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OpenMarket: John Berlau

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Debt Collectors Keep Credit Market Flowing

    August 20, 2019
    Debt collecting is a profession that gets little love, but given the social good done by debt collectors who operate ethically and follow the rules, maybe it’s time that we show them some affection. If not that, we should at least give them reasonable rules to play by—rules that would also benefit consumers and entrepreneurs who participate in the credit market.
  • Defiance of Congress Melts Federal Reserve Credibility

    July 11, 2019
    In advance of his testimony yesterday before the House Financial Services Committee, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was the subject of a front-page story in The Wall Street Journal that touted his supposedly good relations with lawmakers of both parties. “Powell’s Support Inside Congress Is Deep,” read the Journal headline in the print edition.
  • Facebook Libra Highlights Flaws of Fed Foray into Real-Time Payments

    June 19, 2019
    More than ten years after the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto published the source code for Bitcoin, and after hundreds of other cryptocurrencies have been introduced, Facebook is the latest entrant in the cryptocurrency market. Yesterday, Facebook launched a new digital currency called Libra that will attempt to combine a decentralized blockchain—the hallmark of successful cryptocurrencies—with the reach of the Facebook community.
  • SEC's 'Regulation Best Interest' Respects Investor Choice

    June 5, 2019
    Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved final rules that comprise “Regulation Best Interest,” which will govern conduct of broker-dealers in their transactions with retail investors. Any new regulation will likely mean higher costs, and these costs—as with the costs of business taxes and tariffs—will likely be passed on to the individual customer.
  • Don't Let Credit Scoring Kerfuffle Compromise GSE Reform

    May 31, 2019
    Just when it seemed that reforming the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was becoming a “third rail” that politicians did not want to touch, Trump administration officials—from the president on down—are now making bold statements about curbing the powers of GSEs in the housing market and reducing their risk to taxpayers.
  • Shed Light on Cryptocurrency 'Dark Matter' Regulation at SEC

    April 16, 2019
    A few days ago, the Trump administration issued a memorandum strongly discouraging what the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Wayne Crews has called “regulatory dark matter.” The memo instructs federal agencies to submit all policymaking rules to Congress to be vetted under the Congressional Review Act, even if these rules come in the form of informal “guidance.”
  • Lyft and the 'Cheers' IPOs: How Overregulation Leaves Middle-Class Investors Behind

    March 29, 2019
    After much anticipation, Lyft finally went public today, opening on NASDAQ at $87.24 per share—well above its initial public offering price of $72. Lyft’s market debut is an example of what I have called the “Cheers IPOs.” That is, companies that don’t go public until they are so big and ubiquitous that—to paraphrase of the famously catchy theme song of the classic NBC sitcom—everybody knows their names.

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