
cryptocurrencyEthics in GovernmentFederal ReserveFinancial RegulationFintech
RELEASE: Michael Barr's Fintech Partnerships May Cloud Judgment Of SVB Autopsy
As of now, Barr is assigned to investigate supervisory failures that occurred under his watch featuring a bank that catered in particular to the crypto and fintech industries which Barr was so active in immediately prior to revolving back into government. Barr is a walking conflict of interest. His central role in the investigation is damning
March 01, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Dylan Gyauch-Lewis Emma Marsano Ananya Kalahasti Julian Scoffield
Congressional OversightConsumer ProtectionExecutive BranchFintechHealth
What Makes a Good Executive Branch Official?
If we had to make one overarching argument about what makes a good executive branch official, whether at a massive cabinet-level department, a medium-sized agency, or a tiny commission, it is this: a habit of skepticism about corporate claims.
June 08, 2022
RELEASE: Lummis-Gillibrand Crypto Bill Is An Irresponsible Handout To The Crypto Industry
“The industry carve outs in this bill are a reminder of the danger of corporate influence in our political system. The crypto industry’s leading figures have spent enormous amounts to shield the industry from proper financial oversight. This money has been funneled towards revolving-door hiring of former CFTC officials, formation of super PACs, and congressional campaign donations. The industry has also bemoaned the SEC’s robust regulatory posture, decrying it with the self-defeating ostensible insult of ‘regulation by enforcement.’ That supposed criticism merely underlines the urgent need for the SEC to act. Existing law is clear, and it mandates that the SEC enforce existing statutory and regulatory limits that crypto bros have brazenly broken on the assumption that they will be able to buy clemency before they are sanctioned appropriately.”
June 06, 2022 | The American Prospect
Sam Bankman-Fried’s Multimillion-Dollar Game
A leading voice in this push is Sam Bankman-Fried, 30-year-old CEO of crypto trading exchange FTX. Christened by some as a crypto prince and others as Washington’s aspiring kingmaker, Bankman-Fried has in the past year developed an extensive crypto policy agenda that entails revolving-door hiring of former CFTC officials, formation of super PACs, and congressional campaign donations.
April 14, 2022
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.
August 09, 2021
Biden Picks Fintech Speculator And Morgan Stanley Alum For Federal Pensions Board
President Biden has repeatedly declared himself “the most pro-union President you’ve ever seen.” But a pro-labor President should also support the workers for whom he’s the boss — namely, the federal civil service.
July 27, 2021 | Washington Monthly
How to Catch Bitcoin Tax Cheats
Crypto is a global phenomenon, and one with a rapidly growing capacity to upend tax administration worldwide. The U.S. has been slow to act to combat this threat, but clever use of extant unilateral and multilateral laws on information sharing and programs that capitalize on expertise and information outside government provide opportunities for much better protection against tax evasion. If Biden and his administration are committed to closing tax loopholes, they must use every tool available.
June 29, 2021 | The American Prospect
cryptocurrencyFederal ReserveFinancial RegulationFintechIndependent AgenciesTreasury Department
Biden Needs to Be Wary of Crypto Grifters
Interagency cooperation is essential to ensuring the Biden administration adequately manages the risks associated with the growth of cryptocurrency, including illicit finance, tax evasion, investor and customer protection, shadow banking, and financial stability.
April 27, 2021
The Longer Trump’s Acting Comptroller Stays, The More Damage He’ll Do
Under Otting and Brooks’ leadership, the OCC rolled out rules contrary to its responsibility to maintain a federal banking system that is safe against systemic risks and provides aid to all customers. Now they’re all out of power — but Acting Comptroller, Blake Paulson, whose ascent was ensured by Brooks and Mnuchin, has demonstrated no desire to change course from the path set by Trump’s lackeys. That is why Biden needs to act quickly and appoint a Comptroller who recognizes the dangerous precedent set by the Trump administration.
March 16, 2021
Revolver Spotlight: Manny Alvarez
Alvarez only re-entered the regulatory world after six years at Affirm, a fintech e-lender that offers loans up to 30 percent APR under sometimes confusing terms at the point of sale, so consumers rarely have the opportunity to shop around or read the fine print for an informed decision.
February 11, 2021
The Industry Agenda: Fintech
Since fintech apps provide a wide range of financial services, there are many potential harms to leaving the industry largely under-regulated — especially since many fintech and cryptocurrency firms design their products to narrowly evade existing laws that define certain types of financial products, and thus, the regulations to which they are subject.
February 10, 2021
Barr's Current Fintech Ties Run Through Venture Capital Firm Of Former Finance Execs
Under-appreciated in the Michael Barr press blitz (again, including by us) is Barr’s current listed work as an advisor to the venture capital firm NYCA Partners, which exclusively invests in fintech startups.
February 04, 2021 | American Prospect
Dorothy Slater Max Moran Timi Iwayemi
2020 Election/TransitionClimateDepartment of JusticeFinancial RegulationFintech
Even After The Cabinet Selections, Personnel Is Policy
As grinding as the cabinet fights have been, they’re only the first wave of the Biden administration’s personnel. Now comes a new stage of the transition, in which the newly-named secretaries choose their own undersecretaries and senior advisers. Although occupants of these positions typically operate outside the national spotlight, they still wield enormous power.
February 01, 2021 | The Intercept
Robinhood Is A Perfect Example Of Fintech's Insidious Power
Fintech is neither inherently good nor bad; rather, like any technology, its potential impact on society is closely tied to the policy decisions guiding its use — and the next four years could define how much the fintech industry is able to shape the financial system. Left to their own devices, fintech firms could swindle average people through ill-advised day-trading or high-interest loans, usher new systemic risks into the financial system, and develop traceable, privately owned currencies with the potential to replace cash.