February 17 roundup
- Mortgage robo-signing settlement not actually as punitive toward the banks as you might think, succeeds in sticking costs onto various parties not at table [FT, more (US taxpayers could wind up covering much of write-down costs through HAMP program); Felix Salmon (write-downs of underwater mortgages should not be assessed at face value); Mark Calabria, Cato and more, Bloomberg (banks managing to offload much of the cramdown onto investors such as pension funds); Daniel Fisher/Forbes one, two, three (banks get covert benefits, politicos get social engineering and fees — shades of the collusive tobacco settlement!); Above the Law (Schneiderman steers money to legal services programs); Linette Lopez, BI (banks still exposed on many issues). More: Hans Bader, John Steele Gordon.
- “Burned at mediation by my own Facebook post” [Stuart Mauney, Abnormal Use]
- As anti-discrimination law advances, religious liberty retreats [Roger Pilon, Cato] Two views on the birth control mandate [Cathy Young, David Henderson] More: Adler, Frum.
- Motel Caswell case from Tewksbury, Mass. heads to court, could test forfeiture law [Balko] More: Washington Post editorial.
- Which is more unreasonable, OSHA regulation or FAA’s? Open to dispute [John Cochrane, Grumpy Economist]
- Indiana becomes a right to work state. On to Michigan next? [Shikha Dalmia, Reason]
- Warning! Tale of trial psychologists in wizard garb comes from a sinister source, namely me ["In the News," forensic psychologist Karen Franklin, handsome illustration swiped from Cato site]