GAO recommends lowering expected rate of return for crop insurance

From: Financial Regulation News

By Dave Kovaleski 

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is recommending that Congress consider legislation to reduce the expected rate of return for companies that sell federal crop insurance.

To implement the federal crop insurance program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) partners with private insurance companies, which sell and service policies. In 2010, USDA negotiated a set rate of return with these companies—that is, how much companies can profit from these insurance policies. However, GAO found that this expected rate of return was too high compared with market conditions. Reducing it could save the federal crop insurance program hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Federal government says Vermont failed to prevent EB-5 fraud

From: Burlington Free Press

, Burlington Free Press

Vermont state officials bear some responsibility for what authorities say was a complex fraud in the Northeast Kingdom, concludes a recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service report.

Federal and state officials have accused businessmen Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger of misusing about $200 million of EB-5 foreign investor funds at Jay Peak and elsewhere in the Northeast Kingdom. The eight Jay Peak-related projects were approved and promoted by state government officials at the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center in the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

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Executive Branch Regulatory Review Policies Set the Analytic Gold Standard for Independent Financial Agencies to Follow

Editor’s Note: Cross-posted from OIRA Watch.

From: The Regulatory Review

Structural Reforms to Improve Cost-Benefit Analyses of Financial Regulation


One More Dodd-Frank Rule Finalized

From: American Action Forum

Even as the Trump Administration passes its six-month mark and finally releases its regulatory agenda, a final rule from the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law leads the week in regulation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule brings nearly $380 million in total costs. Annualized costs (from proposed and final rules) totaled nearly $145 million versus annual benefits of more than $381 million. Agencies also put forward roughly 1 million hours in net paperwork burdens. The per capita regulatory burden for 2017 is $459.

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Senate GOP Readies Effort to Nix CFPB’s Arbitration Rule

From: BNA

By Rob Tricchinelli and Jeff Bater

Senate Republicans aren’t wasting any time in trying to negate the CFPB’s rule barring the use of mandatory arbitration to block class actions by consumers, even as federal regulators lay the groundwork for their own attempts to delay or halt the rule.

An effort is already underway to scotch the rule using the Congressional Review Act, a statute that allows Congress to overturn executive branch actions, and a resolution could be unveiled as soon as July 19, Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) told Bloomberg BNA in a brief interview.