Top 10 Worst Federal Rules of 2011

From: Heritage Foundation

James Gattuso and Diane Katz

Hindsight is supposed to be 20/20, but looking back on the past 12 months, it’s tough to see any sense in many of the Administration’s regulatory missteps. Of course, there are bound to be a few howlers when government churns out more than 3,500 rules in a year, including dozens unleashed by Obamacare, Dodd–Frank, and the perpetually errant Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But by any standard, 2011 brought forth a remarkable number and variety of regulatory blunders.

Fed proposes new bank capital rules

From: Financial Times

By Shahien Nasiripour in New York

The US Federal Reserve has proposed new rules requiring the largest financial firms to hold more capital and detailed for the first time since the financial crisis how the central bank will deal with giant banks in distress whose failure could threaten financial stability.

The biggest banks will be required to achieve a 9.5 per cent ratio of core capital to risk-weighted assets by 2019 as part of the so-called Basel III reforms, the Fed announced on Tuesday, in an expected move that mirrors proposals by a group of global banking regulators known as the Basel committee.

History of OIRA


OIRA, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, housed in the White House Office of Management and Budget, is the office which “regulates the regulators”,  a function commonly called centralized regulatory review.

Heretofore this office has been relatively unknown outside of Washington, DC; even in DC it is a somewhat obscure office.

Mistakenly ORIA is often taken as the  product of the Reagan Administration when in fact it is was created by the Carter Administration.

More importantly OIRA-like organizations have existed since the time of the Lyndon Johnson Administration.

New Research Charges Retailers With Pocketing Interchange

Editor’s Note:  The study, Where’s the Debit Discount? Durbin Price Controls Fail to Ring Up Savings for Consumers, is attached below.  The InfoGraphic summary of the study may be found here.

From: Credit Union Times

By David Morrison

Contrary to assurances made during the debate running up to the Durbin amendment, new research from the Electronic Payments Coalition charges that merchants have not been passing debit interchange savings on to consumers.

The Durbin amendment, named for its chief sponsor, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), capped debit card interchange for card issuers with over $10 billion in assets.

The Critical Role of Civil Servants

Historically, federal civil servants played a critical role in developing and implementing federal policy. The attached article in the Administrative Law Review, published by the American Bar Association in conjunction  with the Washington College of Law of the American University, sets forth in Section D on page 54  the critical role career federal employees had in the establishment of centralized regulatory review in the White House Office of Management and Budget.