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.
December 31, 2019
August 25 of this past year was the 230th anniversary of the death of Mary Ball Washington, the mother of the first president of the United States. Her life was extraordinary, as she lived into her 80s, seeing her son George lead the Continental Army to victory against Great Britain in the Revolutionary War and then become the nation’s first President in 1789.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.