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February 22, 2022
Making The Antitrust Division Competitive: A Look At Capacity As Biden Revitalizes Enforcement
The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (ATR) is, along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the primary regulator of antitrust law and is responsible for ensuring markets’ competitiveness. In that capacity, it investigates corporate consolidation and allegations of collusion and anticompetitive practices that undermine the free market. ATR is also responsible for supervising mergers and acquisitions to ensure that companies cannot establish monopolies. While both ATR and the FTC share this objective, the two divide jurisdiction based on industry. ATR also investigates and prosecutes criminal antitrust violations.
November 02, 2021
Climate Capacity Crisis: Attrition at Climate Agencies and Immediate Steps to Address It
It has been over nine months since President Donald Trump left office, but on climate policy the federal government continues to show the scars from his disastrous presidency. At a moment when we do not have even a second to waste to avoid catastrophic climate change, agencies are struggling to build back better after attacks on scientific integrity and agency budgets left them without sufficient staff capacity and expertise. While the Biden administration has consistently affirmed its support for the federal workforce through rhetoric and action, New York Times reporting from this summer makes clear that the rebuilding is still not happening fast enough.
July 22, 2021
Anti-MonopolyIndependent AgenciesIntellectual PropertyPharmaTrade Policy
The Industry Agenda: Big Pharma
In 2019, Gallup found that the pharmaceutical industry was “the most poorly regarded industry in Americans’ eyes,” and rightfully so. Pharmaceutical companies often set drug prices exorbitantly high, including life-saving drugs which patients literally cannot go without, such as insulin. This includes older drugs that are cheaper to produce — such as epinephrine (emergency medication used to treat severe allergic reactions and asthma attacks). These firms achieve this by stifling competition at the consumer’s expense, jealously protecting their money-makers from the generics which the pharmaceutical system is supposed to develop after a patent expires.
June 02, 2021
Working Paper: New Federal Reserve Governors Must Deploy All of the Institution’s Tools to Advance the Public Interest
Over the course of the next eight months, Biden will have the opportunity to reshape the Federal Reserve Board of Governors with nominations for up to four of its seven seats, including the positions of Vice Chair of Supervision, Vice Chair, and Chair (listed in the order they will become vacant). In choosing nominees for these posts, it will be essential that Biden consider the full weight of the Federal Reserve’s immense power and select individuals who are ready and willing to deploy every ounce of it to advance the public interest.
March 29, 2021
White House Personal Financial Disclosures
The Revolving Door Project has been requesting personal financial disclosures, or Form 278e’s, since the White House made them available. While we are still waiting to receive many requests back, we wanted to share the ones we have received with the public as quickly as possible by summarizing relevant findings for each White House appointee.
March 17, 2021
Elias Alsbergas Vishal Shankar
2020 Election/TransitionDefenseExecutive BranchForeign PolicyRevolving Door
The Industry Agenda: Military-Industrial Complex
A powerful collection of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors are shaping American foreign policy by lobbying policymakers and funding hawkish think tanks to keep U.S. defense spending the highest in the world. Their influence-peddling efforts prioritize the defense industry’s profits over countless lives and pressing domestic priorities like universal healthcare. Our Elias Alsbergas and Vishal Shankar explain how the military-industrial complex seeks to influence the executive branch and which defense industry allies are seeking jobs in the Biden Administration.
February 17, 2021
The Industry Agenda: Fossil Fuel
The fossil fuel industry is one of the most notoriously profit-hungry and planet-destroying sets of corporations to exist today. The “fossil fuel industry” includes oil, gas, (yes, even the “natural” kind), and coal companies, as well as subsidiary companies involved in the extraction processes for these materials: land and off-shore drilling, fracking, and underground and surface mining.
February 11, 2021
The Industry Agenda: Fintech
Since fintech apps provide a wide range of financial services, there are many potential harms to leaving the industry largely under-regulated — especially since many fintech and cryptocurrency firms design their products to narrowly evade existing laws that define certain types of financial products, and thus, the regulations to which they are subject.
February 02, 2021
The Industry Agenda: Big Tech
RDP’s Industry Agenda series will explore how different industries seek to influence executive personnel decisions.
December 02, 2020
Important Economic Policy Jobs Which Remain Unannounced
These positions will dictate whether a Biden administration’s worker, regulatory, and enforcement agendas succeed, fail, or are smothered before they are even initiated
May 12, 2020
A Brief History of the SBA
In the past month, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has gained widespread media attention. This research report reviews the little-known agency’s history.
May 11, 2020
International Antitrust Response to Coronavirus
The Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act would preemptively stop harmful mergers that not only affect American consumers, but economies all over the world that rely on the same global supply chains. Undoubtedly, companies looking to acquire struggling businesses during the pandemic will try to take advantage of the “failing firm” argument to justify acquisitions. But what actions have lawmakers and antitrust enforcement officials in other countries undertaken to prevent predatory mergers while businesses struggle?
May 01, 2020
The SBA's Office of Advocacy: What is it and Why is it Relevant?
The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy (“Advocacy”) is a little known corner of the executive branch that wields a surprising amount of power, particularly in the regulatory process. This research memo explores the powers Advocacy possesses, how the office gained this power, and the potential Advocacy may have in a progressive administration to be a strong anti-consolidation voice in the regulatory process.