In several recent high-profile cases, banks have conditioned or denied financial services to disfavored industries after campaigns against those industries by advocacy groups. In late-November 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency responded with a rulemaking that, if adopted, would bar national banks from denying financial services to counterparties on the basis of the "personal beliefs" of management and would prohibit "broad categorical exclusions" of certain industries.
Some have hailed the rulemaking as an overdue counteroffensive against so-called "woke capitalism." Others worry that it would create a "Fairness Doctrine" for banks and question the potential unintended consequences of the rule for freedom of conscience and orderly bank supervision.
This live podcast explores the issues surrounding the politicization of financial services, including the OCC rulemaking and other recent initiatives. This is a subject on which reasonable minds across the political spectrum—from progressives and libertarians to conservatives—can and do disagree.
- John Berlau, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Brian Knight, Director of Innovation and Governance and Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University
- [Moderator] C. Wallace DeWitt, Senior Counsel, Allen & Overy LLP
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