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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.

August 04, 2020

Public Comment

Ethics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationTech

Revolving Door Project Comments on OCC's Proposed Rulemaking on Digital Activities

As numerous civil rights and racial justice organizations have highlighted, changes to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) regulations on digital activities are likely to have far-reaching consequences as it regards economic and racial equity. Specifically, these changes risk leading to disparate impact, “digital redlining, “predatory inclusion,” and enhanced surveillance. Given the seriousness of this rulemaking’s potential consequences, the OCC should do all that it can to ensure that the public has the utmost confidence in the integrity of the rulemaking process. Sadly, in allowing that process to move forward under the leadership of an acting official with severe conflicts of interest, the Office is rendering public trust in it impossible.

June 04, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Financial RegulationRevolving Door

A Brief Introduction to Your New Comptroller of the Currency

Last month, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, announced that he would be stepping down from his post effective May 29. The former First Deputy Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, has taken his place in an acting capacity. Although he is now one of the country’s top banking regulators, Brooks – who only joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – remains a relatively unknown figure. Here is what we know (and more troublingly, what we don’t know) about the new acting Comptroller.

April 15, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

ClimateFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

Freshman Legislators Advance a Courageous Plan to Address Economic Fragility

This crisis has shattered any illusions that our post-financial crisis framework is resilient enough to withstand the challenges of the future. Coronavirus has, in particular, uncovered one of our most fundamental, persistent weaknesses: our continued inability to anticipate and prepare for new financial risks. For this ill-preparedness, we have powerful actors like BlackRock, the asset management giant and political titan, to thank. In an effort to avoid more stringent regulation, BlackRock and others not only evaded scrutiny for their own contributions to systemic risk, but virtually destroyed the mechanisms designed to examine such risk across the wider economy.