Crypto Critic Rep. Brad Sherman Found on Bankers’ Payroll
Image courtesy of Unsplash (Ian Hutchinson)

Crypto Critic Rep. Brad Sherman Found on Bankers’ Payroll

The congressman has been anti-crypto for years, arguing that Bitcoin is for terrorists and tax evaders.
Neither the author, Kai Morris, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Congressman Brad Sherman, a representative for San Fernando Valley in California, and one of crypto’s biggest critics within the US Government, has been uncovered to be accepting donations from banks and other centralized investment corporations. These donations were provided for his 2020 election campaign. 

How the Banking World Backs Rep. Brad Sherman

OpenSecrets, the nonprofit organization focused on tracking lobbying in the US government, has found that some of congressman Brad Sherman’s biggest donors are a part of the centralized corporate banking sphere. Sherman was provided with $105,000+‬ by these organizations. 

Among his biggest donors are:

  • Capital Group Companies, donating $18,400
  • Blackstone Group, donating $16,800
  • BlackRock Inc, donating $11,250

Other banking donors include the American Bankers Association, Capital One Financial, Charles Schwab Corp, Credit Union National Association, Discover Financial Services, and Deloitte LLP. All of which donated $10,000 each. While having huge banking donors is an arguably dubious activity for any congressperson, this revelation is even more disquieting because of Sherman’s staunch anti-crypto stance.

During the House Financial Services Subcommittee Hearing on Cryptocurrency in June, Sherman stated that “cryptocurrencies have the political support of the patriotic anarchists who are rooting for tax evasion. I hope we shut it down.” He has also been adamant about his disdain for the industry on Twitter, presenting an argument that crypto investments harm the US.

Considering many of Sherman’s donors are centralized financial corporations, it makes sense as to why the California representative takes such a negative stance. These organizations are a natural opposition to decentralized financial tools such as cryptocurrency.

However, this is by no means a suggestion that Sherman is being controlled or directly paid to speak unfavourably towards cryptocurrency. Rather it gives a clear indication of what ideas and industries he aligns himself with.

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Are Brad Sherman’s Doners Significant?

Congressman Sherman’s centralized banking donors are indicative of a handful of things. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, they show that he finds himself in support of these corporations. This does not necessarily explain his anti-crypto stance (as he may have been against the technology long before any donations arose), but they do contextualize his words. 

Despite this, note that most financial institutions in the US are slowly warming up to crypto. For instance, Basit Sheikh, the Vice President of Capital Group’s Emerging-Technology Department, has said that “Blockchain is a very large boulder that’s moving slowly, and its impact will be gradual. But when it comes, it’ll be massive and long-lasting, which is why we’re keeping such a close eye on it”. And Blackrock—the world’s largest asset manager—is actually in the process of “studying” cryptocurrency.

These industries are certainly eyeing up the crypto sphere, with 90% of institutional investors planning to enter the market at some point. Still however, they might not be ready for full adoption, which could explain why they would fund a congressperson who is against it. It would make sense that they would want cryptocurrency to be held back in the US while they gain a better understanding of it, and find a greater position in the market.

Sherman’s donations are also indicative of a problem rife within the US government. It is common for congresspeople and representatives to be constantly dealing directly with finances and investments. Note, also, that Sherman invests around $1.7 million in assets.

Senator Elizebeth Warren has been attempting to diminish the ties between politicians and external finances by banning Congress from owning individual stocks. This is something she is planning to reintroduce to the Senate at some point in the future.

Do you think Rep. Sherman’s doners explain his thoughts on cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below.