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OpenMarket: November 2019

  • Negative Interest Rates' Impact on Public Pensions

    November 27, 2019
    One of the main responsibilities of pension fund managers is to work to maximize investment returns in order to grow the plan’s assets and thus meet payout obligations to future retirees. Given the fixed nature of the payout obligations, achieving that requires for a substantial share of investment to go toward relatively safe assets, such as government bonds, for which gains are steady and mostly reliable, rather than spectacular. But what happens when interest rates go negative?
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    November 25, 2019
    Congress averted a government shutdown until December 20th by passing a continuing resolution. The Fall 2019 Unified Agenda was also released, which compiles all rulemaking agencies’ upcoming plans. Wayne Crews has more on that. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from college radio to redesignating unclassifiable areas.
  • House Committee Releases Tax Bill to Extend Electric Vehicle, Wind, and Solar Handouts

    November 22, 2019
    In what amounts to the tax component of the Green New Deal, the House Ways and Means Committee released a draft of its “Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act” (summary available here). This draft contains tax credits for a long list of alternative energy-related technologies unable to compete otherwise.  
  • Activist Groups Demand Pelosi, Castor Implement Green New Deal

    November 22, 2019
    Two hundred fifty nine activist groups are demanding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor (D-FL) stop being wimpy about the “climate emergency” and enact the Green New Deal.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Revises Risk Management Program for Industrial Facilities

    November 21, 2019
    “First, do no harm,” is good ethical advice for regulators as well as doctors, but the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency took a risk management program for industrial facilities that was working well and made it worse. Now, the Trump administration has finalized revisions that should get the program back on course.
  • Trump Regulatory Reform Agenda By the Numbers: End of One-In, Two-Out?

    November 20, 2019
    The Trump administration has released the Fall 2019 edition of the twice-yearly Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. Late and incomplete compared to the last year’s fall edition, there’s more analysis to come. Around since the early 1980s, the blockbuster Unified Agenda updates an excited world about regulatory priorities of the federal bureaucracy.
  • Corporate 'Social Responsibility' Must Be Voluntary, Not Mandated

    November 19, 2019
    The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) just wrapped an event on corporate governance titled “The Role of a Corporation: The Shareholder versus Stakeholder Debate,” and it covered some interesting territory. BPC president Jason Grumet led a discussion with former Securities and Exchange Commission members Dan Gallagher and Roel Campos.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Should End Frivolous Student Loan Lawsuit

    November 19, 2019
    The efforts of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger have gone a long way in reversing egregious Obama-era actions that plagued the agency, helping to make it more transparent, accountable, and friendly to consumer choice. However, while these efforts should be applauded, there remains unfinished business that must be taken care of—chief among them the flawed lawsuit levied by the CFPB against the finance company Navient.
  • Remembering Transportation Economist Shirley Ybarra

    November 18, 2019
    On November 10th, longtime CEI friend Shirley Ybarra passed away. Shirley was an accomplished transportation economist and a leading thinker on innovative transportation infrastructure finance and operations. But even more importantly, she put these ideas into practice during her long career in public service.
  • EPA, Progressives Clash over Transparency Rule

    November 18, 2019
    The House Science Committee held a hearing last week titled “Strengthening Transparency or Silencing Science? The Future of Science in EPA Rulemaking.” Most of the witnesses and committee Democrats pilloried EPA’s April 2018 proposed rule to strengthen the transparency of regulatory science. Why is that proposal newsworthy now? Because on Monday, The New York Times published a leaked non-finalized supplement to the rule. 

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