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The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

Daily Update

Title

The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

Issues in the News

 

1. BUSINESS

Wall Street firms prepare to calculate the costs imposed by financial regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting requirements.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Economic Policy Fellow John Berlau on the costs of financial regulation:

“There have been many estimates of Sarbanes-Oxley’s costs. It has raised the overall cost of operating as a public company by 130 percent, according to the law firm Foley and Lardner. It has added 30,700 man-hours for each firm, according to the trade group Financial Executives International. Additional time that you have to spend complying with accounting is time that you can’t spend on developing your product.”

 

2. HEALTH

The town of Belmont, California could soon become the first in the nation to ban all smoking in public.

CEI Experts Available to Comment: Policy Analyst Brooke Oberwetter on Hollywood’s take on tobacco regulation in the recent film Thank You for Smoking:

“Although the movie doesn't stake out much new ground in the tobacco debate, [director Jason] Reitman delivers an explicit message of personal responsibility and individual choice that rarely comes from Hollywood and is almost never associated with smoking in polite company. Whereas the novel's version of Nick Naylor views personal responsibility as a convenient diversion from the unfortunate lethal side-effects of smoking, Reitman's Naylor comes to see that it's the other way around: The emotional nature of the health appeals obscures the importance of individuals taking responsibility for their own choices—and parents taking responsibility for teaching their kids to make informed decisions.”

 

3. ENVIRONMENT

Washington, D.C. is poised to become the first major city to adopt environmentally-friendly building requirements.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Study author Todd Myers on why mandating green building standards is bad policy:

“What happens when you take a good idea for some and make it mandatory for all? Jurisdictions across the United States are finding out as they enact laws and executive orders requiring that all new government buildings be built to meet “green building” standards designed by the U.S. Green Building Council.[i] Governments at all levels are promoting the standards, known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as a one-size-fits-all strategy to make government buildings more environmentally friendly. Ironically, the standards were not designed to be used this way. LEED mandates are likely to raise the costs of housing for consumers as well as increase tax burdens of citizens in cities and towns that rigidly apply LEED to public projects.”