American Banker Slideshow on Financial Institution Spending on Lobbying

Here.  The lead: "Many of the nation's largest financial institutions lowered their spending on lobbying the federal government in 2012, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics." Still, as the slideshow makes clears, many of the largest financial institutions individually spent millions on lobbying last year.  I wonder if all the consumer […]

Are “Out of Network” Medical Charges Unfairly Increasing Health Insurance Costs?

If you have health insurance, you probably know that the charges for "out of network" services are more than services provided by doctors and hospitals that are "in network." This article by Chad Terhune explains just how much the differential can be and whether the system is in need of reform. Here's an excerpt: A […]

“Unemployment and Regulatory Policy”

That's the name of this article by University of Chicago law profs Jonathan Masur and Eric Posner. When a federal regulatory agency proposes a rule–say, a rule seeking to promote product safety or environmental quality–the agency generally does an cost-benefit analysis. It often does a separate analysis of the the rule's effect on employment. In […]

Todd Zywicki on Network Branded Prepaid Cards

Todd J. Zywicki of George Mason has written The Economics and Regulation of Network Branded Prepaid Cards. Here is the abstract: General-purpose reloadable prepaid cards have been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the consumer payments marketplace in recent years. Their importance has accelerated as a consequence of new regulations enacted in the wake of […]

Threatening and Suing Consumers for Criticisms the “Right Way”

by Paul Alan Levy Here at the Consumer Law and Policy blog, we worry about the chilling impact of both lawsuits against consumers’ speech and heavy-handed cease-and-desist letters demanding the cessation of such speech,  on consumers’ ability to use the comment on business.  We regularly discuss these situations, and at Public Citizen we often represent […]

More on Coke and the NAACP’s Brief Against New York City’s Ban on the Sale of Large Sugary Drinks

Last week, Paul Levy posted about the NAACP's amicus brief supporting the soft-drink industry in its opposition to the New York City rules barring the sale of large sugary drinks. Paul thought that there was a link between the NAACP's position and the large amounts of money it takes from the Coca-Cola Company. Hazel Dukes, […]

The Importance of the American Express Arbitration Case

by Paul Bland, Public Justice Consumer and plaintiffs' lawyers know that there have been a long string of cases where the Supreme Court has enforced arbitration clauses. In the course of doing that, though, the Court has always said that enforcing arbitration clauses won’t cause any harm, because (the Court has insisted and promised) arbitration […]

Many Americans, lacking savings, live on their own fiscal cliff

A fascinating and troubling story from NPR this morning about Americans with little or no savings is worth a listen (or read) to get a sense of many Americans' financial vulnerability. Here's the opening: In his inaugural address, President Obama talked about a country where even "a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows […]