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Some Non-Covid Links

“Who’s Robbin’ Who?” My old buddy Roger Koppl has written a superb explanation of Robinhood, the Redditors, and the regulators. A slice:

No one specifically decided to give the Redditors a smackdown. So everything’s great, then? No! The regulatory environment is not meant to help the little guy. It rigs the system in favor of Big Playerscand incumbent interests. As I have explained elsewhere, “The Dodd–Frank Act creates a regime of discretionary regulation.” It is discretionary because “the regulatory requirements on a nominally private institution vary from firm to firm in ways that are difficult to rationalise or anticipate.” Thus, the regulators are discriminating among individual market participants and applying different rules to different parties even when they have the same legal charter. (That’s how NSCC got classified as “systemically important.”) Not all is for the best in the best of all possible regulatory worlds.

I think we need reform in the regulation of financial markets. But we should reject the error that the problem is “free markets.” When Elizabeth Warren says “It’s a rigged game,” she’s not wrong! But her call for “the SEC to get off their duffs and do their jobs” is asking the fox to do a better job guarding the henhouse. We don’t need moreregulation; we need better regulation. We need the rule of law not only in monetary institutions but in financial markets too. We need to replace the “regulatory leviathan” in financial markets with “a regulatory constitution.”

Inspired by Phil Gramm’s and Mike Solon’s recent Wall Street Journal essay on the dangers of overdoing the (so-called) “stimulus,” my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy warns against being fooled by claims about stimulus “multipliers.” A slice:

At this point, I still think zero dollars is the correct amount of stimulus. Based on past experiences, we close the gap by encouraging growth in the private economy, not encouraging growth of government.

Also from the ever-intrepid Vero is this call on Biden to rein in that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Hans Bader also warns against more so-called “stimulus.”

George Will sees with eyes clear and opened wide the true, vile nature of so-called “teachers” unions. A slice:

But United Teachers Los Angeles, a union adept at ideological opportunism, says: First things first. Among the preconditions for its members’ returning to classroom teaching, for which they are being paid, the UTLA wants a moratorium on authorizing charter schools (these are public schools, emancipated from micromanagement under collective bargaining agreements that unions negotiate with school districts), a state wealth tax, defunding the police and Medicare-for-all.

Richard Ebeling rightly decries Joe Biden’s spasm of executive orders.

Chris Edwards ponders Biden and labor unions.

GMU Econ alum Shruti Rajagopalan explains that there is no political freedom without economic liberty.

Matt Welch rightly tears into the authoritarian proposal – advocated in the pages of the New York Times – for a “reality czar.”

John Stossel understands socialism’s ugly reality.