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