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From Coinbase Brooks Into OCC With List of Conflicts Including Avant and Others Undisclosed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - CJR - PFT

UN GATE / SDNY COURT, June 16 – May 29 was the last day for Joseph Otting as US Comptroller of the Currency, a position he has misused to attack the Community Reinvestment Act he came to despise as head of OneWest Bank.

   A week later Ottting cashed out, taking a paying position on the board of directors of Black Knight, described as a fintech.
  But if bank regulators have a cooling off period, how can the just former Comptroller joint a fintech, an industry he and his successor worked and work to get into the national banking world?

  As to Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks, Bloomberg reported that "[a]s Coinbase’s chief legal officer, Brooks was paid $1.4 million in salary -- separate from the stock options -- in the year and a half he spent with company, which had weighed seeking a charter through the OCC before making other moves to access the banking system... He still has stock and bond holdings between $1 million and $2.2 million. Because he’s acting comptroller -- not yet nominated by President Donald Trump to seek Senate confirmation -- he’s not required to take the ethics pledge that would limit his ability to work in lobbying after he leaves the job, according to an OCC spokesman. However, Brooks has submitted a letter through the agency’s ethics office outlining companies he’ll steer clear of because of potential conflicts of interest, including Inc., Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit, Coinbase and a number of other tech firms he’s worked with....  Otting, who left the job last month, wasn’t out of work long. He was tapped this week to join the board of Black Knight Inc., which provides software for the mortgage industry." Bloomberg did not delve into that conflict of interest. And what are the "other tech firms" as to which Brooks is acknowledging a conflict?

   The OCC wrote to Inner City Press, faux apologizing for withholding information it has requested about Otting until after he had left the agency. Inner City Press immediately wrote back requesting a copy of Brooks' ethics letter and list of companies as to which even he acknowledges a conflict of interest. So far, nothing. But we note, for example, that he was on the board of Avant. What else?

   Amid all this, Fair Finance Watch and Inner City Press / Community on the Move have launched a new project. And so far, Brooks' national banks have been among the worst. Watch this site.


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