Banking and finance roundup

  • “Unintended Consequences of Military Lending Act Hurt Some Families” [R.J. Lehmann]
  • Tenth Circuit: Fed must provide all depository institutiona access to the clearing system, whether they serve marijuana businesses or any other kind [George Selgin, Cato]
  • “Moneylending has been taboo for most of human history. So how did usury stop being a sin and become respectable finance?” [Alex Mayyasi, Aeon]
  • Financial regulation: too many cooks in the compliance kitchen [Cato Daily Podcast with Thaya Brook Knight and Caleb Brown] “DOL Fiduciary Rule: It’s Not Always Fun to be Right” [Knight]
  • “2016 was an unprecedented year in securities class actions filings.” [Baker Hostetler, JD Supra]
  • Trusts and the offshore wealth trade: from Edmund Burke to the Cayman Islands [Graham McAleer, Law and Liberty]


  • Good that both the Tenth and DOJ have choked the life out of Operation Choke Point. The DOJ decision, in the short term, since that is subject to political whim. The Court decision, however, will probably have longer-lasting effects.

    In a way, it’s a shame this happened now. I would very much have enjoyed having choke-point methodology applied to any bank that provided loans to political parties.

  • The article on military credit mentioned again how many US families lack even the cash savings for a minor emergency. Back when I was growing up in the 1960s, regulated banks welcomed and even paid interest on small savings accounts. Today’s deregulated banks don’t want the business, discouraging small savers with substantial fees. They take the cash home, where likely as not it will be dissipated by importunate relatives or roommates.

    I favor a common foreign idea of setting up post offices to handle simple small savings accounts. (We would have to be vigilant to prevent mission creep into business properly belonging to commercial banks.) On a previous occasion when I mentioned the idea, a fellow poster asked me how I would make it pay. I answer that it should be subsidized if necessary as basic infrastructure, like free universal primary and secondary education. Income tax laws could also be updated to encourage a start in savings. I suspect this would be more cost-effective than some other social programs.