Sherman Blasts Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency on Bloomberg TV


EMILY: FOR TWO DAYS THIS WEEK, FACEBOOK’S STEPHEN MARCUS WAS PEPPERED WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEWLY PROPOSED CRYPTOCURRENCY, BUT THERE WAS ONE QUESTION OR STATEMENT THAT SEEMED TO CATCH HIM COMPLETELY OFF GUARD. TAKE A LISTEN. REP. SHERMAN: WE ARE TOLD BY SOME THAT INNOVATION IS ALWAYS GOOD. THE MOST INNOVATIVE THING THAT HAPPENED THIS CENTURY IS WHEN OSAMA BIN LADEN CAME UP WITH THE INNOVATIVE IDEA OF FLYING TO AIRPLANES INTO THE TOWERS. THAT IS THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL INNOVATION, ALTHOUGH THIS MAY DO MORE TO ENDANGER AMERICA THAN EVEN THAT. EMILY: THAT WAS REPRESENTATIVE BRAD SHERMAN OF CALIFORNIA’S 30TH DISTRICT, WHO JOINS US FROM WASHINGTON. THANK YOU SO MUCH. CERTAINLY A VERY PROVOCATIVE STATEMENT WE HEARD YOU MAKE. WHAT EXACTLY DID YOU MEAN? REP. SHERMAN: LET ME CLARIFY. A ZUCKERBERG IS NOT AS EVIL AS OSAMA BIN LADEN, BECAUSE THE HARM THAT ZUCKERBERG WILL DO IS AN UNINTENDED PRODUCT OF HIS EFFORT TO MAKE HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS MORE. BUT THE FACT IS, IN CREATING A TOOL FOR DRUG DEALERS, THAT IS GOING TO RESULT IN DEBTS ON THE STREETS OF AMERICA EVERY DAY. BY CREATING A TOOL FOR TAX EVADERS, THAT IS GOING TO MEAN THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN’T FUND CANCER RESEARCH OR CAN’T FUND THE DEFENSE OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE DEGREE THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO. AND BY PROVIDING A METHOD FOR SANCTIONS EVADERS WHO ARE GOING TO MAKE IT MUCH MORE DIFFICULT FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PREVENT IRAN AND NORTH KOREA FROM DEVELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS. ZUCKERBERG DOESN’T INTEND ANY OF THOSE OBJECTIVES. HE IS JUST INTENTIONALLY DISINTERESTED IN WHETHER THAT OCCURS. THE FACT IS THAT THE POWER OF THE DOLLAR, OUR ABILITY TO CONTROL OUR BANKING SYSTEM, IS A KEY TO THE ECONOMY OF THE UNITED STATES, WHICH SAVES AT LEAST $100 BILLION PER YEAR IN BORROWING COSTS, BECAUSE WITH A — WE ARE THE RESERVE CURRENCY OF THE WORLD. IT IS KEY TO OUR SANCTIONS PROGRAM, WHICH IS MOST EFFECTIVE WHEN WE CONTROL DOLLAR TRANSACTIONS. IT IS EFFECTIVE IN OUR EFFORTS TO PREVENT DRUG KINGPINS AND HUMAN TRAFFICKERS. THE INTENT OF THIS LIBRA, WHICH I CALL A ZUCK-BUCK. THE INTENTION IS TO UNDERMINE THAT WHOLE EFFORT. I KNOW ZUCKERBERG IS UNDER ATTACK BECAUSE HE UNDERMINES AMERICAN PRIVACY. HIS RESPONSE IS TO BECOME A PRIVACY ADVOCATE FOR TAX EVADERS, TERRORISTS, SANCTIONS EVADERS, DRUG DEALERS. I THINK THOSE ARE THE FOLKS WHO SHOULDN’T HAVE FINANCIAL PRIVACY. EMILY: WE WILL GET THERE. FOR WE GO, ON THE 9/11 STATEMENT , OBVIOUSLY WHAT YOU GOT OUR ATTENTION. SOME AMERICANS MIGHT HAVE BEEN OFFENDED, SOME MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT IT WAS TOO FAR. WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THAT? REP. SHERMAN: THE NUMBER OF DEATHS THAT WILL OCCUR IN AMERICA IF THIS IS SUCCESSFUL IN PLAYING THE ROLE IT IS INTENDED WILL EXCEED WHAT WE LOST ON 9/11. THE ADDITIONAL HEROIN DEBTS, THE INABILITY TO FUND CANCER RESEARCH, THE LACK OF SUCCESS OF OUR SANCTIONS WILL BE VERY IMPORTANT. THEY WILL NOT BE ALL OF THE SUDDEN. THEY WILL NOT BE ONE BIG PICTURE, ONE BIG DAY. I HAD TO BE ASKED BY A REPORTER, DOES THAT MAKE A ZUCKERBERG AS EVIL AS OSAMA BIN LADEN? CLEARLY NOT. BIN LADEN WAS TRYING TO CAUSE AMERICAN DEBTS, ZUCKERBERG IS JUST DISINTERESTED AND WHETHER THEY OCCUR. EMILY: SPEAKING OF ZUCK-BUCKS AS YOU CALL IT, YOU HAVE SAID YOU WANT MARK ZUCKERBERG TO TESTIFY. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO HEAR FROM HIM THAT YOU DID NOT HEAR FROM DAVID MARCUS? REP. SHERMAN: WE ARE GETTING A CONFUSED AND CONTRADICTORY REPORT FROM MARCUS. HE IS TELLING US THEY ARE GOING TO ABIDE BY THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER RULES THAT WE IMPOSE ON OUR BANKS, BUT THEN HE IS SAYING THAT THERE WILL BE OTHERS WHO CREATE SEPARATE WALLETS THAT WILL BE FORMED IN OTHER COUNTRIES AND ONE WONDERS WHETHER A COMPANY CREATING A WALLET IN MOSCOW OR TEHRAN IS GOING TO FOLLOW THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING RULES. MARCUS MAKES A PROMISE, THEN PAINTS A PICTURE IN WHICH FACEBOOK WOULD BE INCAPABLE OF CARRYING IT OUT. LIKEWISE, MARCUS PROMISES THAT THERE WILL BE NO PRINTING OF ADDITIONAL MONEY, THEY WILL HAVE A 1:1 RESERVE, BUT DESCRIBES A SYSTEM FOR GOVERNING THE LIBRA IN WHICH FACEBOOK WILL NOT BE IN CONTROL, SO WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY WILL BE ABLE TO DO? WE NEED TO IRON THIS OUT. WHEN WE GET CONTRADICTORY INFORMATION FROM THE EMPLOYEE, WE NEED TO HEAR FROM THE CEO. EMILY: WHAT DO YOU THINK CONGRESS’S ROLE HERE SHOULD BE VERSUS ZUCKERBERG HIMSELF. REP. SHERMAN: WE SHOULD BE PROHIBITING CRYPTOCURRENCIES. THEY DISEMPOWER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THERE IS AN ANARCHIST, LIBERTARIAN STRAIN THAT SAYS EVERY TIME THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DISEMPOWERED, AMERICANS SHOULD BE HAPPIER. IT IS FUNNY. I HAVE GOT REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES WHO WANT AMERICA TO BE STRONG AND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT TO BE WEAK AND THAT DOESN’T ACTUALLY WORK. EMILY: ARE YOU SAYING YOU THINK CRYPTOCURRENCY SHOULD BE ILLEGAL? REP. SHERMAN: ABSOLUTELY. I HAVE ADVOCATED THAT FOR A LONG TIME. THINK OF IT. THE PURPOSE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY SERVES NO FUNCTION UNLESS SOMEBODY IS ENGAGED IN VARIOUS TRANSACTIONS. THAT IS WHY 46% OF BITCOIN TRANSACTIONS ARE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING THINGS ILLEGAL UNDER U.S. LAW. ACCORDING TO AN ACADEMIC PEER-REVIEWED STUDY. WHETHER THEY ARE EVADING SANCTIONS, EVADING TAX LAWS OR DEALING DRUGS. WE ALREADY KNOW — BITCOIN IS A SMALL BABY HERE. YOU CAN’T BUY A PACK OF GUM FOR BITCOIN. IT HAS TO HAVE AN OFFRAMP THAT YOU CAN CONVERT INTO A SOVEREIGN CURRENCY. THIS PROPOSAL SOLVES THAT PROBLEM AND WILL ALLOW DRUG DEALERS TO MOVE SEAMLESSLY FROM DRUG DEAL TO MONEY THEY CAN SPEND ON LUXURIES. THIS IS A CHANCE TO LIBERATE THOSE WHO HATE FEDERAL LAWS, WHETHER IT BE ANTIDRUG LAWS OR ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS, TAX LAWS OR SANCTIONS. THIS IS A CHANCE FOR THEM TO GET AROUND ON THE MOST EFFECTIVE CONTROLS THAT WE HAVE AND THAT IS WHY IT IS POPULAR. EMILY: FACEBOOK’S CRYPTO ISSUE IS JUST ONE OF MANY ISSUES THAT FACEBOOK IS DEALING WITH, ALONG WITH FAKE NEWS, MISINFORMATION, ELECTION HACKING BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES. DO YOU THINK FACEBOOK SHOULD BE BROKEN UP? REP. SHERMAN: I THINK FIRST AND FOREMOST, FACEBOOK HAS TO BE KEPT OUT OF THE CRYPTOCURRENCY BUSINESS. THEY SAY THEY WANT TO PROVIDE SERVICES TO THE UNBAKED. THE PLACE WHERE WE HAVE THE MOST UNBANKED IS INDIA AND IF THEY DID THIS SYSTEM USING U.S. DOLLARS OR USING THE LOCAL CURRENCY IN INDIA, THEY COULD BE SUCCESSFUL. THEY COULD HELP PEOPLE, BUT BY GOING TO CRYPTOCURRENCY, THEY ARE PROHIBITED FROM DOING BUSINESS IN INDIA. ZUCKERBERG DOESN’T WANT TO HELP POOR PEOPLE IN INDIA. HE WANTS TO MAKE HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY AND CREATE A CIRCUMSTANCE WHERE HE CAN DO THE ONE THING HE CAN’T DO NOW, AND THAT IS PRINT HIS OWN MONEY. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT USED TO HAVE A 1:1 RESERVE RULE FOR THE DOLLAR. WE GOT AWAY FROM THAT AND IF ZUCKERBERG CAN DO THE SAME THING, HE CAN DO WHAT REALLY ONLY THE U.S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN DO TO THE EXTENT THAT WE DO IT, AND THAT IS PRINT MONEY. HE HAS GOT WHAT SEEMS TO BE ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD, BUT HE WANTS TO PRINT MORE. EMILY: WHAT ABOUT THE BROADER ARGUMENT THAT BIG TECH IS TOO BIG? ELIZABETH WARREN IS CALLING FOR THE BREAKUP OF FACEBOOK, APPLE, AMAZON, GOOGLE. DO YOU AGREE? REP. SHERMAN: I AM ON THE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE. I FOCUS ON THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM. THESE OTHER ANTITRUST ISSUES, I THINK ELIZABETH WARREN HAS SOME GOOD ARGUMENTS, BUT I COME ONTO THE SHOW TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THINGS I HAVE THOUGHT THROUGH AND CAN ADD SOMETHING TO THE DISCUSSION. CRYPTOCURRENCIES SERVE NO PURPOSE THAT CANNOT BE MET BY THE U.S. DOLLAR, EXCEPT FOR DRUG DEALERS, HUMAN TRAFFICKERS, TAX EVADERS AND SANCTIONS EVADERS. EMILY: MESSAGE RECEIVED. CONGRESSMAN BRAD SHERMAN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. GOOD TO HAVE YOU.

7 thoughts on “Sherman Blasts Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency on Bloomberg TV”

  1. This guy is either a con-artist on a mission to perpetuate the status quo, or he is a well-intentioned idiot who is simply misinformed on cryptocurrency. Either way, there is nothing of value to be heard from this dinosaur.

  2. Funded by Capital One Financial, The Mortgage Bankers Association USAA, etc… the companies that would be disrupted by crypto

  3. Thank u sir for ur tweets of supporting India on Kashmir issue and exposing trump…Love from India ❤🇮🇳

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