By John Kemp
The writer is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.
LONDON – Should federal government agencies have to prove the benefits of new regulations outweigh the costs before introducing them?
It sounds like a simple question with an obvious answer. But the role of cost-benefit analysis in writing federal regulations (and even laws) is shaping up to be one of the biggest battles between the Obama administration and business groups in 2012.
On one side are business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), backed by conservative lawyers such as Eugene Scalia (son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) and a group of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit who oversee most federal rule-writing.
On the other is the White House, the Treasury and a host of agencies stretching from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).