Biden to Nominate Former Ripple Advisor as Top Fed Banking Regulator


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Michael Barr’s role at controversial company could attract additional scrutiny from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party

Michael Barr, former advisor at blockchain company Ripple Labs, will be nominated by U.S. President Joe Biden to serve as the Federal Reserve’s big bank regulator, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sarah Bloom Raskin, who was Biden’s first choice, withdrew her nomination in March after Sen. Joe Manchin, the conservative-leaning Democrat from West Virginia, said that he would not vote to confirm her due to her progressive stance on climate change. The Democrats hold only a narrow majority in the Senate, which is why it is critical to secure a vote from Manchin.

Progressive Democratic senators—most notably Massachusetts’s Elizabeth Warren—are likely to take issue with Barr’s role at Ripple Labs due to her anti-cryptocurrency stance. It remains to be seen whether she will be on board with Biden’s new nominee.

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Barr, who served as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions in the administration of former President Barack Obama, was named as an advisor to Ripple back in 2015. It is unclear when he decided to cut ties with the company. Barr has served as dean of the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy since 2017.

Ripple is still in the middle of its high-profile legal battle with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission that originally started in December 2020. As reported by U.Today, CEO Brad Garlinghouse recently said that things were going “exceedingly well” for Ripple, predicting that the outcome will be favorable for the defendants. In early March, the court denied Garlinghouse and Larsen’s twin motions to dismiss the lawsuit.


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