Open Markets Institute, Public Citizen, Demand Progress Education Fund, and Revolving Door Project Send Open Letter Demanding Libra Partners “Walk Away”
July 18, 2019
Washington, DC — On the heels of Open Markets publicly demanding Libra’s launch partners “walk away” from the project, OMI, Public Citizen, Demand Progress Education Fund, and Revolving Door Project sent a joint letter to all 27 partners.
Citing bipartisan concern from Senators at Tuesday’s hearing, the letter implores them to consider the competitive, political, financial and social implications of the currency being realized, and makes a direct plea for Libra’s launch partners to withdraw from the project.
Laura Hatalsky, Chief of Staff at Open Markets Institute said, “Simply put, private currencies endanger sovereign power. Unless we want to be pledging allegiance to Mark Zuckerberg, the Libra project needs to be put to an end. After the disastrous hearings in Congress this week, it is up to the partners of the Libra project to realize the danger Libra poses to world order and walk away.”
Rob Weissman, President of Public Citizen said, “The successful launch of a private, global currency tied to Facebook – the dominant firm in social media with more than two billion users – portends grave risks for the global economy, financial stability, efforts to control illicit money flows, market competition and consumer well-being.”
“As Senator Schatz noted during a Senate hearing on the Libra project Tuesday, many of these partners probably came to the table because they fear Facebook’s power and didn’t want to be left behind,” said David Siegal of Demand Progress Education Fund. “Well now they have a chance to leave Facebook behind. Libra is a PR disaster and they should jump out of this sinking ship while they still can.” Siegal continued, “Libra simply has no reason to be allowed to exist. A low-cost, comprehensive, e-payments infrastructure should be governed by the public — and governments across the world on working to make it so. Rather, Libra would privatize key public functions and put them in the hands of a serial violator of the rights of its users and laws across the globe.”
According to Jeff Hauser, Executive Director of Revolving Door Project at the Center for Economic Policy and Research,”This week’s hearings revealed beyond a doubt that Facebook is ill-suited to playing a leading role in developing a new currency. But more than that, the hearings made clear that the very idea of the private sector creating a currency is both anti-democratic in process and extremely dangerous in substance. We urge you, as companies which have attained success without such harebrained schemes being implemented, to both pullout of the Libra initiative and commit to not joining any subsequent, Libra 2.0 style endeavors.”
For More Information:
Libra Basics: What Is Facebook’s Digital Currency
Libra Action Letter
Matt Stoller in the New York Times: Launching a Global Currency Is a Bold, Bad Move for Facebook