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September 06, 2023 | The American Prospect

Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed Ethics in GovernmentIntellectual PropertyPatent and Trademark OfficeRevolving Door

The Revolving Door Threatens the Integrity of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

More problematically, conflicts of interest have plagued the USPTO, including at the highest levels. Trump-era USPTO director Andrei Iancu was far too cozy with patent law firms while he served in government. Iancu came in via the revolving door from patent litigation firm Irell & Manella, where he earned $4,733,748 as a managing partner in the year before he was nominated, and went out the door and back to the firm when his term was up. He is now a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s patent practice.

August 17, 2023 | The American Prospect

Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed 2024 ElectionEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationGovernanceRevolving Door

The CFTC Ponders Gambling on Democracy’s Future

As long as one party remains totally united behind a man who attempted to overthrow the government by force, was the most corrupt president in American history, and undermines the public’s faith in elections at every turn, the future of American democratic self-government is at risk.

Sounds scary. But what if I told you this was a great opportunity for fun and profit? Silicon Valley–backed startup Kalshi is attempting to expand the amount of gambling on the country’s elections with the introduction of an “event contract” centered around congressional elections. Simply put, the firm aims to allow traders to bet on the event: Which party will win control of Congress?

August 03, 2023 | The American Prospect

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed ClimateExecutive Branch

The Unholy Alliance Between ‘Certified’ Clean Natural Gas Producers and the Certifying Companies

Companies have been charging customers a premium for “greener” gas since 2018. But certified gas could become even more lucrative as the Biden administration seeks to update its standards for gas production. Scenting advantage, back in July 2022 11 companies—five gas producers, four methane monitoring and certification companies, one emissions trading company, and one consulting firm—came together to form a new lobbying group: the Differentiated Gas Coordinating Council (DGCC).

July 21, 2023 | The Sling

Dylan Gyauch-Lewis

Op-Ed Economic PolicyMedia Accountability

The Inane Indignation Around Sellers’ Inflation

Conventional economists have been bristling about sellers’ inflation being presented as an alternative to the more staid explanation of a wage-price spiral (we’ll come back to that), but in recent months there have been extremely aggressive (and often condescending, self-important, and factually incorrect) attacks on the idea and its proponents. Despite this, sellers’ inflation really is not that far from a lot of long standing economic theory, and the idea is grounded in key assumptions about firm behavior that are deeply held across most economic models.

July 07, 2023 | The American Prospect

Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed CryptocurrencyFinancial RegulationTreasury Department

Secretary Yellen, Where Are the Crypto Tax Regulations?

Despite this, Janet Yellen’s Treasury Department has yet to formalize the regulations that would usher in this new reporting regime. The initial expectation was to have Treasury provide the new guidance by the end of 2022, allowing reporting changes to begin with transactions completed in 2023. However, despite approval of the proposed regulations by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in February (the usual stumbling block in this sort of proceeding), the department has yet to publish the regulations.

July 05, 2023 | The American Prospect

KJ Boyle

Op-Ed Anti-MonopolyEthics in GovernmentFTCIndependent Agencies

Lina Khan Haters Took A Premature Victory Lap

It turns out that the ethics official who recommended that Khan recuse herself from a case involving Meta is an owner of Meta stock. This ethics judgment was music to the ears of the media organizations, Republicans, and antitrust hacks who have been attacking Lina Khan throughout her leadership. Beyond being wrong and selective in singling out FTC officials for ethics concerns, the problem with Pankey’s opinion is deeply ironic. Pankey herself has a legitimate conflict of interest in relation to Meta.