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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.

November 14, 2022 | The Nation

Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed

Campaign FinanceClimatecryptocurrencyFinancial Regulation

Money From Nothing: Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Shakedown

The rapid meltdown of FTX stands as one of the most gruesome chapters in the annals of investment fiascos: think of the false technological promises of Elizabeth Holmes’s Theranos grift combined with the evaporation of Bernie Madoff’s prestigious Ponzi fund. But the saga of FTX involves much more than either the vanity and hubris of Holmes’s fraud offensive or the deceptive practices of the Madoff scam. The rapid rise and fall of Bankman-Fried points up the delusional character of information-age capitalism; Far from standing as an outlying trend within the crypto investment world, Bankman-Fried’s scam was nestled at the very heart of its prevailing business model.

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 04, 2022 | The American Prospect

Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed

Congressional OversightcryptocurrencyFinancial Regulation

Proposed Stablecoin Legislation Is Worse Than Nothing

Better still, the government could consider more aggressive action. Application of existing law would bring some stability to the stablecoin space, but there is one more simple and effective option: banning them outright. Stablecoins are an essential component of a deeply fraudulent industry that is financially and environmentally destructive. Guaranteeing their existence is an unnecessary risk.

June 08, 2022

Timi Iwayemi

Press Release

cryptocurrencyFinancial RegulationFintechIndependent Agencies

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

Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed

cryptocurrencyEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationFintech

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

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 12, 2022 | The American Prospect

Timi Iwayemi Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

cryptocurrencyEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationRevolving Door

Biden Must Block Crypto’s Access to the Revolving Door

Fortunately, Biden has the means to stop at least one aspect of crypto’s campaign in its tracks. Through an executive order, he can cut off crypto’s access to the revolving door by barring the officials who are involved in developing regulations for the digital assets industry from working for it for at least four years. By rights, it should be a bare-minimum anti-corruption standard.

March 07, 2022

Timi Iwayemi

Blog Post

cryptocurrencyForeign PolicyTreasury Department

Obscure Agency Must Deny Russian Oligarchs Possible Crypto Sanction Evasion Tool

While it is unlikely that an economy as large as Russia’s can be rerouted through present crypto infrastructure, there remains opportunity for targeted individuals and entities to leverage the industry’s weak compliance mechanisms to move some of their assets. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), in conjunction with the White House’s National Security Council, need to ensure this does not happen.