Frank says new voting map edged him out


WASHINGTON — US Representative Barney Frank yesterday accused Beacon Hill lawmakers of drawing the new congressional map in a way that shortchanged him in favor of fellow congressmen Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch. Had they done otherwise, said Frank, he might have run again.

“Markey and Lynch were protected, and the rest of us got what they didn’t want,” he said. Losing the chance to pick up some choice suburban towns for his district, Frank said, retirement became a more attractive option.

Debit Card Fees Under U.S. Justice Department Review

Editor’s Note:  Any antitrust evaluation of the debit card market needs to take into account the two-sided nature of the market.  Additional information may be found in CRE’s Working Paper, “Understanding Marginal Costs in Two-Sided Markets: Implications for Debit Card Interchange Regulation” found here.

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Justice Department is conducting an antitrust review of statements and actions by banks and their trade associations over possible increases in consumer fees for using debit cards.

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich described the review in a letter released today by Representative Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, who had requested an investigation.

States and Localities Seek Voice in Federal Grants Overhaul

From: Governing

State and local officials are telling the feds that a new council designed to overhaul the grant process is leaving out an important stakeholder: grant recipients.

First, some history: last month, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Jack Lew announced the creation of a new group — the Council on Financial Assistance Reform — tasked with identifying the best ways to deliver, oversee and report federal grants. The new council replaces two similar government boards.

Ooops! Retailers Admit Debit Card Price Controls May Raise Consumer Prices

Editor’s Note:  As CRE warned in its comments to the Federal Reserve, price controls don’t work and have unpredictable results.  On this point, CRE quoted a Federal Reserve economist who described Nixon-era wage and price controls as “the Viet Nam of economic policy.”  Now retailers, who promised lower consumer prices if debit interchange were federally controlled, are warning that debit card price controls “will likely lead to price increases for consumers.”

From: Reuters

UPDATE 2-Wal-Mart, McDonald’s execs sour on new debit rules

 * Changes could dent profits on small purchases

* Could result in higher consumer prices

Inhofe: EPA Skirting Proper Scientific Process in Utility Rule, Warns of IG Investigation

Canda Free Press

EPA did not follow the Data Quality Act or its own peer review procedures while issuing the Technical Support Document (TSD) for the endangerment finding – a finding that greenhouse gases harm public health and welfare.


In the wake of the recent EPA IG report, which revealed that EPA short-circuited record-keeping and scientific peer review procedures leading up to its endangerment finding, it appears that EPA has cut corners on the proposed Utility MACT rule.”