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some questions about self-regulation and compliance May 26, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : financial regulation, Uncategorized , add a comment

Why, on recent flights between Miami and Newark, was it necessary for the pilot to threaten passengers that the flight would not be able to land or take off if they did not comply with instructions to turn off electronic devices (I know there’s controversy about whether this requirement is necessary but it is a requirement and non-compliance imposes costs on the passengers who do comply)?

Why is the SEC backdating documents (OIG Report stating the SEC’s Office of Administrative Services backdated a justification an approval of the SEC’s lease of premises)?

Is there a connection between citizens’ carelessness about paying attention to the rules and a regulatory agency’s carelessness about compliance with formalities? I suspect so.

e-government May 18, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : consultation , add a comment

The CFPB invites reactions to two different mortgage loan disclosure formats from consumers and from the mortgage industry. The second pages of the 2 page forms are virtually identical. The first page varies a bit in how the information is presented. The feedback mechanism is described on the web page as a tool: there is a “consumer tool” and an “industry tool”. The “tools” offer respondents the opportunity to make up to 4 comments on the details of the form (and then there’s an additional opportunity to comment later). It might be nice to see how many people who self-identified as being part of each group were responding. But it’s a good example of a consultation that asks people interested in a particular issue for their own reactions to a specific mechanism for delivering information.

Meanwhile, the UK has a much broader (and therefore hard to get a handle on what is going on within it) Red Tape Challenge. Here the idea is to justify doing away with rules rather than to make the rules work more effectively. Within the broad consultation there is a section on consumer information and protection that asks generally what should be changed. It’s possible to see the comments as they are made, but the formlessness of the consultation isn’t very satisfactory.

governing for the corporations May 10, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment

In the debate over selling extra university places to the rich there seems to be some (but not enough) embarrassment (Guardian again). Vince Cable thinks it is OK if you only sell the to corporate sponsors:

The business secretary, Vince Cable, said he was willing to look at how to expand off-quota places through company sponsorships, but he did not support children of the rich being given priority access to university.

If Daddy’s company, or daddy’s friend’s company, pays then it is OK.

transparency research May 10, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : consultation , add a comment

Next week I am going to the 1st Global Conference on Transparency Research at Rutgers-Newark. I’m giving a paper with the title Stakeholders and the Machine : Identity and the Construction of Rules on Money.

governing for the rich May 9, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : markets , 1 comment so far

For a moment reading this story in the Guardian I thought it must be April Fools Day:

Teenagers from the wealthiest families would be able to pay for extra places at the most competitive universities under government proposals that could allow institutions to charge some British students the same high fees as overseas undergraduates.

The more you have, the more you get.