Oversight

Oversight

Research

Benjamin M. Blau | Oct 24, 2013
This paper analyzes the characteristics of banks that received emergency loans from the Federal Reserve during the recent financial crisis. Using unique data consisting of emergency loan transactions, I provide evidence that larger banks, in terms of assets and market capitalization, were more likely to receive emergency support.
Jeff Milyo | May 02, 2012
The value of some firms is strongly affected by which party controls political power. Stock market reactions to political events demonstrate this. However, contrary to common perception, event studies do not indicate that the ability to make unlimited campaign contributions enhances a firm’s value. Geographic and personal connections to political actors matter more, although there is some evidence that personal connections may be rented via professional lobbying.
Patrick McLaughlin | Mar 10, 2011
Is the midnight regulations phenomenon real and what are its consequences? This paper finds that when an administration’s time is almost up, submissions of economically significant regulations nearly double. Such surges in regulatory activity decrease the duration of regulatory review at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), likely because of political pressure to quickly approve new rules. Specifically, one additional economically significant regulation submitted to OIRA decreases the mean review time for all regulations by about two thirds of a day. If OIRA review improves regulation quality, then regulatory surges that decrease review time could hinder such improvement.
Bruce Yandle | Jul 30, 2010
The federal government’s deficit will reach $1.4 trillion this year—a whopping 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—and the total federal debt stands at almost $14 trillion. That’s $40,000 for…
Jerry Ellig, Patrick McLaughlin | Jun 22, 2010
This paper assesses the quality and use of regulatory analysis for economically significant regulations produced by federal agencies in 2008. A shorter and updated version of this paper was published in the journal Risk Analysis.
Veronique de Rugy | Jun 15, 2010
For every attempt to cap government spending by regulation or statute, lawmakers seem to find new and creative accounting techniques that allow them to continue spending recklessly. In fact, there is…

Testimony & Comments

Veronique de Rugy | Dec 04, 2013
Despite Washington’s recent focus on the disastrous Affordable Care Act website rollout, policymakers are missing what the rollout glitches symbolize: the fundamental flaws that imbue government intervention. The work of public choice economists such as Nobel laureate James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, Mancur Olson, and William Niskanen has shown that, despite good intentions and lavish use of taxpayer resources, government solutions are not only unlikely to solve most of our problems—they often make problems worse.
J. W. Verret | Apr 17, 2012
After a careful review of the legislative requirements that the SEC consider investor protection, efficiency, competition and capital formation in adopting new rules, I would like to simply offer a list of six items that would demonstrate a sincere commitment by the SEC to fulfill its statutory mission. The first five I will list are in fact required by law if one carefully reads the legislative and judicial history of the SEC’s mandate to consider the economic impact of new rules.
Jerry Brito | Mar 09, 2011
Jerry Brito testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and Procurement Reform on open government and government transparency through technology.
Richard Williams | Jul 27, 2010
In this testimony, Richard Williams, Director of Regulatory Studies and Government Accountability at the Mercatus Center, addresses the key question of whether there are sufficient checks and…
Richard Williams, Jerry Ellig, John Morrall | Jul 06, 2010
As always, OMB has produced a very thorough report based on the instructions provided in the Regulatory-Right-to Know Act. Nevertheless, it is time to re-examine this report to see if it can be made…
Jerry Ellig | Jul 01, 2010
The EPA recently proposed a regulation that requires dust wipe testing for lead dust generated by renovations covered by its 2008 Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program rule. Except for a small…

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Expert Commentary

Aug 14, 2013

Dodd-Frank's missing pillar, housing finance reform, has finally found its way into the halls of Congress and the speeches of the President. But this pillar will be rotten from the start if it is built around the fallacy that undergirds the current housing finance system-the notion that Americans cannot purchase and finance their homes without the help of Uncle Sam.
Aug 07, 2013

Spending on monthly Social Security disability insurance payments is exploding as the number of recipients has skyrocketed in the last 30 years, even though medical advances during the same period allow many more people to remain on the job longer than ever before.
By Nita Ghei |
Aug 02, 2013

The United States’ financial sector has historically been extremely competitive globally, as is evident from the dominance of Wall Street in world financial markets. This competitive edge, however, can be lost all too easily if destructive regulatory and tax regimes are put into place. Decreasing transparency, increasing probability of bailouts and a higher regulatory burden can all work to erode competitiveness.
Jul 23, 2013

While it is too late to save Detroit, it may still be possible to prevent similar disasters from unfolding elsewhere by ending our long-standing practice of putting state and local governments in charge of pensions.
Feb 07, 2013

As more inevitable breaches are reported, the public will demand that Congress “do something” about the cyber threat from abroad—even if they have no idea what that something should be. As a result, Congress will be more than happy to act by spending gobs of money on “cyber R&D and scholarships,” by exempting companies from privacy laws, and even by licensing cybersecurity professionals.
Oct 25, 2012

Market competition is an ongoing process among sellers to persuade consumers voluntarily to choose among the vast array of goods and services available at any time from different producers. This competition is key to our high standard of living. As long as consumers are free to spend their money as they see fit, producers must serve consumers. This rivalry among producers is driven by producers’ understanding that, in free markets, profits are earned only by those producers who offer to consumers the best deals as judged by consumers .

Charts

Experts

Podcasts

Lawrence H. White | October 16, 2013
Lawrence H. White Discusses the Government Shutdown on "To the Point"

Recent Events

Join the Mercatus Center's Capitol Hill Campus and Senior Research Fellow Jason J. Fichtner for a walk through the process of making the federal budget.

Media Clippings

Patrick McLaughlin | Jul 22, 2013
The researchers examined data from the Code of Federal Regulations and determined that over 7,000 new financial rules were implemented between 1999 and 2008, bringing the total number of regulations to 47,494 just before the crash.
| Jul 19, 2013
"Right now (the standard unemployment rate) is misleadingly low," Hall, now with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, told New York Post financial reporter John Crudele.
Keith Hall | Jan 30, 2013
Keith Hall cited at The Huffington Post.
Jerry Brito, Eli Dourado | Dec 04, 2012
Jerry Brito and Eli Dourado's WCITLeaks cited at Discovery News.
J. W. Verret | Jul 02, 2012
J.W. Verret writes about the Dodd-Frank Act and its unchecked powers.
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