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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Editors’ Briefing: This Week in Political Economy (August 25–September 1)

As Trump ramps up his attacks on Google, Sen. Orrin Hatch asks the FTC to revisit its investigation of the company; as Facebook finally takes action on Myanmar, US campaign strategists reportedly gear up to flood the social network with inflammatory ads; and why are doctors and hospital groups organizing to oppose single-payer health care in California?  

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Editors’ Briefing: This Week in Political Economy (June 30–July 7)

Scott Pruitt resigns from the EPA; a new report finds that digital platforms are not fully complying with the EU’s new privacy rules; Google, meanwhile, has a new privacy scandal; a month after its acquisition of Time Warner was approved, AT&T is already raising prices for its streaming TV customers; and former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s new career draws criticism.  

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The Foundation of Corporate Personhood: A Look at the Charles River Bridge Case of 1837

Some 130 years before Friedman could begin arguing that a corporation’s sole responsibility was to make a profit for its shareholders, Boston’s Charles River Bridge Company had to convince the Supreme Court that corporations were private entities whose interests could diverge from the public interest. While it lost that case, the partial success of the Charles River Bridge Company’s reasoning with the court laid the foundations for corporate personhood as it exists today.  

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