The number of U.S. regulations—which affect nearly every aspect of Americans’ lives, from the food and medicine they consume to the quality of the air they breathe and how they save for retirement—has consistently been on the rise. As a result, U.S. businesses are increasingly burdened, but not competitively disadvantaged, because their peers in other advanced countries tend to face even more regulations, according to a new progress report and scorecard from the Council on Foreign Relations’ Renewing America initiative.
Peter R. Orszag writes that slow economic growth, low interest rates, and diminishing returns for share buybacks may explain the recent uptick in mergers worldwide.
Peter R. Orszag argues that medical malpractice reform would be better served by changing the standards for what constitutes "customary practice" than by imposing arbitrary caps on liability.
Peter Orszag writes that surprising growth of the nonprofit sector should prompt a closer examination of its tax exemption's budgetary impact.
Peter Orszag wants regulators to watch out for excessive consolidation in local hospital markets as Medicare's shift to value-based payments puts pressure on health care providers to merge and raise fees for private insurers.
John B. Bellinger III discusses the upcoming Supreme Court hearing of arguments in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, which will decide whether corporations may be sued in U.S. courts for violations of international law under the Alien Tort Statute.
Sebastian Mallaby argues that investment banks are rife with potential conflicts that harm customers. The solution is to break banks into functional units, so that merger experts, marketmakers and proprietary traders no longer cohabit.
Sebastian Mallaby says that the SEC's case against Goldman Sachs looks flimsy so far. If Goldman has become a poster child for excessive power on Wall Street, the SEC might become a poster child for government power run amok.
Sebastian Mallaby argues against responding to the Madoff scandal with more regulation of hedge funds.
The United States used to be the trailblazer in regulatory reform. But the rest of the rich world has caught up. This Progress Report and Scorecard from the Renewing America initiative outlines the current state of federal regulation in the United States and charts ways the U.S. regulatory management system could be improved.
Many people argue that inappropriate compensation policies in financial companies contributed to the global financial crisis. Some say the overall level of pay was too high. Others criticize the structure of pay, claiming that contracts for CEOs, traders, and other professionals induced them to pursue excessively risky and short-term strategies. This Working Paper, the eighth in the Squam Lake Working Group series distributed by the Center for Geoeconomic Studies, argues that governments should generally not regulate the level of executive compensation at financial firms. Instead, a fraction of compensation should be held back for several years to reduce employees' incentives to take excessive risk.
This Squam Lake Working Group Paper endorses legislation that would give authorities the necessary powers to effect an orderly resolution of large complex financial institutions. As part of this authority, every such institution should be required to create "living wills" that would help authorities address the difficulties that might arise in a resolution.
U.S. Ambassador to the OECD Karen Kornbluh presented these remarks, "U.S. Leadership: Better Protection, Lighter Touch," to the OECD's Committee on Consumer Policy, on July 10, 2010. She explained the consumer protection toolkit, which was created to guide government policies to address unfair practices in the marketplace.
Watch Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, analyze the effects of derivative markets on the economy and how the market needs to be reformed.
This session was part of the C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics.