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Obama "Voted With the Socialist" 92% of the Time

The Mizzou campus is all atwitter today over a scheduled appearance this evening by the world’s biggest celebrity — my old constitutional law prof, Barack Obama. As I write this, I’m watching the Obama folks prepare for the rally, which is to take place on the quad my office overlooks. I must say, it’s a ... Obama "Voted With the Socialist" 92% of the Time

Speaking of Resale Price Maintenance …

It looks like the FTC is interested in doing more than just investigating RPM (see Thom’s excellent post), as the agency just announced a series of public workshops on the question of how best to distinguish pro-competitive uses of RPM from those that raise competitive concerns. From the announcement: The FTC is requesting public comment ... Speaking of Resale Price Maintenance …

FTC’s Latest RPM Investigation: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing?

Once again displaying its tenacious devotion to old Dr. Miles, the FTC is investigating whether makers of musical instruments and audio equipment have engaged in illegal resale price maintenance (RPM). Yesterday’s WSJ reported that the Commission has issued subpoenas to a number of prominent musical instrument manufacturers, including Fender, Yamaha, and Gibson, as well as ... FTC’s Latest RPM Investigation: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing?

The End of Libertarianism?

Not so fast, says Will Wilkinson is this must read (and well earned) dismantling of Jacob Weisberg’s recent Slate column which has been getting a lot of attention: If you think “libertarianism” caused the financial crisis, you’re either stupid or dishonest. Weisberg’s argument comes down to the single, simple thought that but for the resistance ... The End of Libertarianism?

First Annual FTC Microeconomics Conference: November 6-7

I think conferences like this are an effective way to attract talented economists to work on interesting antitrust problems.  I can envision a similar event from the Bureau of Competition or policy shops featuring academic research from law and economics scholars.  Here’s the conference announcement: The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Economics will host a ... First Annual FTC Microeconomics Conference: November 6-7

Antitrust Contests

Director of the FTC Bureau of Economics Michael Baye posted slides of Antitrust Contests from a conference presentation in Stockholm. I am a co-author on the project along with FTC economist Paul Pautler. The paper is an attempt to structurally estimate a Tullock contest model of antitrust litigation using some unique data on economic labor ... Antitrust Contests

UC Irvine School of Law Update

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and UCI School of Law are in the news.  WSJ Law Blog reports on a little scuffle between Chemerinsky and Second Circuit Chief Judge Jacobs about the purported public interest mission of the law school whether it entails a distinct political leaning.  Here’s Chemerinsky: Implicit in Jacobs’ remarks is the assumption that ... UC Irvine School of Law Update

"Screw off, John"

Emailed James Heckman in response to fellow the Milton Friedman Institute (MFI) committee member John Cochrane, who had warned Heckman about his publicly expressed views that he was open to considering changing the name of the MFI and that at least some of the now well-cataloged objections to the MFI were rooted in the view ... "Screw off, John"

Fannie and Freddie as "Greater Fools"

Today’s New York Times features an op-ed by Michigan Law Professor Michael Barr and former Clinton advisor Gene Sperling that (somewhat predictably) blames our current financial mess on a lack of “common sense regulation” and exonerates the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. I propose a counter-narrative. It begins with a nutshell version ... Fannie and Freddie as "Greater Fools"

Some Links

Henry Manne offers his thoughts on the financial crisis and the increasing role for those who understand markets to play in the new regulatory age Larry Ribstein defends the Illinois no-LSAT admission program Krugman on Krugman A conference on property rights I wish I could attend featuring a keynote from Harold Demsetz, my early frontrunner ... Some Links

Reverse Payments Ripe for Cert?

The Federal Circuit came down on the side of rule of reason analysis, and no liability, in a reverse payment case in Cipro (HT: Antitrust Review and Patently-O): Since there was no basis for the district court to confidently predict that the Agreements at issue here would be found to be unlawful under a rule ... Reverse Payments Ripe for Cert?

FTC v. DOJ on Section 2: Just Different Priors?

Turns out the Global Competition Policy issue on Reviewing the DOJ Report on Competition and Monopoly, in addition to the articles I pointed to in this post, has added a few more responses to the Report, the FTC Response, and what the schism might mean for antitrust enforcement over the next several years. So far ... FTC v. DOJ on Section 2: Just Different Priors?