House member’s opposition to crypto is an exercise in follow the money
It’s no secret that old line financial institutions, their regulators, and an array of politicians great and small are less than keen on the rise of cryptocurrencies. Financial tools that operate just outside their collective grip represent existential threats. But they can have immediate and very practical benefits for those same pols, such as those FEE’s Brad Polumbo notes regarding crypto-skeptic Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA):
One of the biggest opponents of cryptocurrency in Washington is Congressman Brad Sherman, a California Democrat who has in the past called for cryptos to be banned. At a…hearing for the House Committee on Financial Services, Sherman harshly criticized cryptocurrency and renewed his calls for its prohibition.
Members of Congress advocating prohibition of one sort or another is nothing new. But Sherman’s calls for banning crypto have been very beneficial…for his campaign warchest:
According to OpenSecrets.org, the following financial companies rank among Congressman Sherman’s biggest donors to his 2020 Campaign Committee:
- Capital Group Companies: $18,400
- Blackstone Group: $16,800
- BlackRock Inc: $11,250
- American Bankers Association: $10,000
- Capital One Financial: $10,000
- Charles Schwab Corp: $10,000
- Credit Union National Association: $10,000
- Discover Financial Services: $10,000
- Deloitte LLP: $10,000
That’s a nice list of financial institutions and their associations. It’s par for the course for members of the House Financial Services Committee to get such support. It’s the same as members of committees overseeing health issues getting money from drug and insurance companies, and national defense-related committees counting on checks from the military industrial complex.
That Sherman thinks crypto should be banned and cashes lots of bankers’ campaign checks doesn’t make him a bad person. Wrong on the issue? Absolutely — as prohibitionists of all stripes have long been. Just be aware that his very bad policy stance has earned him a lot of very practical support from those who would also be happy to see financial alternatives like crypto fade away.