We hope you had a good Thanksgiving. I know many of you were taking much-needed PTO and/or traveling across the country. There were a few developments (while you were grabbing seconds during Thanksgiving dinner) connected to Better Markets’ work that we didn’t want you to miss.
CZ Finally Faces the Music
- We highlighted how DOJ’s Settlement with Binance and its CEO Showcased the Lawlessness of Crypto Industry and Grossly Deficient Punishment for White Collar Criminals
- Our CEO Dennis Kelleher told the Associated Press– “The lawlessness if not criminal activities of crypto will continue and increase until all prosecutors, regulators and elected officials force the industry to act like all other law-abiding people and firms in the financial industry.”
- In a story by Scott Chiplina of the Financial Times we explained “Unless and until [the] DOJ starts meaningfully prosecuting individual executives and supervisors and imposing significant prison time and bankrupting personal fines, this practice just rewards past crimes and incentivises future crimes.”
Crypto Enters the Presidential Race
- As the 2024 campaign season heats up Hadriana Lowenkron of Bloomberg covered attempts by presidential candidates and the industry to fight regulation of crypto. Lowenkron writes that “Ramaswamy’s proposal would eliminate many of the few crypto regulations in effect and cut the SEC and other regulatory agencies’ workforces by 75%.”
- Yet, voters themselves are also hesitant to let crypto exist rules-free. Lowenkron points out that an April Pew survey found 75% of Americans who have heard of crypto are not confident in its safety and reliability. Dennis Kelleher explains in the story that “With the American people, crypto is toxic. American investors and customers have lost trillions of dollars in crypto over the last couple of years.”
Political Attacks on the FDIC Investigations
- Our team also pointed out the hypocrisy of the political attacks demanding investigations of the FDIC, as detailed in an American Banker story by Ebrima Santos Sanneh, who surveyed leaders on the situation at the FDIC:
- “There are only two reported topics related to Chair Gruenberg: One, an informal complaint from 2008 — 15 years ago — that he allegedly got overly angry about an issue, which did not result in a finding of wrongdoing; the other is that when he became Chair in 2022, he should have done more about the IG report from two and a half years earlier in 2020 when Republican Jelena McWilliams was Chair.”…
- Dennis also explained that Republicans and industry motives are really about slowing down the rule making process, especially on capital. “Their goal is to use these very serious issues as a pretext to pressure chair Gruenberg to resign. The longer it takes, the better it is for the industry, because every day a rule is delayed is a victory for the industry. Pushing finalization past the election is always the goal, in the hope they can get a change in administration and therefore regulators.” …
- And, don’t miss Bob Kuttner’s piece here on what’s really going on at the FDIC.
Legal Assault on Financial Protection Rules
- We talked to Michelle Price of Reuters about Wall Street’s relentless campaign to fight proposed financial protection rules in the courts, which were stacked with anti-government, anti-regulation, and pro-industry judges during the Trump administration. Michelle writes that “Facing a wave of new rules and encouraged by a sympathetic judiciary, U.S. financial firms and their trade groups are growing bolder about fighting Democratic President Joe Biden’s regulators in court.”
- Dennis noted in the story that “With this many judges in courts biased in favor of the industry, it would be irrational for the industry not to sue.” And that “These rules are incredibly important to protecting consumers, investors, and financial stability.”
Please let us know if you have any questions on these issues or Better Markets’ work more generally. You can subscribe to our newsletter here for more updates from our team.