An outlet for insiders to speak freely (as they remain anonymous to the reader) on what they perceive as problematic practices in their own industry – with an emphasis on how the industry tweaks the rules of the game and captures regulation.
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice.” Adam Smith - An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)
Erin Carroll writes that the lack of public access to the Google search antitrust trial has resulted in unprecedented secrecy which, she writes, could undermine the public’s trust in the outcome and start a dangerous trend amongst other Big Tech companies facing similar trials.
Nicolas Petit and Lazar Radic refute common critiques of the consumer welfare standard. A second article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different antitrust standards, underscoring some points often ignored by the critics of the consumer welfare standard.
Cecilia Rouse, a colleague and former student of Claudia Goldin, explains Goldin’s perseverance in unearthing datasets that allowed her to document trends in labor and education, particularly with respect to women. Rouse also praises Goldin’s courage to prioritize the study of women and discusses what it was like to work with the recent Nobel Prize- winning economist on seminal work.
Big Tech’s efforts to push Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter to recuse themselves from participating in lawsuits against the companies due to prior work have no legal basis and are naked efforts to weaken agency enforcement, writes Laurence Tribe.
Joshua Gray and Cristian Santesteban show how the Federal Trade Commission could have used its 2023 draft Merger Guidelines to focus its challenges against Microsoft-Activision and Meta-Within squarely on the pressing economic concern of protecting competition during critical technological transitions making full use of the law’s traditional incipiency standard.
In this second article on real estate in the current high-interest-rate environment, Joseph L. Pagliari Jr. explores banks’ exposure to commercial real estate, who might help fill the credit void as bank funding dries up, how the work-from-home phenomenon impacts commercial real estate prices, particularly the office sector, and what risks large urban centers face with emptied office buildings.
There are concerns among bankers and economists that commercial real estate prices are at risk of decreasing substantially. Joseph L. Pagliari, Jr. explains how commercial real estate should be priced based on current and projected inflation and interest rates. A subsequent article will explore if concerns about bank and broader economic vulnerabilities to lower CRE prices.
Google is on trial for anticompetitive behaviors designed to protect its monopoly in internet search. Herb Hovenkamp analyzes several possible remedies the presiding court and Department of Justice could pursue and suggests which ones may succeed in reinforcing competition to protect consumer interests.
Due to a change in how the FDIC resolves failed banks, uninsured deposits have become de facto insured. Not only is this dangerous for risk in the banking system, it is not what Congress intends the FDIC to do, writes Michael Ohlrogge.
Former special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy Tim Wu responds to the November 27 letter signed by former chief economists at the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Antitrust Division calling for a separation of the legal and economic analysis in the draft Merger Guidelines.
In new research, Valentino Larcinese and Alberto Parmigiani find that the 1986 Reagan tax cuts led to greater campaign spending from wealthy individuals, who benefited the most from this policy. The authors argue that a very permissive system of political finance, combined with the erosion of tax progressivity, created the conditions for the mutual reinforcement of economic and political disparities. The result was an inequality spiral hardly compatible with democratic ideals.
Many financial commentators thought that the surge of retail investors participating in the stock market, the most notable of whom boosted “meme stocks” like GameStop, would democratize corporate governance and improve prosocial firm behavior, including the promotion of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. In new research, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, and Yoon-Ho Alex Lee find evidence that the exact opposite took place.
Kroger and Albertsons say they need to merge to compete with Walmart. Claire Kelloway argues that what they really want is Walmart’s monopsony power, and permitting mergers on these grounds will only harm suppliers, workers, and consumers.
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