Tag Archives: regulation

Simon Johnson: Big Banks Have a Big Problem – NYTimes.com

14 Mar

Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony to Congress last week also confirmed the latter point: some banks are so big that the Department of Justice is afraid to bring legal charges against them, for fear of how that would affect the economy. Senator Warren of Massachusetts continues to press this issue relentlessly and very effectively.

via Simon Johnson: Big Banks Have a Big Problem – NYTimes.com.

Banks That Are Too Big to Regulate Should Be Nationalized – NYTimes.com

23 Jul

Simons (a hero of the libertarian idol Milton Friedman) was skeptical of enormity. “Few of our gigantic corporations,” he wrote [in 1934!], “can be defended on the ground that their present size is necessary to reasonably full exploitation of production economies.”

The central problem, then as now, was that very large corporations could easily undermine regulatory and antitrust strategies. The Nobel laureate George J. Stigler demonstrated how regulation was commonly “designed and operated primarily for” the benefit of the industries involved. And numerous conservatives, including Simons, concluded that large corporate players could thwart antitrust “break-them-up” efforts — a view Friedman came to share.

Simons did not shrink from the obvious conclusion: “Every industry should be either effectively competitive or socialized.” If other remedies were unworkable, “The state should face the necessity of actually taking over, owning, and managing directly” all “industries in which it is impossible to maintain effectively competitive conditions.”

via Banks That Are Too Big to Regulate Should Be Nationalized – NYTimes.com.

Agency Struggles to Safeguard Pipeline System – NYTimes.com

10 Sep

The little-known federal agency charged with monitoring the system [167,000-mile system of hazardous liquid pipelines] and enforcing safety measures — the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration — is chronically short of inspectors and lacks the resources needed to hire more, leaving too much of the regulatory control in the hands of pipeline operators themselves, according to federal reports, an examination of agency data and interviews with safety experts.

They portray an agency that rarely levies fines and is not active enough in policing the aging labyrinth of pipelines, which has suffered thousands of significant hazardous liquid spills over the past two decades.

via Agency Struggles to Safeguard Pipeline System – NYTimes.com.