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OpenMarket: Financial Regulation

  • Modified Libra Cryptocurrency Still an Innovation, but Clear away Regulatory Barriers for More

    April 21, 2020
    Libra and other cryptocurrencies could serve functions other than initially imagined. The potential for faster payments from Libra and other cryptocurrencies, at a time when the public and policy makers are looking to move money faster, may be the biggest draw.
  • Facts, Not Feelings, Should Inform Regulation of the Debt Settlement Industry

    April 17, 2020
    As money gets tight during the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, policy makers need to ensure that struggling households have multiple options to manage their debts and stay afloat. One such option is debt settlement, and the good news is that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is resisting calls to regulate it out of existence.
  • Why Is Trump’s SEC Chairman Looking to Bring Back an Obama-era Financial Rule?

    April 1, 2020
    SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has proposed a set of regulations last fall that would bar many middle class investors from buying mutual funds and exchange-traded funds—financial products that have been on the market for nearly three decades. Instead of creating new red tape, Chairman Clayton should abandon these proposals and give all Americans the freedom to have a bite at the next Apple.
  • Financial Services Committee Democrats Release COVID-19 Wish List

    March 27, 2020
    This week, Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee unveiled their public policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While framed as a goodwill attempt at helping struggling Americans, the partisan legislation contains a number of controversial provisions that have no place in an emergency, short-term relief package.
  • Don’t Save Restaurants by Shafting Consumers

    March 20, 2020
    Restaurants are among the hardest—if not the hardest—hit of industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other industries, restaurants are lobbying Congress and state legislatures for assistance. The proposals of the National Restaurant Association have some healthy policy morsels that will benefit all, but some other items that will give restaurant consumers severe indigestion.
  • As Supreme Court Debates CFPB Constitutionality, Agency Accountability Hangs in the Balance

    March 13, 2020
    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week over the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and whether, as currently structured, it is too far removed from executive oversight. The outcome of this case has become increasingly important given the Bureau’s continuous efforts to skirt legal accountability and harass businesses into near bankruptcy.
  • SEC’s Proposed Rules Would Take ETFs out of the Hands of Middle-Class Investors

    March 6, 2020
    CEI recently signed on to a coalition letter encouraging the Securities and Exchange Commission to abandon its plans to further regulate certain financial products and impose additional sales-practice rules between broker-dealers and investment advisors and their clients. These proposed rules would impose an intrusive and burdensome regulatory regime on financial markets and severely limit the ability of everyday investors to freely purchase or sell some publicly traded securities.
  • Chairman Crapo Offers Hope for Safe Banking in Controversial Industries

    February 25, 2020
    Last October, the House passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to provide safe harbor for banks and credit unions doing business with legal cannabis businesses. Following its passage, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo issued a recommendation to merge language from the Financial Institution Consumer Protection Act—a proposed measure that would prevent regulators from ordering depository institutions to terminate the accounts of legal businesses they disapprove of—into the SAFE Banking Act. This would resolve a threat posed to businesses seen as “high risk” by agency bureaucrats.
  • Democratic Witnesses Oppose Interest Rate Cap

    February 13, 2020
    American Banker ran a piece last week on a proposed law to impose an interest rate cap on small-dollar loans. While the hearing revealed the inner-party conflict over the legislation, the divide was further demonstrated by Democratic witnesses who contradicted their written testimony in support of a rate cap by seeming to question the merits of such a measure.
  • Interest Rate Caps Harm Financial Inclusion; Bank Partnerships Spread Inclusion Around

    February 12, 2020
    The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing last week on small-dollar lending and proposed legislation that would limit the interest rates on such loans. Many lawmakers are concerned that “payday and car-title loans can be harmful to consumers.” While it’s good to focus on improving the lives of financially strapped consumers, much of the hearing ignored basic economics and how the proposed interest rate caps would further harm poor consumers by likely shutting them out of access to legal credit entirely.


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