Weekly Roundup: From Coffee Hype to Cell Phone Insight

Our weekly roundup includes why coffee leads to creativity, how Uber impacts more than we realize and where, even with grades, inflation changes behavior.

Our Weekly Roundup: From Bank Regulation to Water Taxation

This week’s everyday economics stories included minimum wage, price floors, cost-benefit analysis, behavioral economics, financial regulation and public goods.

Dodd-Frank: When Is A Law Too Long To Obey?

With debated impact, a little more than half of the thousands of rules necessary for implementing the financial regulation in Dodd-Frank have been written.

Financial Regulation: The Eddie Murphy Rule

In its 2300 pages of financial regulation, Dodd-Frank has an Eddie Murphy Rule. Do you remember the end of Trading Places? Having bribed someone to get a USDA orange crop report before it was publicly released, the Duke brothers start…

Unintended Consequences: Cholesterol, Cars and Unemployment

Statins, seat belts and unemployment benefits reduce some of life’s risks. Yes? Not always… Told that statin medication would diminish high cholesterol, some people eat more cheese, more ice cream, more steak. The result? Less healthy diets. Knowing that seat…

Election Economics: What To Know For The First Presidential Debate

Presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer said there would be six 15-minute segments in the first presidential debate on October 3rd. Devoting the entire first half to “the economy,” he will also cover healthcare, the role of government, and “governing.” Like the…

Election Economics: Assessing Dodd-Frank

University of Chicago professor Luigi Zingales tells the story of being asked to tape his windows during a tornado watch in Boston. A similar mandate in Italy, he said, would mean that the brother of the mayor was in the tape…

Government Rules

What is a “systemically important” financial institution? 2300 pages of financial regulation do not specifically tell us. Instead,regulatory agencies will have to decide. One study indicated that implementing new Dodd-Frank financial legislation will require details for more than 243 new financial…

Michael Lewis and the U.S. Congress

The Big Short by Michael Lewis (who also wrote The Blind Side) is a “hot read” on Capital Hill. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill) recommended it. Chris Dodd (D-CT) referred to it during a speech on Fannie and Freddie. And, Senators Harry…

BP and the Financial Crisis

I suspect that there is an inverse relationship between government’s ability to get regulation right and the length of the legislation. Glass-Steagall was 34 pages long. Recently proposed financial legislation is 3000 pages long. The need for appropriate regulation is…