Rohit Chopra, Fdic, Cfpb discussed on Balance of Power

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Collapse of the Terra stablecoin and its token Luna shook cryptocurrency markets and caught the attention of regulators and lawmakers in Washington I talked to someone directly involved in figuring out how to regulate cryptocurrency and stablecoins Director of the consumer financial protection bureau Rohit Chopra We have to look at actually what just happened last week A lot of people thought that a stablecoin was just going to be as good as a dollar just like depositing it in an FDIC insured account but they're learning that it's not So stablecoins are something that all the regulators are looking at Most stablecoin use right now is really for speculative trading to go in and out of cryptocurrencies And people wonder is it going to be one day used for consumer payments And many are thinking it's not ready yet Is it like a money market effectively Well in some ways people compare it to that but do we want that How do we want to regulate it And for what use when it's at an investment the SEC is working on things But when it comes to consumer payments it's not just stablecoins it's all sorts of emergence emerging payment technologies We see on our mobile device and others And we need to make sure we understand everything from privacy security and when people have errors or deal with fraud that they have some recourse And right now many people don't know where to turn And let's be clear it's very complicated It's certainly more confident that I'm going to understand you understand it much better than I do But you can understand why people are out in the marketplace saying in the meantime I'm losing money and we're waiting for regulation And in fact a lot of the crypto people are saying we want regulation We want some rules of the road So realistically when do you think we can have some foreign regulation decided on Well I think you're going to see a lot of movement this year in terms of The White House has asked all the regulators to publish a set of reports There's already activity going on at the regulators to to me we've got to crack this code of what do we want the future of our payment system to look like The fed is going to be launching its new fed now system which is going to create really real time payments for consumers and businesses But again people need to know that that stable coin is not the same as depositing it in an FDIC insured account Well I think you have caused some ripples and asking questions about payment systems that goes beyond cryptocurrencies Some of the big tech things like that people are saying wait a second Where is this going How does it work How does this fit together from your point of view in terms of protecting the consumer Yeah I mean I look at what is happening in China where you see AliPay WeChat pay so ubiquitous and combining with their broader tech businesses We need to ask ourselves do we want Google Do we not want Facebook controlling a lot of flow of payments and using that data in ways we may not understand Let's talk about something a little more traditional which is banks And bank mergers Give us a sense of that There was a long time that it was thought that there was a pent up demand in the regional banks for mergers Are they getting together now Well you do see markets pushing for some mergers And right now at the FDIC the board has launched a review of our bank merger policy The bank merger policy has kind of been the same for a while but there's a big question right now to what extent does a big merged firm including regional banks What could that cause a threat to financial stability if it failed The markets have not particularly liked 2022 so far And you take last week was really brutal for a lot of investors as a practical matter Inflation is driving it to tightening fiscal monetary policy is running Where does it show up in terms of consumer credit Because I see some reports that people are putting up more and more in their credit card balances That's right During the pandemic credit card debt outstanding actually went down quite a bit People were paying down their balances And then in late 2021 it started coming up again And actually quite sharply I don't actually think that that's fully driven by inflation I think that's just people are getting higher wages spending more and there's a lot of pent up demand So we're watching that pretty closely We want to make sure that people can shop get good rates but I do expect it to continue to go up Of course inflation for many households It's really pinching them especially if they're buying a car Both new and used car prices new car prices are often selling well above suggested price And so that is something that we're seeing in elevated auto loans and a lot more auto loans outstanding So people are getting higher wages we're not seeing delinquency levels go up yet but depending on how the shape of the economy moves We could see that change Are you seeing abusive practices creep in Whether it's through non disclosure or otherwise Well across the across the markets we're always going to have scams and fraud and we're going we're looking at that But I'm really focused on big firms that repeatedly break the law Small firms they often regulators lay the hammer down on them But a lot of the largest financial institutions even when they break the law over and over and over again it just feels like nothing happens We are changing that mindset and making sure that the price of violating the law repeatedly is much higher than the benefits Thanks to CFPB director Rohit Chopra Coming up supply chain rose continue with no end.

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