The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate to pursue price stability — interpreted as low, steady inflation — and full employment. As the unemployment rate has fallen, there have been increasing calls for the Fed to begin to raise interest rates so as to ward off undesirable increases in inflation.
Yesterday the Wall Street Journal ran a compelling story about the Bank of Bird-in-Hand, an Amish country bank, the first new bank since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act five years ago. One new bank (although regulators are nearing approval of a second). Stunning. The U.S. used to average 100 new banks every year.
This week an administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will begin consideration of whether McDonald’s should be considered the “joint employer” of all McDonalds workers, instead of them being considered the employees of individual franchises.
Congress is broken. Gridlock is permanent. A House divided cannot rule. Senate rules are unworkable. There have been a zillion variants of the diagnosis with the same ultimate bottom line: nothing gets done in Washington. Except suddenly exactly the opposite happens.
The president has made his official defense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) on the occasion of its 5th anniversary. "The bottom line is this for the American people: this law is saving money for families and for businesses,” he said. “This law is also saving lives, lives that touch all of us.”
Yesterday Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairwoman Mary Jo White got an earful from the House Committee on Financial Services regarding SEC's intention to develop “fiduciary standards” for further regulatinginvestment advisers.
Net Neutrality Irony: Remember net neutrality? Remember when the White House supported on its web site "a principle known as 'net neutrality' — and it says that an entrepreneur's fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations…” Now, as it turns out, new research by AAF’s Will Rinehart shows that it is these very same small businesses that are under assault from net neutrality.
On Friday, as most eyes were trained on the NCAA tournament, the Obama administration finalized yet another regulation to increase the costs of producing energy in this country. All this hiding the ball – for the sake of mixing sports metaphors – is getting old.
Today, AAF launches the culmination of five years worth of research: Reg Rodeo (www.regrodeo.com). This online database contains information on every federal rule with a quantifiable cost or paperwork burden since 2008. Users can search federal rules by the affected industry, agency, or by law (Affordable Care Act or Dodd-Frank). If users really know their stuff, there is a function to type in the name of the regulation to return a result.
The Senate yesterday released the draft version of its budget resolution for fiscal 2016, joining the draft House resolution that was made public Tuesday. This kicks off the process that (presumably) leads to a joint budget resolution that will govern the budgetary actions of the Congress this year.