PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • August 13, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

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  • January 11, 2018

    By Frank Vlossak

    Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have worked toward regulatory reform that includes the review, revision, and repeal of existing regulations, with a focus on rules promulgated by the Obama Administration. Congress has played a key role in this effort, through the use of the Congressional Review Act to repeal rules finalized in the waning months of the prior Administration, as well as one rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017.

    President Trump signed a series of executive orders in the early months of his presidency that are propelling the deregulatory efforts of federal agencies. These executive orders: set a cap limiting regulations in Fiscal Year 2017 to zero net cost; provide agencies with a framework for limiting new regulations and identifying existing rules to repeal or revise; direct review and revision or repeal of the “Waters of the United States” rule issued by the Obama Administration; and require review and reform of energy and climate-related regulations.

     

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  • October 10, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On October 10, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units”. The NPRM would rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power generation sector sources, namely coal and natural gas power plants.

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W&J Publications

Insights on Current Policy Issues

In 2006, 23 Republican Senators joined one Independent and 38 Democrats in voting to approve sweeping immigration reform legislation that would have included a pathway to citizenship for the 11-12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. Republican President George W. Bush issued a statement praising the Senate for its action. Ultimately, however, the legislative effort faltered when the House took no further action on the issueOn Friday, December 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a "Progress Report" on its study of the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Congress, through the conference report for the "Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010" (H.Rept. 111-316, P.L. 111-88) requested that the EPA conduct a study on hydraulic fracturing.

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On Friday, December 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a "Progress Report" on its study of the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Congress, through the conference report for the "Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010" (H.Rept. 111-316, P.L. 111-88) requested that the EPA conduct a study on hydraulic fracturing.

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Following the November elections, attention is returning to a series of pending federal regulatory initiatives targeting hydraulic fracturing and oil and natural gas drilling and production.

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Proponents of the Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) argue that the average investor in individual stocks will not feel the impact of this kind of tax because such a small tax on a securities transaction is almost nothing for an individual investor. Proponents also argue that an FTT tax has the potential to raise billions in revenue, which they say could decrease market volatility by stabilizing market prices and eliminating the adverse effects felt by the market due to high frequency trading. This document was prepared by Tess K. Illos, Eric I. Robins, David E. Franasiak and Joel G. Oswald.

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Presidential transitions in which one party takes over from the other can trigger regulatory activity in both the outgoing and incoming administrations, designed to further each President's policy priorities. New Presidents have few simple options for rescinding regulations that were finalized by outgoing administrations. While the Congressional Review Act allows for review and repeal of regulations, the successful use of this process requires cooperation by the legislative and executive branches, and action must be taken within the statutory deadlines. This document was prepared by Jessica Hoppe and Frank Vlossak.

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On January 25, 2012 the European Commission proposed comprehensive changes to the EU's 1995 data protection rules to strengthen online privacy rights. The proposal is a response to growing technological changes and the fact that the 27 EU Member States all implemented the 1995 data protection rules differently, resulting in divergences in enforcement. This document was prepared by Rebecca L. Konst and David E. Franasiak.

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Financial transaction taxes (FTTs) refers to a group of taxes imposed on taxable financial transactions, such as buying or selling securities or currency, with an objective to discourage excessive speculation. The tax was first initiated in the U.K. as a form of stamp duty on the London Stock Exchange. The tax came to the U.S. in 1936, as a revenue raising mechanism during the Great Depression. During that time, a British economist named John Maynard Keynes, proposed levying a form of this tax on Wall Street transactions, because he believed that the tax would curtail financial traders from continuing to employ excessive speculation and consequently increasing market volatility. Thereafter, James Tobin, an American economist developed the idea of a currency transaction tax, now deemed the "Tobin Tax." A Tobin Tax is a tax on spot conversions and is intended to place a penalty on short term currency exchange transactions.  This document was created by Tess K. Illos with contributions from Joel G. Oswald, Rebecca L. Konst, Eric I. Robins and David E. Franasiak.

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On April 25, 2012, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced the Investment Adviser Oversight Act of 2012 (IAOA). The IAOA (H.R. 4624) is intended to provide for more frequent examinations of retail investment advisers. Joel G. Oswald, Daisy A. Tomaselli, Eric I. Robins and David E. Franasiak assisted in the preparation of this document.

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On April 19, Williams & Jensen Principal David Franasiak gave a presentation on "The American Energy Renaissance". Frank Vlossak assisted in the preparation of this presentation.

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On March 25, Williams & Jensen Principal David Franasiak spoke before the meeting of the International Stock Exchange Executives Emeriti on "The Regulatory Landscape – Current Regulatory Proposals and the Issues Raised". Joel Oswald, Eric Robins and Rebecca Konst assisted in the preparation of this presentation.

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PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • August 13, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • January 11, 2018

    By Frank Vlossak

    Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have worked toward regulatory reform that includes the review, revision, and repeal of existing regulations, with a focus on rules promulgated by the Obama Administration. Congress has played a key role in this effort, through the use of the Congressional Review Act to repeal rules finalized in the waning months of the prior Administration, as well as one rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017.

    President Trump signed a series of executive orders in the early months of his presidency that are propelling the deregulatory efforts of federal agencies. These executive orders: set a cap limiting regulations in Fiscal Year 2017 to zero net cost; provide agencies with a framework for limiting new regulations and identifying existing rules to repeal or revise; direct review and revision or repeal of the “Waters of the United States” rule issued by the Obama Administration; and require review and reform of energy and climate-related regulations.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • October 10, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On October 10, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units”. The NPRM would rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power generation sector sources, namely coal and natural gas power plants.

    Read...

    Read More
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