Jul 21, 2017

Trump admin sticks by plan to oversee fintech startups

Jacqueline Martin/AP

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika, accused of being a tool of the financial industry, is surprising critics by adopting a relatively nuanced approach to regulation of "fintech" firms, in the emerging technology-based financial services sector.

In a speech Wednesday, Noreika defended a plan put forth by his predecessor, Obama-appointee Thomas Curry, that would enforce federal rather than state regulatory predominance over fintechs. Specifically, Noreika sided with Curry's assertion of the right to issue special federal banking charters to fintech firms like peer-to-peer lenders.

Why it's surprising: Noreika represented the financial services industry before being chosen to head the OCC in a fashion that allowed him to avoid Senate confirmation. Democrats have portrayed Noreika as too close to Wall Street and pointed to how he was appointed as illustrative of the Trump Administration's desire to gut banking regulations. Now, Noreika is continuing his predecessor's desire to defend the OCC's regulatory reach.

Why it's not surprising: Noreika's support for the right to issue such charters doesn't mean he will issue them, or that he will ultimately adopt a tough regulatory stance toward financial services startups. State regulators have filed suit against the OCC, arguing that the special charters are a usurpation of their right to set banking regulations, and could serve as a means for fintech companies to avoid more onerous state rules. Noreika made clear that he will defend the federal government's authority, but did not explicitly challenge the states' concerns for how the fintechs could harm consumers.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll exceeds 2,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now infected over 143,000 people in the U.S. — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 had killed over 2,500 people in the U.S. by Sunday night. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,000 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 2,600 Sunday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: No new cases in Wuhan, global numbers pass 724k

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

China's city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was discovered, reported no new cases for a sixth straight day. There was a decline in infections for a fourth consecutive day across mainland China, with only 31 new cases Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases continue to surge globally, as infection numbers surged past 724,000 and the death toll topped 34,000 by early Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 10,700 deaths early Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 11 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 a.m. ET: 724,201 — Total deaths: 34,018 — Total recoveries: 152,052.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 4 a.m. ET: 143,055 — Total deaths: 2,514 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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