A key distinction in economic viewpoints that goes oft-unnoticed is between pro-business and pro-market. A good bellwether to where someone stands on the pro-business/market continuum is his/her stance on antitrust policy: pro-business usually favors incumbents, while pro-market calls for aggressive antitrust enforcement to facilitate competition.
“I would not dispute that even a monopoly-ridden market would be preferable to any economic system trying to operate without any kind of a market. But given the prevalence or the danger of substantial intrusion of monopoly into the market, the logic of the laissez faire defense of the market against state-intervention collapses and there is called for instead, by its very logic, state-suppression or state-regulation of monopoly practices, which one may wish to call, as Henry Simons called it, an instance of "positive laissez faire" or, as I prefer, as an instance of deliberate departure from laissez faire.” Jacob Viner - The Intellectual History of Laissez Faire (1960)
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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