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OpenMarket: Subsidies and Bailouts

  • Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Must Define New Rulemaking Powers

    June 20, 2018

    When Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, there was an unprecedented allocation of power to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP—previously known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB), a new federal regulator created under the Act. Not only were a vast number of statutes transferred from other federal regulators, but the Bureau was also vested with new powers. Since then, little effort has been made to assess how these new rulemaking authorities are shaping out, until now.

  • Solar 'Incentives' Are Busting Out All Over

    June 17, 2018

    Ever wonder why installations of household solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and utility-scale solar power have surged since 2014? The declining cost of solar technology is part of the reason. But a bigger factor may be the profusion of state and federal “incentive” programs, i.e. subsidies.

  • 3 Proposals to Temper the Federal Payday Loan Rule

    March 23, 2018

    When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a rule regulating payday loans in October last year, I wrote that this could be the end of the road for millions of desperate customers who rely on these loans to get from paycheck-to-paycheck. It's now March 2018, and there aren’t many options left for these marginal consumers.

  • Implement AEI-Heritage-R Street GSE Plan AND Honor Shareholder Contracts

    March 1, 2018

    It is welcome news that our friends from the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and the R Street Institute put forth a plan this week for the Trump administration to take steps to downsize the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Noting the deadlock in Congress over GSE reform—even among Republicans—the plan looked exclusively at options that don’t require congressional authorization.

  • The State of Financial Regulation

    January 25, 2018

    President Trump will deliver his inaugural State of the Union address next week, where he will outline the administration’s agenda for the coming year. Here are five financial reform priorities that the administration should champion. 

  • Ex-Im Nominee Scott Garrett Rejected, Swamp Claims Another Victim

    December 19, 2017

    The tentacles of the Beltway swamp were out in full force Tuesday morning—and it wasn’t for tax reform either. By a 10-13 vote, the Senate Banking Committee rejected former Rep. Scott Garrett’s nomination to chair the Export-Import bank, an agency he has labeled as embodying “the corruption of the free enterprise system.” Two Republicans, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC...

  • Property Rights of Fannie and Freddie Shareholders—Including Small Investors—Must Be Respected

    November 8, 2017

    Today CEI is releasing my new study, “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Still Endanger the U.S. Economy.” In it, I discuss two issues that, on first appearance, seem to be in conflict, but in reality, can both be resolved according to free market principles....

  • Pressure Grows to Reform Bank SIFI Designations

    October 27, 2017

    What makes a bank risky?

    While a simple question, the answer is anything but. As the 2008 crisis proved, managing risks in the financial system is far from straightforward and rarely easy to predict. What should be obvious, however, is that there is not a single magic aspect that pinpoints risk.

    Yet, Congress has a different take. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 determined that there is a magic line – a bank’s asset size. Currently, any bank with over $50 billion in assets is considered a systemically important financial institution (SIFI) and faces heightened prudential regulation. As a result, many run-of-the-mill regional banks are regulated in a similar manner to trillion-dollar Wall Street firms.

    Fortunately, a bipartisan bill that would reform the SIFI designation...

  • Nine Years on from the Financial Crisis and We're No Safer

    September 28, 2017

    Nine years ago this month, the high-flying investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, kicking off a financial crisis that would bring the system to the brink of collapse. It would surprise many Americans to know that the real causes of the financial crisis remain ever-present today. If anything, they have only gotten worse. 

    Conventional wisdom gets it all wrong—the notion that...

  • Bailout Mentality Persists in International Banking Despite Reform Attempts

    September 27, 2017

    One of the criticisms leveled against regulators’ responses to the financial crisis is that new laws have done nothing to solve the moral hazard issue in the financial industry. Perversely, actions like the taxpayer bailouts of megabanks have only made the issue even more prevalent. In a...


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