FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jonathan Caulkins, Mark Kleiman, and Angela Hawken, Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs To Know

By: Saturday August 11, 2012 1:59 pm

Marijuana legalization is going to be an actual voting option for many people in this election cycle, and despite attempts by most politicians to avoid the topic, it has already become harder to do so. We have Presidential candidates this year openly calling for legalization, and President Obama has had to transition from laughing off legalization questions in a Town Hall to seriously acknowledging Latin American leaders calling for a real discussion about “market alternatives.” Regardless of how voting turns out this year, it seems inevitable that marijuana is heading inexorably toward some kind of legalization.

It is, perhaps, perfect timing for a book like: Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know.


More Concerns on the Mortgage Settlement Docs: The Vague Release, the “Work Plan” to Be Named Later

By: Monday March 19, 2012 8:15 am

The release part of the foreclosure settlement document appears to release everything in the world and then goes back and names exemptions, which seems a little screwy. Yves Smith seems to have the same concern, adding that because the exemptions are phrased so vaguely, anything state or federal regulators manage to sue over in court could get challenged:

Katherine Porter Named as Enforcement Monitor for California Side Deal in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Saturday March 17, 2012 4:00 pm

I’ve met Katie Porter one time. She writes at Credit Slips and, back in 2007, did one of the first clinical studies of mortgage servicer misbehavior and abuse, in that case with respect to bankruptcy. She is one of the pre-eminent legal scholars in this field, and she knows every single trick that the servicers have done over the past decade. There are few other people as equipped to handle the job of the monitor than her, in my estimation. And I hope that she uses this pathway, with the evidence she will compile, to make a broader effort to blow the whistle on a broken and corrupt mortgage servicing industry. And that’s likely.

Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Docs (III): “Internal Review Group”

By: Tuesday March 13, 2012 2:05 pm

Part III analysis of the foreclosure fraud settlement docs. An Exhibit explains servicers will first have up to 180 days to start implementation, which will then occur using a set of “monitors” selected by (even from) the banks themselves. Only later do independent regulators get to see compliance reports.

Big Talk From Weak Agency

By: Thursday February 23, 2012 5:00 pm

Just what we expect from the SEC: pick a little, talk a little.

SEC Enforcement Chief Whines that Trying Cases Takes a Lot of Effort

By: Thursday December 22, 2011 12:05 pm

The official position of Robert Khuzami, the Chief of Enforcement of the SEC, is laid out in a brief asking Judge Rakoff to stay his stinging rejection of the weakling settlement with Citigroup last week pending appeal. The public will suffer because the SEC will have to devote its meager resources to trying a case, so they can’t do other great stuff, like investigate insider trading (57 cases this year, big deal) and ignore dozens of other cookie cutter cases just like the ones they settle for beans.

Signed, Sealed, but Not Delivered: Six Big Flaws Need Fixing to Make New Law Meaningful Health Care Reform

By: Monday March 22, 2010 6:01 am

The White House and Democratic leaders have made many promises about health care reform throughout this long and winding process—from guaranteeing affordable, quality care for everyone to pledging tougher regulation of the medical industrial complex that created this broken system in the first place. If the majority party wants to honestly deliver on these promises—not to mention if they want to remain in the majority—then a concerted and immediate effort is required to prove that this week’s legislation is truly the first step toward reform, and not the last.

Senate Bill Still Leaves Health Insurance Companies Unchecked

By: Wednesday December 23, 2009 11:30 am

The most critical failing of the Senate bill is that it still leaves the private insurance companies unchecked. They will not face competition from a public option, there will not be a truly robust risk adjustment mechanism to de-incentivize cherry picking, and the state insurance commissioners meant to enforce the new regulations will lack the will and/or the funding to take them on. Rules without a policeman strong enough to enforce them are just empty promises.

Health Reform: Are the Insurance Regulations Enforceable?

By: Friday December 18, 2009 5:20 pm

One reason that health care supporters have given for not wanting to go the route of reconciliation is that you would lose all of the insurance reforms and regulations that will end the practice of rescissions, the denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions, and the price discrimination against the sick. But the bill might not be as good as people claim at policing this kind of regulation.

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