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Is it time to rein in Dodd-Frank? On today’s opinion pages, we have two eminent experts debating whether it’s time to roll back US banking regulation.
Hal Scott, professor of international financial systems at Harvard Law School, argues that freeing up the big banks to lend more will boost the US economy. He sees flaws in the Federal Reserve’s stress testing — requiring huge amounts of capital that are very unlikely to ever be necessary. Hal thinks that a more transparent process for liquidity and capital standards is needed.
In opposition, Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, says there is little sound basis for deregulation. The calls to change Dodd-Frank are coming from the financial services industry trying to buy influence, according to Lisa. And if they get their way, and banks do not hold more capital, it will be the taxpayer that suffers if one or several banks run into trouble.
Do let us know what you think about US banking regulations. Send up to 250 words with your views to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish the best next week.
Turn on the spending taps
Chris Giles celebrates some good news in his column. The UK’s current budget deficit no longer exists for the first time since July 2002. Now is the time, Chris reckons, to duly increase public spending.
The crises engulfing Jared Kushner
Edward Luce argues that Donald Trump’s son-in-law is posing a threat to US national security. Mr Kushner’s problems stem from his company’s perilous financial situation.
The sonic screwdriver strategy
Robert Shrimsley thinks he has found the inspiration for the Brexiters’ latest strategy: Doctor Who’s all-purpose screwdriver. It is an example of how a solid belief in a technological solution will eventually answer hard problems.
Best of the rest
Hope Against Hope — David Remnick in The New Yorker
The Tory divide that May must bridge — James Forsyth in The Spectator
Trump’s Worst: The Winners Are In! — Gail Collins in The New York Times
Can we criticize the Parkland kids? — Molly Roberts in The Washington Post
Max Mosley must face up to his poisonous past — David Aaronovitch in The Times
What you’ve been saying
The days of the diesel vehicle are numbered — letter from Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb
The ban on heavily polluting vehicles from Stuttgart and Düsseldorf has direct consequences for our equally polluted urban centres in the UK. The government strategy to combat air pollution relies on local authorities implementing Low Emission Zones in the 16 urban zones where the UK is above the European legal limits. These zones have to discourage the most polluting vehicles by charging them if they enter a pollution hotspot. The ruling in Germany clears the way for daily charges to be set so high they amount to an outright ban on older diesel vehicles. We all have to accept that the days of diesel vehicles are over. The UK government must create a billion-pound scrappage fund to encourage diesel owners on to public transport and into a new generation of electric vehicles
Comment from Bluedun on Off-piste fun lures younger skiers away from the Alpine slopes
Teaching adults to ski is now the big problem. My generation did this in the 1980s when skiing was the nearest you could get to a Martini advert lifestyle. Clearly the current generation of twenty or thirty somethings will not be as enthusiastic or ready to stump up cash on a week or two of hard work trying to crack it, and who can blame them. The slopes will be left to those who learnt as kids. The place for disruptive technology is in the teaching of skiing; get twenty somethings having a great time in two days and you will secure the next generations; they will not put up with groups of 12 or more trying to chase after some ski instructor with poor teaching skills, where progress in measured in weeks (or years for most).
Global education crisis demands that we act now — letter from Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser:
Unesco has announced this week that the number of out-of-school children has risen from 61m to 63m globally. Recent events in Nigeria and Ghouta have shown how the worldwide education crisis is worsening. Urgent action needs to be taken now to ensure that children have access to quality education. For too long, the solutions applied by the international community have fallen short. Most large-scale efforts to provide universal primary education became unfinished goals. Well-intentioned people, frustrated by the absence of tangible results, lose their enthusiasm when they find that their initiatives never end up supplying a textbook, or teaching a child to read. The challenges before us might seem insurmountable. But if more champions of education stand up and take part, these problems can be overcome. Despite the depressing figures, change is possible. In 2012, my Foundation, Education Above All, set out to educate 10m out-of-school children around the world. We are now on the cusp of completing this promise. Our experience has shown that dedicated partnerships using multi-sectoral solutions, fostered by strong political commitments, can make progress. I believe that together we can educate all 63m primary-aged out-of-school children. We can do this. And we must.
Why Jay Powell’s Fed taper is not causing tantrums The US central bank is planning to shed trillions in assets, but markets are calm
Instant Insight: The crises engulfing Jared Kushner The US president’s son-in-law poses a threat to US national security
Brexiters adopt the sonic screwdriver strategy If you believe in a technological solution to a problem hard enough, one will appear
Global Insight: Germany’s SPD faces moment of truth Ahead of the alliance result, there is evidence the party has learnt from past debacles
Larry Summers’ blog: The Trump administration’s first CEA report Blaming Obama’s presidency for disappointing economic growth does not fit the facts
Case for increased UK public spending is overwhelming The chancellor should use this month’s Spring Statement to help public services
Free Lunch: A familiar yet strange type of bank The raison d’être of community lenders
Head to Head: Should the US ease regulation on its big banks? Two experts debate whether the Dodd-Frank reforms should be reined in
The Big Read
The Big Read: ‘Black Panther’ brings fresh box office power to Hollywood The success of the big-budget Marvel film has demonstrated the commercial potential for movies with more diverse casts and stories