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February 01, 2021 | The Intercept

Max Moran Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionFinancial RegulationFintech

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.

January 26, 2021

Dorothy Slater Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimateFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

Why The Next CFTC Chairperson Must Prioritize Climate Action Over Market Fads

Initially created to regulate futures derivatives on crops that had yet to be harvested, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) holds newfound possibility in the coming decade. It is absolutely crucial that a modern-day CFTC taps into the power it already holds to lead on climate action. Naturally, this necessitates a leader with a proven record of taking on corporate power. Any appointee should be prepared to advocate for the public interest, acknowledge the current reality of climate decay we find ourselves in, and creatively apply tools of the government to take immediate action.

January 22, 2021

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionFinancial Regulation

Potential Comptroller of the Currency Mehrsa Baradaran’s Background

Baradaran seems committed to challenging the status quo of our financial system that sidelines poor and marginalized communities. The OCC has long been part of a banking system that reinforces racial injustice rather than addresses it — and that remained largely true even after Dodd-Frank was passed and implemented by Obama’s regulatory team. Voices like Baradaran’s are valuable in reconsidering financial regulation and helping raise the bar for who is and who is not an adequately zealous regulator.

January 21, 2021

Dorothy Slater

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimateFinancial Regulation

Why the Comptroller of the Currency Must Be a Climate Leader

The OCC could also update the Comptroller’s Handbook to guide bank examiners to measure climate risk in their assessments, which would force banks to measure climate risk in their own internal stress tests. This would also push banks to make environmentally sound decisions, because they would be recontextualized as financially savvy decisions.

January 12, 2021

Dorothy Slater Max Moran

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimateFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

Gary Gensler Would Lead An Un-Captured SEC To New Climate Regs

Gensler’s first order of business at the SEC will be to reverse Trump’s deregulatory agenda and rebuild the agency’s capacity to police American stock-trading. But this should only be a starting point: SEC activity was insufficient even under Obama, and issues linked to the financial system, from climate change to inequality, have worsened in the four intervening years.

January 05, 2021

Vishal Shankar Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionCabinetExecutive BranchFinancial RegulationRevolving DoorRight-Wing MediaTech

Biden Should Beware The Right-Wing's Revolving Door Attacks

Fresh off defending Donald Trump’s historic corruption, conservatives have begun attacking President-elect Biden for his nominees’ ties to Big Tech, Wall Street, and corporate lobbying. While these attacks are transparently hypocritical, they are not without factual substance and could prove to be a major political liability for Democrats unless they commit to adopting much-needed ethics reforms.

November 23, 2020

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionFinancial Regulation

JANET YELLEN: What You Need to Know

Janet Yellen has had a long and distinguished career in the academy and in public service. Like anyone with such a lengthy career, there have been misses along the way. And RDP and other progressives will be sure to speak out in the future should any of them resurface. But Yellen’s commitment to fighting unemployment and the conventional wisdom has been the through line of her career. The differences between the worldviews of Janet Yellen and Tim Geithner, President Obama’s first Treasury Secretary, could hardly be more stark.

October 22, 2020 | Independent Media Institute

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionFinancial Regulation

How BlackRock Is On Track To Infiltrate A Biden Administration

The Democratic base, still scarred from the 2016 election, is frantic not to count its chickens before they hatch. But Wall Street and corporate America have no such qualms. As Joe Biden leads in national polls and swing states, the most powerful firms in the country are seeking assurances that his administration won’t crack down on their crimes.

October 14, 2020

Jeff Hauser Timi Iwayemi Miranda Litwak Pete Sikora

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimateFinancial Regulation

How Biden's Treasury Department Could Fight Climate Change

The fossil fuel industry depends on financial institutions to survive. And banks, for their part, pull in big profits from underwriting climate disaster. That’s why, if Joe Biden wins in November, his pick for Treasury Secretary must be an aggressive advocate for climate action. The Treasury Department has untapped capacity to push financial institutions and insurance companies to take the risks of the climate crisis seriously. While his legislative proposals elicit proper close scrutiny, his choice of Treasury Secretary is arguably among Biden’s most important climate policy decisions.