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November 23, 2022 | The New Republic

Timi Iwayemi Dylan Gyauch-Lewis

Op-Ed

Congressional OversightcryptocurrencyFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

Don’t Fall for FTX’s Final Con

The FTX disaster should be all the impetus needed to kill off any new crypto industry–approved legislation. Instead, we need Congress to provide material support for financial regulators in the form of increased appropriations to guard against the next collapse. Much of the crypto industry is already subject to laws—the very ones that the SEC seeks to enforce and that the crypto industry broadly (not just Sam Bankman-Fried) seeks to evade by reducing the SEC’s jurisdiction ex post facto. Both the CFTC and SEC urgently need funds to fulfill their mandates. Crypto stretches these needs even further, but the need has existed for years. For decades, financial crimes have too often gone unpunished. This wasn’t for a lack of rules, but a lack of will, funds, and people willing to enforce them. Crypto doesn’t need special treatment, it needs to face the music.

October 28, 2022

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Ethics in GovernmentGovernment CapacityIndependent AgenciesRight-Wing Media

Hack Watch: Debunking the Big Budget Bogeyman

It seems pretty incontestable that a big part of the media’s job is “informing the public of things they need to know.” Accordingly, the media’s coverage of how the government spends money is a spectacular example of how it fails. Congress has enabled a vacuum of sensible, accessible information about the appropriations bills it’s supposed to pass each year to fund government activity, and the media has not stepped in to fill the void.

October 17, 2022

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post

Executive BranchIndependent Agencies

Independent Agency Update Summer 2022

Personnel is policy, which means that the people who make up our federal institutions matter. Which means that the partisan Republican assault on the staffing up of the federal agencies that regulate so much of the public’s everyday life also matters greatly. Unfortunately, as we have highlighted for months and will continue to highlight for as long as it persists, the federal government is being gutted from the inside out by a blockade of overdue qualified leadership. 

October 14, 2022

Hannah Story Brown Timi Iwayemi Fatou Ndiaye

Blog Post

Executive BranchGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies

Omnibus Awareness Month in Review

If Congress regularly met its own deadlines, then October—the first month of the fiscal year—would also be the first month when federal agencies could implement their new and improved budgets. Unfortunately, the modern Congress regularly fails to pass an omnibus spending package for the next fiscal year, which bundles several appropriations bills for different parts of the federal government into one whole-of-government budget, by the end of the previous fiscal year. This autumn is no different.

September 30, 2022

Timi Iwayemi

Newsletter

cryptocurrencyFinancial RegulationHack WatchIndependent Agencies

Politico Rolls Out The Red Carpet For Ripple And Securities Fraud

Boosters of Ponzi products should not be granted the freedom to tout their products without ample pushback and skepticism. Because, as is all too common in Washington, when this media cover is combined with other forms of political pressure including lobbying and campaign donations, industry interests take precedence over the public’s. Politico knows where to find skeptical voices; they had Healthy Markets President and CEO Ty Gellasch on the panel that followed Alderoty’s remarks, albeit alongside three other preachers of crypto’s so-called greatness.

August 25, 2022 | Democracy Journal

Eleanor Eagan Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed

Department of JusticeEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

Enforcement: The Untapped Resource

Chronic underfunding means that the agencies with the most laudable missions—the ones seeking to protect ordinary Americans from profit-driven exploitation—often struggle to go up against powerful corporate interests. Strengthening funding for enforcement to protect Americans from environmental, health, consumer, and labor standards violations is an existing, easily justifiable tool for changing that balance of power.

August 08, 2022 | Washington Monthly

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionClimateDepartment of JusticeIndependent Agencies

Why Is Merrick Garland Sticking with Donald Trump on Climate Lawsuits?

It started with Boulder in early February. Then came Baltimore and San Mateo in April. Now Honolulu and Maui are the latest municipalities to overcome a crucial legal hurdle in their fight to make fossil fuel companies pay for their role in climate change. After years of obstruction, it looks like state courts will hear arguments from these cities—as well as several states—that big energy companies knowingly concealed and misrepresented the harms of their products, contributing to climate damages these regions face. Five federal appeals courts have green-lit suing the fossil fuel giants in state court, where these state and local governments have a better chance of prevailing. The stakes are massive: requiring fossil fuel companies to foot the bill for climate change–related damages to U.S. cities and states could easily run into the tens of billions.