A decade ago, in an effort called Operation Choke Point, the Justice Department, the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC tried to circumvent Congress using similar tactics—pressuring banks to cease business with specific industries, citing fraud prevention. Today, we are again seeing backroom tactics as a substitute for legislation, process and public regulation. Regardless of one’s position on the underlying issue, these significant policy decisions should be made in an open and transparent way.
This extralegal crackdown initially might not concern observers whose impressions of crypto are rooted in headlines about bad actors and outright criminals. But as four senators pointed out in a recent letter to the Fed, the FDIC and the OCC: “When the Bernie Madoff fraud was uncovered, regulators did not pressure banks to cut off access to other asset managers.”
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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