Chopra’s confirmation of charges hearing; Goldman is back in the bitcoin business

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Interview for the sheriff’s job

Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “said he would seek to protect Americans struggling with debt amid the coronavirus pandemic from potential abuse by lenders” during his hearing confirmation in the Senate, the Wall Street Journal reported. “Among Mr. Chopra’s priorities, industry officials have said: making sure credit reports are accurate, helping consumers behind on rent or mortgage payments, and making sure that Payday lenders assess their clients’ ability to repay short term, high interest loans.

“Mr. Chopra supporters say he will not hesitate to use the tools available to the CFPB, including civil inquiries – a form of administrative subpoena – and civil monetary penalties for acting against lenders and loan officers suspected of abuse. The bureau should review credit reports, especially misinformation that appeared on consumers’ credit reports after they entered deferral or forbearance programs during the pandemic. “

“The audience was sweeter than expected, especially for Mr. Chopra, who would run an agency often demonized by Republicans, ”The New York Times reported. Leading Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania reiterated his party’s criticism of the consumer office in his opening remarks, calling it “arguably the most irresponsible agency in the world. the story of the federal government “and who pursued a” militant, anti-business agenda. “

“But these criticisms were sometimes contradicted by members of his own party. Repeatedly during the hearing, Republicans called for tighter monitoring of businesses that harm consumers, especially those that target the military and the elderly. “

Chopra “swore the office would help student loan borrowers, consumers trying to correct inaccurate credit reports and homeowners hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, ”said American Banker.

the Wall Street newspaper

Betting against the tide

While many real estate companies buy single family homes and rent them out, Promise Homes Co. does the opposite: “wants its tenants to move out and buy their own homes. The company has acquired occupied rental homes around Atlanta and North Florida that have been abandoned by other large landlords, and has been promoting homeownership to tenants it inherits.

“Promise Homes offers monthly rent discounts to tenants who improve their credit rating and advises them on how to do it. It provides emergency rent credit for those who always pay on time and vouches for model tenants when they apply for a home loan. The for-profit company works with Operation Hope, a non-profit organization founded by John Hope Bryant that seeks to close the racial wealth gap through financial literacy and access to credit. Promise Homes pays Operation Hope to provide counseling to its residents. “

Bottom fishing

Koch Industries, meanwhile, is bet on a rebound in the commercial real estate market. The ‘sprawling Wichita, Kan.-Based conglomerate is emerging as a major real estate investor during the pandemic, using its strong cash reserves to purchase properties at bargain prices and betting on a longer-term recovery . The real estate arm of Dallas-based company Koch Real Estate Investments is among a growing number of investors looking to take advantage of the depressed market. But few others have been so ambitious in their acquisitions.

“Real estate is a relatively new goal for Koch Industries. The real estate branch is only four years old and, until last year, kept a low profile, quietly buying stakes in a number of properties but mostly hiding behind developers and other investors. This changed during the pandemic. “

Light burden

Treasury Department Financial Crime Network “does not seek to support banks with additional compliance burdens“because it” is implementing radical new anti-money laundering reforms, “Director Kenneth Blanco said on Tuesday.

Washington post

FinTech 101

“The domain known as fintech was started by startups dreaming of overthrowing financial giants and democratizing access to credit. But now a lot of these behemoths have joined us, Including JPMorgan Chase and Walmart.

Bloomberg offers an introduction and brief history of the FinTech industry, including possible drawbacks and concerns for regulators.

Elsewhere

Back to Bitcoin

Goldman Sachs “restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk and will begin trading bitcoin futures and customer undeliverable futures from next week, ”Reuters reported. “The office is part of Goldman’s business in the rapidly growing digital asset sector, which also includes projects involving blockchain technology and central bank digital currencies. As part of this work, the bank is also exploring the potential of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund and released an information request to explore digital asset custody.

“The restart of the trading desk comes amid growing institutional interest in bitcoin, which has climbed more than 470% in the past year. Goldman first set up a cryptocurrency bureau in 2018, just as the price of bitcoin fell from record levels, reducing investor interest in digital coins. Since then, the market infrastructure for bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies has matured considerably, with many established financial institutions offering products and services. “

Quotable

We must not forget that the financial lives of millions of Americans are in ruins. Many have seen their jobs disappear and will not be able to easily resume their [rent and mortgage] Payments. ”Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s candidate for head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at his Senate confirmation hearing.


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