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kliuless (9)
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Banks to Feds: drop regulations or small businesses will get it

This is not the typical lobbying we think about; it’s more like lobbying-through-threat: try to regulate us, and we’ll make life so miserable for innocent bystanders that you’ll drop the regulations. Here, the regulation in question simply makes banks responsible for noticing the fraud happening over the payment system they nominally control. They don’t want to do it, because they don’t want to lose lucrative business from predatory scam artists while they look the other way. -- When a division of JPMorgan Chase refused to process payments for a small business selling condoms, it was not out of prudishness, but part of an attempt to force the US government to drop their payday loan regulation by hurting small business owners through overly liberal interpretations of federal guidelines.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 8, 2014 - 25 comments

 

Aggregate Demand Management: "pass a law allowing the Fed to cut checks"

Free Money for Everyone - "A wacky-sounding idea with surprisingly conservative roots may be our best hope for escaping endless, grinding economic stagnation." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 16, 2014 - 19 comments

I sat out there every day trying to dig out that damn stump

"One night in August 2004, I awoke to a man and a woman in my room whom I had never seen before telling me that they were "escorts" and we were going to a place called "wilderness."...There is a legal process where parents can sign over custody of kids who need residential care, which makes sense, because if a kid has to be housed in a mental health facility, the staff needs to be able to make all of the day-to-day decisions for her care. But that same process works for "unruly" teens like me, which meant the company that ran my camp had total legal control over where I went and what I did." --Cracked.com takes on the Tough Love for Troubled Teen camps that, mostly unregulated, are "treating" more and more children every year. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 27, 2014 - 69 comments

Toxic Hot Seat

Previously, covering Part One (out of Six) of the Chicago Tribune investigation Chemical flame retardants are everywhere. Our furniture. Our homes. Our bodies. Yet they don’t seem to stop fires. They do, however, seem to make us sick. TOXIC HOT SEAT is a documentary which takes an in-depth look at a nexus of money, politics and power – and a courageous group of firefighters, mothers, journalists, scientists, politicians and activists as they fight to expose what they assert is a shadowy campaign of deception that has left a toxic legacy in America’s homes and bodies for nearly 40 years. Set against the backdrop of the award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative series “Playing with Fire,” TOXIC HOT SEAT tells an intricate story, detailing how chemical companies that produce flame retardants spend millions of dollars on lobbyists, publicists and influencers, and how Big Tobacco had a hand in convincing fire-safety officials to back a standard that, in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants. [more inside]
posted by beisny on Dec 8, 2013 - 7 comments

"October is a fine and dangerous season in America"

Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)! In one corner: the first federal government shutdown since 1996, born of the House GOP/Tea Party faction's crusade to delay, defund, and destroy Obamacare (and the Democratic Senate and President's resolve to not do that). "Continuing resolutions" have ping-ponged between the two houses, fighting over language to cancel healthcare reform (plus a few other items, such as the implementation of Mitt Romney's entire economic agenda). National parks are closed, contractors are hamstrung, and 800,000 federal workers furloughed until Speaker Boehner drops the "Hastert Rule" and passes a bill the other branches can agree to. In the other corner, heedless of the chaos (though not without glitches of its own): the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its state insurance exchanges. The portal at Healthcare.gov is your one-stop shop for browsing, comparing, and purchasing standardized, regulated insurance coverage with premium rebates, guaranteed coverage, and expanded Medicaid for the poor (in some states). A crazy day, overall -- but peanuts compared to what might happen if the debt ceiling is breached in 16 days. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 1, 2013 - 2207 comments

Game behind gamed: your narrative programming for the day

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio[1] actually makes a case against austerity[2] and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 25, 2013 - 28 comments

Wealth Distribution and the Free Market

Wealthy Entitlement: Income inequality undermines the fairness of a free market
posted by stp123 on Sep 7, 2013 - 28 comments

The Challenge to European Data Rights

The Council of the European Union recently released a proposal to amend the General Data Protection Regulation. Scaling back from becoming the most strict privacy regulation in the world, the amendment greatly favors corporate interests while reducing the rights of data subjects. [more inside]
posted by ChipT on Jun 17, 2013 - 8 comments

All men are created equal (but some bits just cost more)

As part of the Affordable Care Act, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released data that show significant variation across the country and within communities in what hospitals charge for common inpatient services. (via) [more inside]
posted by dubusadus on May 28, 2013 - 69 comments

An investigative reporter investigates

Did my wife's cosmetics give her breast cancer? During her first round of chemo in 2009, some volunteers at the hospital came calling with a little red bag [from the Look Good Feel Better program] that contained products from Clinique, Estée Lauder, and Del Laboratories. Upon reviewing the contents of her bag, she realized that several of the products contained parabens — chemicals that mimic estrogen and that according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are linked to cancer. (previously, previouslier, previousliest in AskMe)
posted by spamandkimchi on May 11, 2013 - 38 comments

The Day Care Dilemma

"Trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things that a parent has to do — and in the United States, it’s harder still, because American day care is a mess. About 8.2 million kids—about 40 percent of children under five — spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent. Most of them are in centers, although a sizable minority attend home day cares.... In other countries, such services are subsidized and well-regulated. In the United States, despite the fact that work and family life has changed profoundly in recent decades, we lack anything resembling an actual child care system. Excellent day cares are available, of course, if you have the money to pay for them and the luck to secure a spot. But the overall quality is wildly uneven and barely monitored, and at the lower end, it’s Dickensian."
posted by zarq on Apr 15, 2013 - 139 comments

Sympathy for the Cabbie

Boston taxi cab drivers, often cheated, work in a world where risk and reward are a mismatch. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Apr 4, 2013 - 37 comments

15 Quadrillion Dollars

The comment period for the DRAFT Wireless code [PDF] to address some cellular provider abuses is expiring soon (February 15th). Comments can be made here. Highlights of the draft code include: [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Feb 12, 2013 - 17 comments

Because because because

Why electronic devices are dangerous on planes.
posted by Artw on Dec 31, 2012 - 166 comments

The Embedded Dangers of Untested Stem Cell Cosmetics

Six and a half hours of surgery later, he and his colleagues had dug out small chunks of bone from the woman's eyelid and tissue surrounding her eye, which was scratched but largely intact. The clicks she heard were the bone fragments grinding against one another.
posted by latkes on Dec 17, 2012 - 51 comments

Trading gold for politics

Popular “prediction market” Intrade is shutting its doors to US Customers, following a suit (filed post-election fortunately) by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Some see this as inevitable, given their history of dissembling to regulators. Other (predictably) see it as another restriction of internet freedom. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 27, 2012 - 29 comments

Last Call: Vertical Integration and England's Drinking Problem

England has a drinking problem. Since 1990, teenage alcohol consumption has doubled. Since World War II, alcohol intake for the population as a whole has doubled, with a third of that increase occurring since just 1995. [...] The United States, although no stranger to alcohol abuse problems, is in comparatively better shape. A third of the country does not drink, and teenage drinking is at a historic low.
How a vertically integrated alcohol industry is to blame, and why the US could find itself in the same position soon.
posted by spiderskull on Nov 20, 2012 - 96 comments

use value vs. exchange value

What Is Value? What Is Money? (via via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 1, 2012 - 15 comments

Incandescent lightbulbs banned

Incandescent lightbulbs are now banned across the entire European Union as of September 1. "Concerns about poor performance of replacement bulbs have been proved wrong." It is predicted to save 39 terawatt-hours of electricity across the EU annually by 2020. "The phase-out has been very smooth." BanTheBulb said "..the vast majority of the public have adjusted to using the next generation of lighting technologies with the absolute minimum of fuss and drama." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Aug 31, 2012 - 204 comments

NYC and Breastfeeding

During his tenure as Mayor of New York City, "public health autocrat" Michael Bloomberg has attempted to regulate trans fats, smoking and sugar-filled sodas. Now, he has a fresh target: moms who don't breastfeed. Beginning September 3, NYC hospitals participating in a new, voluntary program: Latch-On NYC (press release / posters / FAQ -pdf-), will make formula less accessible, to encourage moms of newborns to breastfeed instead of using formula. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 30, 2012 - 220 comments

Diabolically Simple

JP Morgan's manipulation of California energy market is a massive, illegitimate tax on the entire state. 'The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the regulator of the ISO and its trading markets, has started a formal investigation into Morgan's allegedly manipulative energy deals in California and with the Midwest ISO, which covers 11 states from Michigan to Montana.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jul 18, 2012 - 69 comments

Tails of the unexpected

Tails of the Unexpected: "Normality has been an accepted wisdom in economics and finance for a century or more. Yet in real-world systems, nothing could be less normal than normality. Tails should not be unexpected, for they are the rule." An eminently human-readable explanation of why normal models fail to describe the uncertainties of our abnormal world. [more inside]
posted by ecmendenhall on Jun 9, 2012 - 19 comments

“Outrageous facts,” “evil villains” and “sympathetic clients.”

Louisiana monks go to court to sell their caskets. “The number one thing you should do as a public interest litigator is to get monks as your clients in every single case.”
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on May 30, 2012 - 90 comments

Why You Can’t Get a Taxi

Almost all the everyday complaints about cabs trace back to this regulatory cocktail. Drivers won’t take you to the outer reaches of your metropolitan area? The regulated fares won’t let them charge you more to recover the cost of dead-heading back without a return customer. Cabs are poorly maintained? Blame restricted competition, and the inability to charge for better quality. Cabbies drive like maniacs? With high fixed costs for cars and gas, and no way to increase their earnings except by finding another fare, is it any wonder that they try to get from place to place as fast as possible? Uber makes its money at least in part by alleviating these inefficiencies. In most places, “black car” or livery services are regulated differently, and more lightly, than taxis are. Though Uber has good reason not to say so, it’s basically turning livery services into cabs. The company is one step further removed from regulation, because it doesn’t run cars itself; it funnels passengers to existing services. “We’re sort of like an efficient lead-generation system for limo companies,” says Kalanick, “but with math involved.” - Megan McArdle analyses taxi regulation in the US and the taxi startup, Uber
posted by beisny on Apr 12, 2012 - 54 comments

The JOBS Act is for Wall Street, not jobs

The JOBS Act or "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" is not really about creating jobs but about loosening regulations on companies planning to IPO. SOX compliance and other financial regulations have made going public an expensive and time consuming process for young companies, and many are now staying private or getting acquired rather than going public. Fewer regulations encourages more IPOs, but what are the unintended consequences of "exempting [companies] from independent accounting requirements for up to five years after they first begin selling shares in the stock market"?
posted by lubujackson on Apr 12, 2012 - 85 comments

The Failure of Judges and the Rise of Regulators

The Control Revolution And Its Discontents - "the long process of algorithmisation over the last 150 years has also, wherever possible, replaced implicit rules/contracts and principal-agent relationships with explicit processes and rules."
posted by kliuless on Feb 23, 2012 - 25 comments

Obama White House opposes SOPA, PIPA.

The Obama White House formally speaks out against SOPA, PIPA. The Obama White House has come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act. The move has -- unsurprisingly -- drawn responses from the MPAA, RIAA, and other interested parties.
posted by joe lisboa on Jan 14, 2012 - 226 comments

This is why Jakob Ander won't hire you

This is why I don't give you a job. Hungarian blogger Jakab Andor breaks down the numbers and explains why taxes and regulations make it highly unappealing for him to start a small business employing people in Hungary. He also argues that these same factors make women and older people particularly unappealing prospects. His comments generated quite a bit of controversy (warning: most comments in Hungarian), to which he responded with an offer.
posted by shivohum on Jan 13, 2012 - 96 comments

Not what it says on the tin

"Any industry would be proud of an average annual growth rate of 34% over ten years and of a global reach from Austria to Taiwan. But the headlong expansion of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which by May this year controlled almost $1.5 trillion of assets (not far short of the $2 trillion in hedge funds), has become a matter for concern among financial regulators. Could ETFs be the next source of financial scandal, or even of systemic risk?" Characterizing the Financial sector "like a hyperactive child" that "can never leave a good thing be", The Economist appears to be wishing for the ETFs to be better regulated because "it would be a shame if reckless expansion spoiled a good innovation".
posted by vidur on Jun 26, 2011 - 28 comments

Let Children Be Children

Let Children Be Children British government to recommend new measures aimed at preventing children from over-exposure to sexualised imagery in the media. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jun 4, 2011 - 107 comments

Bubbles and Public Facts

The Destruction of Economic Facts - "Renowned Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto argues that the financial crisis wasn't just about finance—it was about a staggering lack of knowledge" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 23, 2011 - 35 comments

The Problem with Tamiflu, Relenza, Swine Flu, GSK, and the FDA.

Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies! (snyrbl)
posted by Sticherbeast on May 10, 2011 - 42 comments

Roger Ebert writes what many of us are thinking.

One percent of Americans now "earn" 25% of the income. Many of them have grown their wealth through criminal exploitation. Roger Ebert asks the burning question: why aren't more people outraged?
posted by rhombus on May 10, 2011 - 404 comments

French Riot Police revolt over beer and wine ban

"I don't think the chief of police drinks water when he's having a meal." Members of the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, the French riot police, are up in arms about a new regulation forbidding them to drink alcohol during the workday. The ban is said to be a reaction to widely publicized photos of riot police drinking beer while policing a high-school student demonstration in Perreux-sur-Marne.
posted by escabeche on Apr 26, 2011 - 107 comments

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Anniversary

100 years ago today, fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, killing 146 garment workers trapped inside. The tragedy spurred New York State to enact progressive labor reforms and was the motivation for the creation of the American Society of Safety Engineers. Although subsequent labor laws and regulations protect factory workers in the United States, the problem has moved overseas.
posted by pashdown on Mar 25, 2011 - 58 comments

The battle for control of the internet

"We may argue again and again whether the Internet is changing our brains, elevating us, lowering us, making us smarter, or making us stupid. But at the end of the day, it seems the real argument is about control — who has it, who shares it, and who wants it." What people who worry about the internet are really worried about. Via naked capitalism.
posted by londonmark on Mar 3, 2011 - 24 comments

What's the problem?

Interview with Gary Gorton (pdf) - Fascinating look at private institutional bank money creation (really) and subsequent run on the shadow banking system that hearkens back to the late-19th century banking crises with securitization playing the role of checking before the advent of deposit insurance. "Gorton is a lucid narrator of a complex tale." (via via)
posted by kliuless on Jan 14, 2011 - 10 comments

Otakupocalypse

Localfilter: Today in Tokyo, legislation passed that will further restrict manga and animation "glorifying or exaggerating illegal sexual acts." Ten of the biggest comics companies are protesting the Tokyo International Anime Fair, sponsored by the city, responding that a focus on their mode of expression is unfair. Blogger Dan Kanemitsu reports.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Dec 13, 2010 - 53 comments

Executive Decarbonization

With the climate bill dead and blame portioned, Ezra Klein asks what happens when congress fails? He concludes that "regulations to reduce carbon emissions are alive and well. The Environmental Protection Agency can attack carbon as a pollutant, and the Obama administration's announcement that efforts to hamstring the EPA will be vetoed suggests that they mean to do exactly that." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 30, 2010 - 18 comments

HURF DURF 1000 CALORIE EATERS

The health care bill requires chains with 20 or more restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus, as is already the law in New York and Philadelphia. A study published last fall suggested that the labels didn't change the eating behavior of low-income New Yorkers. A recent study at Yale, conducted under laboratory conditions, found the opposite. Corby Kummer at the Atlantic says calorie labeling works -- once you understand the point is to change the behavior, not of the consumer, but of the vendor. Will calorie labels lead the way to a healthier America, or a part-skim socialist dystopia? Or is the call of the Thickburger just too strong for mere numbers to dispel?
posted by escabeche on Mar 24, 2010 - 119 comments

Defying the FDA, Doctors in Colorado Offer Stem Cell Therapies for Joint Diseases

The FDA has yet to approve stem cell therapies for general use in medicine, but that hasn’t stopped doctors in Colorado from providing them anyway. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 17, 2010 - 50 comments

Simon Johnson on the Economy

Last week, economist Simon Johnson (his blog; previously on MeFi) spoke at the Roosevelt Institute about the failure to regulate the financial industry, and the doomsday cycle of our economy (via).
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 on Mar 10, 2010 - 4 comments

Toxic Waters

Toxic Waters: A series about the worsening pollution in American waters and regulators' response.
posted by homunculus on Sep 14, 2009 - 26 comments

If Paul Krugman Was So Right

How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? - The Great Recession was the result not only of lax regulation in Washington and reckless risk-taking on Wall Street but also of faulty theorizing in academia. Can economists learn from their mistakes? (via mr & ev) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 3, 2009 - 50 comments

A Banking System We Can Trust

Limited Purpose Banking -- for lending, investing, etc. -- Turn all financial firms into mutual funds: "All mutual funds would break the buck with one exception: cash mutual funds. These funds would strictly hold cash and be valued at $1 per share. Owners of these funds would write checks against their balances and never have to worry about a bank run. Fractional reserve banking and the FDIC would be history." [previously] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 3, 2009 - 15 comments

Add Math to Bush Administration Failings

Dems eye midnight regulations reversal. Congressional Democrats are eyeing a little-known, Clinton-era law as a way to reverse Bush administration midnight regulations — even ones that have already taken effect. “Fortunately, [the White House] made a mistake,” said a top Senate Democratic aide. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Nov 14, 2008 - 76 comments

Photoshopping Community @ Flickr

"The amount of time it would take for the community to self-regulate -- I don't think it could sustain itself in the meantime. Anyway, I can't think of any successful online community where the nice, quiet, reasonable voices defeat the loud, angry ones on their own." —Ruling the global masses, one image at a time. The art of moderation as practiced by Heather Champ, Director of Community at Flickr. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 30, 2008 - 28 comments

EPIC FAIL: The Astroturf is always greener on the other side.

Rusty Shackleford over at right-wing anti-Muslim jihad blog The Jawa Report has posted that the Obama campaign, in an effort to portray Sarah Palin a member of the secessionist Alaska Independence Party, is engaged in a smear campaign through the use of viral video and astroturf techniques on You Tube. [more inside]
posted by Skygazer on Sep 24, 2008 - 73 comments

IndyMac Bank seized by federal regulators

The FDIC has taken control of IndyMac Bank This is being described as the second largest bank failure in US history. If you are a current customer with funds on deposit, here's what you need to do.
posted by Asherah on Jul 11, 2008 - 160 comments

Monsanto Milk

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear. "Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination."
posted by homunculus on Apr 3, 2008 - 77 comments

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