Do Consumers Really Need Protection From Excessive Overdraft Protection Fees?

“[Overdraft protection] usually serves as a short-term source of small-dollar credit in order to meet a pressing need for funds and to prevent important payments such as utilities, rent, or other bills from being denied for insufficient funds. Moreover, those who use overdraft protection do so because it is better than available alternatives.” Continue Reading →

Operation Choke Point and Marijuana Legalization

Every U.S. bank, whether a national bank or a state bank, is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). And to their everlasting shame, FDIC was one of the agencies that helped implement Operation Choke Point. The point of this program was to deny banking services to businesses alleged to be high risk. The fact that many of those businesses were also politically opposed by the Obama administration is, um, irrelevant, Continue Reading →

Updated: “How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red.’ ” Or Maybe Not.

The global economy was doing pretty well in 1995. By contrast, 2014 was a year of economic stress. People are more likely to turn to authoritarian solutions during periods of economic malaise. That is a more plausible hypothesis for the authors’ results than a declining faith in democracy. Continue Reading →