Mason in the News

Posted: November 2, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national and international news coverage George Mason recently received.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Hindu

PNs: Knee-Jerk Reactions Erode Policy Credibility

“Controls on capital flows cannot be a substitute for sound macroeconomic policy including reform of the monetary policy framework, says Ramkishen S. Rajan, associate professor of international economics, School of Public Policy, George Mason University, Virginia, US. Reacting to the recent moves concerning PNs (participatory notes), he argues, ‘What the market does not need is further government-induced turmoil via piecemeal approaches and knee-jerk reactions, which will surely erode the credibility of policy makers and regulators.’”

Saturday, Oct. 27, Economist

Of Horses’ Teeth and Liberty

“In Minnesota the state board of barbers and cosmetologists barred African hair-braiders from braiding hair unless they underwent 1,500 hours of irrelevant training. In four states, you need a license to practice interior design. In several more, you can do the job but you can’t advertise yourself as an ‘interior designer’ unless you pass a state-mandated test. The only people lobbying for such regulations are established interior designers. The net result is less competition and higher prices. But with no one organized to lobby against them, the rules often pass. Overall, the benefits of regulation in America far outweigh its costs, says the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. Between 1996 and 2006, it puts the annual cost of the main federal regulations at between $40 billion and $46 billion, whereas these rules yield between $99 billion and $484 billion in annual benefits. Yet many experts doubt these figures. Jerry Ellig [senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center] of George Mason University notes that they are based on the estimates various agencies make when they propose rules, with little attempt to measure how they work in practice.”

Monday, Oct. 29, Washington Post

Iran Adapts to Economic Pressure

“Confronted by mounting U.S. and U.N. pressure, Iran has been steadily shifting its trade from West to East and, with the benefit of record high oil prices, is likely to be able to withstand the new U.S. sanctions, according to U.S., European and Iranian analysts. The U.S. Treasury said that more than 40 banks, mostly in Europe, have curbed business with Iran as a result of U.S. pressure, but smaller banks, Islamic financial institutions and Asian banks are likely to step in and replace the Western financial institutions through which Iran has long sold oil on the international market. ‘Given particularly the price and demand for oil, Iran clearly has leverage with countries that need Iran’s oil,’ said Shaul Bakhash, a George Mason University historian and author of ‘The Reign of the Ayatollahs.’ In addition, he said, ‘Iran has a huge cushion of foreign-exchange reserves.’”

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