Issue Brief posted November 18, 2013
Yellen Hearing Exposes Fed’s Regulatory Fault Lines
Janet Yellen, President Obama’s nominee to chair the Federal Reserve, told the Senate Banking Committee on November 14 that she is prepared to exercise a full range of regulatory “tools” to alter the actions of major financial institutions. Her remarks underscored the considerable expansion of the Fed’s regulatory powers under the Dodd–Frank law, as well as some of the…
Issue Brief posted July 19, 2013
Dodd–Frank at Year Three: Onerous and Costly
This Sunday, July 21, will mark the third anniversary of Dodd–Frank, Washington’s massive regulatory response to the housing market collapse, the failure of major financial firms, and the resulting shock to the economy in 2008.
Although three years in, the full effects of Dodd–Frank have yet to hit. Some of the most significant regulations are still winding their way…
Issue Brief posted June 5, 2013
The Cordray Confirmation: Five Crucial Points to Consider
The Senate is preparing to vote on the confirmation of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This is no routine matter. The bureau is one of the most powerful—and least accountable—regulatory agencies in government. No vote should be cast without consideration of substantial reforms to the CFPB.
Cordray has been running the bureau…
Backgrounder posted May 14, 2013
A Farm Bill Primer: 10 Things You Should Know About the Farm Bill
Congress is preparing once again to take up the “farm bill,” a multi-billion-dollar tangle of agriculture subsidies, welfare payments, and environmental patronage. There is tremendous need for reform. Current subsidy programs are rooted in the 1930s, when prices for crops and livestock bottomed out and farm families were desperate for income. Agriculture today could not…
Backgrounder posted May 1, 2013
Red Tape Rising: Regulation in Obama’s First Term
Congress and the White House have been focused for months on the federal budget—rightfully so, given perennial deficits and unsustainable levels of U.S. debt. However, federal spending accounts for only a portion of the burden placed on Americans by the government. Regulations impose huge additional costs, hindering job creation and innovation, while undermining…
Issue Brief posted April 10, 2013
10 Questions for EPA Nominee Gina McCarthy
If confirmed as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nominee Gina McCarthy will inherit an agency exceeding critical mass. This bureaucratic onslaught has decreased American freedom and the EPA’s ability to efficiently address real environmental challenges. Given that McCarthy has helped to build this epitome of regulatory excess, it is important…
Backgrounder posted January 22, 2013
The CFPB in Action: Consumer Bureau Harms Those It Claims to Protect
The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is living up to its billing as one of the most powerful—and unaccountable—federal agencies ever created. After just 18 months—and with a staff exceeding 1,000 and funding of $600 million—the bureau is restructuring the mortgage market; devising…
Issue Brief posted January 15, 2013
Remittance Rules: A Case Study of Regulatory Pitfalls
The Dodd–Frank financial regulation statute requires nearly 400 rulemakings. As of January 2, some 60 percent of the rulemaking deadlines were missed, and a full third of the required regulations have not been proposed. The delays may defer some compliance expenses. However, regulatory uncertainty also imposes costs on businesses as well as consumers, as the saga of…
Issue Brief posted January 14, 2013
Mortgage Regulation: Is CFPB Qualified?
More stringent regulation of mortgage lending constitutes a sizable chunk of the vast Dodd–Frank statute. As required, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Thursday released more than 800 pages of rules that will largely determine the availability and cost of mortgages. Neither consumers nor creditors emerge as winners.
The mortgage rules were called for by…
Issue Brief posted December 27, 2012
The 10 Worst Regulations of 2012
During 2012, virtually every aspect of American life, from caloric intake to dishwasher efficiency, was subjected to government meddling.
Most of these rules increase the cost of living, others hinder job creation, and many erode freedom. Not all regulations are unwarranted, of course, but increasingly, the rules imposed by the government have less to do with health and…
Issue Brief posted October 31, 2012
Obama’s Regulatory Agenda: Calm Before the Superstorm
After three years of unprecedented regulatory activity, the Obama Administration has noticeably slowed its rulemaking in recent months. A number of major rules remain under prolonged “review” by the White House, while publication of the regulatory agenda required by statute has not occurred.
This flouting of the law is disturbing enough, but it is made worse by the…
Issue Brief posted August 1, 2012
Farm Bill Extension: Dodging Agriculture Reform Will Not Do
Despite considerable pressure to adopt a subsidy-laden farm bill as drought conditions wither crops, the House on Tuesday scrapped plans to extend massive agriculture subsidies for yet another year. The extension had been considered a lesser evil than the five-year reauthorization of costly farm programs, but evidently House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) has realized (at…