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  • Backgrounder posted April 28, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Glass–Steagall Act: Unraveling the Myth

    The 1933 Glass–Steagall Act is still admired by many who believe its separation of commercial and investment banking banned the high-risk activities that caused the Great Depression. Yet there are so many myths and falsehoods surrounding this notion—and the Act itself—that it is difficult to comprehend how little supporting evidence Congress uncovered prior to passing the…

  • Backgrounder posted April 28, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Myth of Financial Market Deregulation

    A persistent myth regarding the 2008 financial crisis is that it was caused by deregulation of financial markets. All such claims are wrong. From an aggregate perspective, the industry has always been regulated, and there has never been a substantial reduction in financial regulations in the U.S. during the past 100-plus years. Instead, this time period has included an…

  • Backgrounder posted April 28, 2016 by Diane Katz Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Limiting Americans’ Credit Choices

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established under Title X of Dodd–Frank to “regulate the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services under the Federal consumer financial laws.”[1] Prior to its creation, authority for some 50 rules and orders stemming from 18 consumer-protection statutes[2] was divided among seven agencies.[3] But…

  • Executive Summary posted April 26, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Case Against Dodd–Frank: How the “Consumer Protection” Law Endangers Americans

    The Case Against Dodd–Frank: How the “Consumer Protection” Law Endangers Americans grew from a shared concern among the contributing authors about the direction that financial regulation in this country has taken since the 2007–2009 financial crisis due to the regulations of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Rather than dealing with the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 25, 2016 by Justin Bogie, Daren Bakst, Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb 2017 Senate Energy and Water Appropriations: Bill Falls Short on Key Policies

    This week, the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill is expected to be debated on the Senate floor. The first of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government, the bill provides funding for projects under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Department…

  • Backgrounder posted April 22, 2016 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb, Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D. The State of Climate Science: No Justification for Extreme Policies

    Hysteria over global warming is now pervasive in the federal government, driving not just the Obama Administration’s energy and environmental policies, but also those of nearly every federal department and agency.[1] Throughout his term in office, President Obama consistently has said that policy action to combat man-made global warming is imperative and urgent. On the…

  • Commentary posted April 19, 2016 by Romina Boccia Congress Should Enact a Responsible Budget

    Once again, Congress has blown right past its statutory deadline for passing a budget. The Congressional Budget Act requires Congress to pass a budget by April 15 to begin the annual spending process for appropriations. Although the House Budget Committee introduced its fiscal year 2017 budget in March, it's never been brought to a floor vote, and prospects for an…

  • Backgrounder posted April 14, 2016 by David R. Burton, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Financial Institutions: Necessary for Prosperity

    Financial intermediaries serve a key role in the U.S. economy. They are a central reason why the U.S. economy is as productive as it is. The term financial intermediary includes depository institutions (such as banks[1] and credit unions[2]); insurance companies;[3] investment banks;[4] investment companies (such as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds);[5] and venture…

  • Backgrounder posted April 13, 2016 by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris, David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Consequences of Paris Protocol: Devastating Economic Costs, Essentially Zero Environmental Benefits

    During the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, President Barack Obama met with world leaders from around the globe to discuss plans to combat climate change. The general consensus from the summit was that the use of natural resources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas—which provide 80 percent of the world’s energy needs—should be avoided. Furthermore,…

  • Issue Brief posted April 11, 2016 by Michael Sargent Senate’s FAA Authorization Perpetuates Big-Government Intrusion into Aviation Industry

    This month, the Senate has been considering S. 2658, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016.[1] The two-year bill authorizes FAA funding for airport improvements, Air Traffic Control, and various aviation safety oversight functions. Congress last reauthorized the FAA in March in the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2016, which simply…

  • Issue Brief posted April 1, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Fed Needs Reform: Six Changes for Monetary Policy

    In the wake of the longest recession since the Great Depression, policymakers have contemplated many monetary policy reforms. While some of these ideas, such as the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act of 2015 (the FORM Act), introduced by Representative Bill Huizenga (R–MI), have received support in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate has yet to undertake…

  • Backgrounder posted March 22, 2016 by Katie Tubb, Jack Spencer Real Consent for Nuclear Waste Management Starts with a Free Market

    Last December, the Department of Energy (DOE) finally announced the next step in its plan to manage nuclear waste, as roughly outlined in its 2013 Strategy for the Management and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste.[1] In what the DOE characterized as a “critical step,” it opened a public comment period to gather input on how a new consent-based…

  • Testimony posted March 17, 2016 by Nicolas Loris Examining the Renewable Fuel Standard

    The House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior and the Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules March 16, 2016 My name is Nick Loris. I am the Herbert & Joyce Morgan Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing…

  • News Releases posted March 15, 2016 by Paul Winfree Heritage Statement on House Budget Resolution FY 2017

    “This budget is not a serious effort to tackle our mounting debt caused by wasteful spending. Once again Congress promises future spending cuts in return for higher spending today. That’s no longer acceptable. The future cuts never come. “The House Budget Committee now proposes to hike spending by $30 billion above the level established by the Budget Control Act and $57…

  • Issue Brief posted March 10, 2016 by David R. Burton How Dodd–Frank Mandated Disclosures Harm, Rather than Protect, Investors

    Title XV of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act[1] contains three provisions requiring public companies to report in their disclosure documents with respect to conflict minerals, mine safety, and resource extraction. In addition, Dodd-Frank Title IX Section 953(b) requires disclosure of the ratio between a company’s CEO pay and the median pay of…