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(Mis)Applications of Behavioral Economics to Regulation: The Importance of Public Choice Architecture

Engage Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2012
Adam C. Smith March 22, 2012

(Mis)Applications of Behavioral Economics to Regulation: The Importance of Public Choice ArchitectureFriedrich Hayek once said, “Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.” This statement encapsulates a broad wariness of government intervention, even—and perhaps especially—intervention based upon scientific findings, into private enterprise. The problem, as Hayek points out, is that such control mechanisms, however scientifically informed, inevitably lead to unwanted consequences, often stifling the very creativity needed to foster the beneficial spontaneous order of the marketplace. [Read more!]

A Conversation on Proposed Systemic Risk Regulation - Podcast

Financial Services and E-Commerce Practice Group
Peter J. Wallison, Wayne A. Abernathy, John L. Douglas July 24, 2009
On March 26, 2009, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined the administration’s plan to regulate the financial system during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee.  The proposals included the creation of a systemic regulator that would have the authority to designate “significantly important” financial institutions that may pose serious risks to the stability of the financial system. What does it mean for an institution to be so designated? Can a systemic regulator provide the needed oversight of financial institutions? Does the federal government have sufficient existing authority to deal with systemic risk and should it have the authority to resolve financial institutions outside of existing bankruptcy law?  Our speakers address these and other questions.

A Conversation with Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Ajit V. Pai, Gregory E. Sopkin September 09, 2013

A Conversation with Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai - PodcastAjit Pai was nominated to the Federal Communications Commission by President Barack Obama and on May 7, 2012 was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. He was interviewed by Gregory Sopkin of Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP for a Federalist Society Teleforum on current hot topics before the Commission. Topics included incentive auctions, federal spectrum, the IP transition, process reform, and media ownership. Commissioner Pai's goal in all of these areas is to create a regulatory environment in which competition and innovation will flourish, and he seeks to shape regulation that gives private firms the strongest incentive to raise and invest capital; to develop new products and services; and to compete in established and new markets. Specifically, Commissioner Pai is working to remove uncertainty that can deter businesses and investors from taking risks, to revisit outdated regulations, and to set clear, modernized rules for the road.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Ajit V. Pai, Federal Communications Commission
  • Moderator: Mr. Gregory E. Sopkin, Partner, Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer, LLP

[Listen now!]

A Conversation with Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Dean A. Reuter December 19, 2013

Maureen OhlhausenMaureen K. Ohlhausen was nominated to the Federal Trade Commission by President Barack Obama and, on March 29, 2012, was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. She will be participate in a Teleforum on the FTC’s activities in the area of consumer privacy, including recent revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

The rise of sophisticated technologies over the last few years has allowed websites and other online entities to gather and distill large amounts of data about particular internet users. Although there are many efficiency gains from this activity, such as the development of new services and better-targeted advertising, people have also become concerned about possible invasions of privacy from monitoring an individual’s internet activity. Recognizing that children’s online privacy is an especially sensitive area, COPPA prohibits an operator of a website or online service that is directed to children, or who has actual knowledge that it is gathering personal information from a child, from collecting such information without providing notice of its data collection and obtaining verifiable parental consent for it. The FTC recently expanded the COPPA Rule’s coverage to include more types of personal information, such as IP addresses, and to expand the definition of an operator to reach entities that do not collect or use children’s information. Commissioner Ohlhausen addressed how she seeks to balance the FTC’s mandate under Section 5 of the FTC Act to protect consumers against unfair or deceptive acts with the legitimate rights of business to gather and use information for commercial purposes and why she dissented from the FTC’s revision to the COPPA Rule.

Featuring:

  • Maureen Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Moderator: Dean Reuter, Vice President and Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

[Listen now!]

A Conversation with SEC Commissioners Daniel Gallagher and Paul Atkins - Podcast

Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group Podcast
Daniel M. Gallagher, Paul S. Atkins June 24, 2014

market

Securities and Exchange Commissioner Daniel Gallagher and former Commissioner Paul Atkins joined us on a Teleforum conference call for a conversation on Dodd-Frank's impact on United States capital markets.

  • Hon. Daniel M. Gallagher, Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Hon. Paul S. Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners LLC, and former Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission