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OpenMarket: Banking and Finance

  • Don't Just "Modernize" Community Reinvestment Act, Repeal It

    December 13, 2019
    On Thursday, financial regulators released a long-awaited reform proposal which would make substantial changes to the implementation and enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The plan by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), if implemented, would be the most significant update to low-income lending requirements for U.S. banks in a quarter-century.
  • Wind and Solar Tax Credits: Special Interest Subsidies

    December 6, 2019
    The House Ways and Means Committee on November 19th released a draft of its “Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act” (summary). The sponsors propose to extend, increase, and create tax credits for various non-fossil energy-related technologies, such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Should End Frivolous Student Loan Lawsuit

    November 19, 2019
    The efforts of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger have gone a long way in reversing egregious Obama-era actions that plagued the agency, helping to make it more transparent, accountable, and friendly to consumer choice. However, while these efforts should be applauded, there remains unfinished business that must be taken care of—chief among them the flawed lawsuit levied by the CFPB against the finance company Navient.
  • Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Update

    November 1, 2019
    It is busy a time right now in the Export-Import Bank reauthorization battle. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced a new bill to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for the next 10 years. It would attempt to improve Ex-Im’s image not by reforming the agency, but by changing its name. Her bill for the proposed Export Finance Agency was marked up in committee on Tuesday, but is unlikely to pass. Ex-Im’s charter is currently set to expire on November 21, when the current Continuing Resolution (CR) ends.
  • Celebrate Consumer Finance Law Modernization

    October 23, 2019
    Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it will create a taskforce to “harmonize and modernize federal consumer financial laws.” The Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law will report to the CFPB Director with recommendations to improve and strengthen the legal and regulatory regime surrounding consumer credit markets.
  • In Praise of Pro-Consumer Tenure of Finance Regulator Kraninger

    October 16, 2019
    As she prepares to give her semi-annual testimony to Congress this week—on Wednesday to the House Financial Services Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and on Thursday to the Senate Banking Committee—Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger has much to be proud of. Since the Senate confirmed her in December 2018, Kraninger has worked diligently to make the CFPB more transparent, more accountable, and ultimately more consumer-friendly.
  • Like Socialism, Financial Transaction Tax Doomed to Fail

    September 24, 2019
    In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith coins the four maxims of taxation: fairness, certainty, convenience, and efficiency. Smith’s maxims are used as a litmus test amongst public finance economists when determining if a tax is “good” or “bad.” In the case of a financial transaction tax (FTT), such a notion is neither fair, certain, convenient, nor efficient—and therefore, bad public policy.
  • Feds: Gambling Fine, But Investing Too Risky

    September 24, 2019
    “In the risk reform debate, as in so many political debates, logic is often for losers.” So lamented Competitive Enterprise Institute founder and president emeritus Fred L. Smith, Jr. in 1995, and he has expressed similar sentiments many times since.
  • Protect Consumers, But Let Debt Collectors Do Their Jobs

    September 23, 2019
    Debt collector seem to be the occupation everyone loves to hate, but without them businesses large and small—from banks to gyms to doctor’s offices—could not serve their customers with the assurance that their contracts would be enforced. That’s why the Competitive Enterprise Institute has again weighed in with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), calling for debt collection rules that protect consumers from fraud and harassment, but don’t hinder debt collectors’ crucial function in keeping the credit market flowing.
  • Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization: Lesson in Institutional Design

    September 23, 2019
    For all its flaws, the Export-Import Bank’s charter gets an important thing right: the agency must be reauthorized every few years, or it will close. This makes Ex-Im an important case study in institutional design. Its reauthorization requirement should be applied to nearly every government agency. Reauthorization offers regularly scheduled opportunities for Congress to enact possible reforms, or close an agency entirely. It also adds a level of democratic accountability to agencies that mostly lack it.

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