Category Archives: Regulations

If Boehner Sues Obama, Roberts Wins

By Jonathan Bernstein – The technical issue is “standing.” For the courts to consider a lawsuit, the person or group bringing the suit has to show they were harmed in some direct way.

What Boehner is claiming now is that Congress, or the House of Representatives in this case, should be able to sue the president for not following the law if no one else would be able to do so.

If that succeeds, however, the big winner in the long run wouldn’t be Congress. It would be the courts. more>


Liberals Make ‘Profit’ a Dirty Word

By Stephen L. Carter – The only reasonable interpretation is that the fundraisers believe — or believe that their targets believe — that there is something wrong with profit, that the proprietors of a for-profit firm are less admirable than those who run companies pursuing other goals.

That’s why the fundraisers have been so careful to remind their targets that Hobby Lobby is a for-profit company. They are hinting that profit is different from other motivations. Less noble. Maybe even wicked. more>

Prophet of Basel Battles Yellen, Draghi and Easy Money

By Leonid Bershidsky – The general manager of the Basel-based Bank for International Settlements, Jaime Caruana wants to remove the punch bowl from a party that other monetary policymakers claim hasn’t gotten started.

The consensus among these policymakers, who have actual responsibility for economic performance in their respective domains, is that monetary easing is necessary, too-low inflation is evil and tighter supervision of banks will suffice to stave off future financial crises.

For the second year in a row, Caruana’s lonely voice is being drowned out by a Keynesian [2] chorus. more>

The Future of Test-based Accountability

By Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst – Think of the MCT (minimum competency tests) movement as based on a philosophy akin to that which has historically motivated central government’s role in regulating the food supply.

The goal is not to assure that the public eats well, but that it avoids diseases that are transmitted through contaminated foods.

Under present day standards and accountability systems, states, pushed and prodded by the federal government, have moved from trying to force districts to educate students to a minimum level of basic skills and to do something about schools that are obviously failing, to holding districts, schools and teachers accountable for (in the words of the Common Core State Standards Initiative) “preparing all students for success in college, career, and life.”

It is as if the FDA switched from its role of keeping wiggly things out of our food stock, at which it is pretty good, to assuring that we eat a healthy diet. more>

How to Fix the Credit-Rating System

By Clive Crook – The credit-rating industry has been one of the more successful fugitives from stricter regulation since the financial crisis. The companies’ failure to do their appointed jobs was as spectacular as that of the banks, and at the very center of the whole mess — yet the regulatory follow-through has been minimal.

The whole idea of structured finance is to repackage payments into safe and less safe instruments so that investors with different appetites for risk and return can be sold the blend they want. The problem is, this additional complexity makes it easier to make mistakes. And sometimes those mistakes aren’t accidents. more>