Facebook’s Libra strongcryptocurrencystrong is part of a disturbing financial trend

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Commingling a digital marketplace with all of a customer’s financial information, including purchases and deposits, is also bad for customers and taxpayers. Conversely, Citigroup could own and operate its own online retailer, offering lower prices to its bank customers. This trend has carried significant implications for customer privacy, competition, financial risk and concentrated economic and political power. Unfortunately, instead of eliminating this loophole, the 2010 Wall Street reform law called only for a pause and study on new industrial bank charters. So far, these applications have largely been limited to tech companies like $28 billion payment company Square that already offers financial services.

Article Preview By Graham Steele Graham Steele is the staff director of the Corporations and Society Initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to joining Stanford GSB, he was the Minority Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs and a member of the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. August 12 at 8:23 AM

In June, Facebook announced plans to effectively create its own alternative currency called Libra — and, eventually, a financial system to go with it. The proposal was so galling in its hubris that it sparked bipartisan outrage across our polarized political spectrum. Libra was, of course, cloaked...

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