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OpenMarket: John Berlau

  • 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.
  • SEC Should Stop Coercing Brokers to Buy Data From Exchanges

    February 15, 2019
    There are many types of burdensome government mandates, but of all the Ten Thousand Commandments, regulations that coerce the purchase of a particular product or commodity are among the most destructive.
  • Rep. Waters Reiterates Support for JOBS Act 3.0

    January 31, 2019
    In a major speech to a liberal group outlining her priorities as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) sharply criticized President Trump and many conservative policies, but reaffirmed her support of bipartisan deregulatory legislation referred to as the “JOBS Act 3.0.”
  • Agenda for the 116th Congress: The Second Decade of Crypto-Blockchain

    January 9, 2019
    As cryptocurrency and the associated blockchain celebrate their tenth birthdays, CEI’s new “Free to Prosper” agenda for the 116th Congress aims to ensure bureaucratic red tape doesn’t stunt their growth.
  • Year in Review 2018: Operation Choke Point

    December 19, 2018
    Every Halloween, there exists the temptation for commentators to describe routine events in the news with adjectives like “scary” and “frightening.” Sensitive to sounding clichéd or inflammatory, I try usually to avoid using such terminology in my descriptions of the policy process.

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