Iain Murray (Competitive Enterprise Institute) on the history of Operation Choke Point

Iain Murray, VP of Strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, joins the show to discuss the history of Operation Choke Point, a 2011-2015 program used to exclude legal businesses from banking led by the DoJ and FDIC. In this episode:

  • How Iain Murray came to be one of the main historians of Operation Choke Point
  • The roots of Choke Point in the crackdown on poker sites in 2011
  • How Choke Point was started on a whim by two midlevel DoJ lawyers in 2011
  • How OCP targeted completely legal but politically disfavored industries
  • How mechanically the DoJ was able to get banks to comply with their informal guidance
  • Why the closed nature of banking means that alternatives financial service providers for these industries couldn’t be created
  • How bank consolidation meant that OCP was easier to instrumentalize
  • How successful was Choke Point in marginalizing targeted industries?
  • Did OCP have buy-in from the highest levels of the Obama administration?
  • How regulations should have implemented the rules they sought to create with Choke Point – and why they chose not to
  • How OCP was an end-around the administrative procedure act, and why it was done covertly
  • Was there any accountability for the individuals behind OCP? Was anyone fired?
  • Why individuals on any side of the political spectrum should be concerned about OCP
  • Did Choke Point ever really end?
  • The long term enduring effects of OCP
  • How the Wyoming SPDI is a reaction to Choke Point
  • Whether Iain agrees with the OCC’s ‘Fair Access’ rule

Content mentioned in this episode: