How Antimonopoly Was Revitalized, Part 2: Barack Obama and the End of the End of History

In this second installment of his three-part series on antitrust’s recent resurrection, Matt Stoller discusses the legacy of Obama’s presidency. The real policy for which Obama will be known is not Obamacare or Dodd-Frank, but bailing out the banks after the 2008 financial crisis and helping Americans and the rest of the world understand that liberal democratic rhetoric was really an ornamental cover for a system of concentrated financial and political power.  

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Loose Policies Around Close Elections Highlight the Political Limits of Macroprudential Regulation

What can policymakers do to prevent future financial crises? An emerging consensus holds that so-called macroprudential regulation is key: policies that aim to mitigate risks to the financial system as a whole. In a recent paper, Karsten Müller of Princeton shows that such policies were systematically loosened in the run-up to two-hundred seventeen elections across 58 countries. This raises the question of whether regulators can, in practice, withstand political pressures.

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Return of the State: Banking on Diplomacy

If, as California political legend Jesse M. Unruh once quipped, “money is the mother’s milk of politicians,” it’s reasonable to expect that countries might wield their financial power for geopolitical purposes on the world stage. Accordingly, a fascinating new paper slated to be presented at the upcoming Stigler Center Political Economy of Finance conference tracks how China punishes countries whose heads of state accept meetings with the Dalai Lama by curbing bilateral lending flows from its state banks.  

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