The Great Debate

Protecting Americans from tobacco’s damage

By Margaret Hamburg
July 11, 2012

Three years ago, President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law. Those of us present knew we were witnessing history. With the stroke of a pen and strong bipartisan support from Congress, the Food and Drug Administration was charged with protecting public health from tobacco use – the nation’s single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death. More than 1,200 people die each day in the United States because of cigarette use. That is one person every 71 seconds. Today, I am pleased to report that the law is working.

Halting the Corvair made America safer

By Ralph Nader
May 10, 2012

This is a response to an excerpt from Paul Ingrassia’s Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars, published this month by Simon & Schuster.

How to stop the Whac-a-Mole of insider trading

By Robert Boxwell
March 20, 2012

Preet Bharara’s work rooting out insider trading is good news for U.S. investors, as long as you’re not one of the 240 people being investigated. But until governments tackle insider trading on a global basis, it’s like playing Whac-A-Mole. If your business model includes insider trading, you can pop up in Hong Kong or London almost as easily as Tokyo and Shanghai without much fear of prosecution.

Why the bank dividends are a bad idea

By Anat Admati
March 14, 2012

On the basis of “stress tests” it ran, the Federal Reserve has given permission to most of the largest U.S. banks to “return capital” to their shareholders. JPMorgan Chase announced that it would buy back as much as $15 billion of its stock and raise its quarterly dividend to 30 cents a share, up from 25 cents a share.

The Trojan Horse of cost benefit analysis

January 3, 2012

By John Kemp
The writer is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.

from Don Tapscott:

20 big ideas for 2012, continued

December 19, 2011

The views expressed are his own.

What will happen in 2012? In the spirit of the aphorism “The future is not something to be predicted, it’s something to be achieved,” let me suggest 20 transformations (which Reuters will publish in four groups of five; the first can be found here). We need to make progress on these issues now to prevent next year from being a complete disaster.

from David Cay Johnston:

Closing Wall Street’s casino

By David Cay Johnston
November 18, 2011

The author is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A superb example of a sound rule in law and economics that needs reviving, because it can halt the rampant speculation in derivatives, is the ancient legal principle that gambling debts are not enforceable through court action.

‘Random refereeing’ of economy is not what’s stagnating it

August 3, 2010

Apparently, the U.S. economy is being held back by massive uncertainty over new regulation, future taxation and the deficit and how it will be handled, a state so frightening and confusing that investors won’t invest, businesses won’t hire and nervous consumers have taken to their beds.

The slow death of the regulatory state

June 4, 2010

At a time when public spending and deficits are ballooning on both sides of the Atlantic, taxes are rising and governments are enacting far-reaching reforms to financial regulation, healthcare and carbon emissions, it might seem strange to talk about the withering away of the state as an economic and industry regulator.