Using a ‘foreign language shield’ to improve investment decision making


Introducing a “foreign language shield” into a decision-making process is a proven way of making better decisions, according to Cass Sunstein, the Robert Walmsey University Professor at Harvard Law School.


“If you’re an adviser, get the cost/benefit figures, the risk/return figures, the algorithms, up and running. It’s a great safeguard,” he said.

The term “foreign language shield” comes from the behavioural finance finding that speaking a foreign language has been shown to turn off the part of the brain that makes quick, intuitive and generally error-prone decisions.


New Zealand: Out of control – our red tape tangle

Editor’s Note: The following article is part of OMB Watch’s ongoing analysis of the centralized regulatory review function in other industrialized countries. For other articles on the subject, see here, here and here.

From: New Zealand Herald

Governments are passing tidal waves of rules with no idea of whether they’re worth it, says Robert MacCulloch.

by Robert MacCulloch

The regulatory state in New Zealand is on the march. The number of regulations made by governments each year from 1985 onward has shot up.

The numbers don’t include local government regulations because nobody has counted them.

MANAGING FOR RESULTS: Selected Agencies Need to Take Additional Efforts to Improve Customer Service

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from GAO-15-84.

From: US GAO

By focusing on developing standards for high impact services, OMB recognizes that government leaders have a responsibility to understand customer expectations and service needs, and continually evaluate and improve their effectiveness in meeting those needs. According to OMB officials, two goal leaders and a goal team are responsible for the CAP goal. … While it is too early to assess the effect of the new CAP goal, this new effort does offer an opportunity for OMB to begin to elevate the importance of customer service government-wide and to engage agencies on how to better meet customer needs.

EVENT: Enhancing the Transatlantic Trade & Innovation Partnership: Reducing Regulatory Barriers

Editor’s Note: For information on harmonizing cyber security regulation through the TTIP process, see here and here.

From: Regulatory Studies Center/George Washington University

November 19th – 20th


Please join us on November 19-20 for a day-and-a-half conference on Enhancing the Transatlantic Trade & Innovation Partnership: Reducing Regulatory Barriers, bringing together EU and US policy officials, regulatory experts, and stakeholders to explore challenges to, and opportunities for, greater transatlantic regulatory cooperation. 

Enhancing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership:
Reducing Regulatory Barriers

November 19-20, 2014

Why the government needs a regulator of regulators

From: Federal Times


The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has been called “the most powerful federal agency that most people have never heard of.”

But lately, OIRA, which serves as the focal point for regulatory policymaking in the White House, has come under attack by critics from the left and the right.


Authorized by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 and embraced by every president since, OIRA has overseen the federal regulatory process under administrations from both parties.

If U.S.-Canada Cooperation Is Good Idea, Why Aren’t More Federal Agencies Doing It?

From: Daily Report for Executives™

By Cheryl Bolen

 President Barack Obama ordered it, top regulators swear by it and businesses could save billions of dollars from it. But when it comes to regulatory cooperation with Canada, some agencies just aren’t getting it.


In remarks to the RCC meeting, Howard Shelanski, the administration’s top regulator and head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, reiterated the strong commitment of the White House to international regulatory cooperation.

“Our bilateral work with Canada in particular presents a tremendous opportunity to expand and advance our economic relationship,” Shelanski said.

Financial Regulation and Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Comment [Very Preliminary Draft]

From: SSRN

Cass R. Sunstein | Harvard Law School

Yale Law Journal Forum, Forthcoming | Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 14-17


Regulatory Policy and the Brazilian Presidential Election

Editor’s Note: The CRE Brazil website is available in English and Portuguese.

From: RegBlog/University of Pennsylvania

After Sunday’s first-round election in Brazil, the two finalists for the nation’s presidency present the country with two rather distinct approaches to regulation. When the election moves to its second round on October 26th, Brazilians will either choose to keep the moderate-left Dilma Rousseff for another four-year term or they will select Aécio Neves as the nation’s new center-right President. The competing interest groups and political parties that now support either Aécio Neves or Dilma Rousseff generally align themselves across the contemporary divide over regulation in Brazil.\

OIRA Quality Control Is Missing for Most Regulations

From: Mercatus Center/George Mason University

Richard Williams [1], James Broughel [2]

Over the last decade, federal regulatory agencies finalized more than 37,000 regulations, yet 92 percent of rules escaped review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), a small office tasked with reviewing significant regulatory actions promulgated by such agencies. Of the roughly 3,000 rules OIRA did review, only 116 have estimates of both benefits and costs appearing in OIRA’s annual report. Relative to the cost of many of these regulations, expecting agencies to analyze benefits and costs before issuing a rule is a fairly low bar to set.

Legal marijuana adjusts to life as a heavily regulated industry

Editor’s Note: To hear a specific regulatory proposal for regulating medical marijuana, see Jim Tozzi’s Keynote adddress at Americans for Safe Access’s Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, here.

From: E&E Publishing/Greenwire

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter

First in a three-part series.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Randy Simmons never expected he would become Washington’s cannabis czar. He didn’t even want the job.

The day after Washington state voters approved Initiative 502, Simmons, whose official title is deputy director of the state Liquor Control Board, was called into a staff meeting and asked if he wanted to oversee implementation of the new law, which legalized possession of marijuana for adults over 21.