Duke Digest — October 25, 2013

Duke Digest — October 25, 2013

In Today’s Issue:

  • Sanford Professor Addresses Risks of Expanding Carbon Markets
  • COMMENTARY: Sanford Professor on Health Care Funding
  • Task Force Co-Chaired by Duke Law Professor Recommends ‘Better Way Forward’ on Volcker Rule
  • Editorial: University Research Benefits State’s Economy, Creates Jobs
  • Obama Names Duke Alum Zients to Oversee Healthcare.gov Improvements

SANFORD PROFESSOR ADDRESSES RISKS OF EXPANDING CARBON MARKETS
William Pizer, professor of public policy, economics and environment at the Sanford School of Public Policy and Faculty Fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, has released a paper, drawing upon his experience as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy addressing potential pitfalls to the development of emissions trading schemes (ETSs) for global greenhouse emissions. He specifically examines how the “linking” of national and subnational markets to expand the domestic carbon markets.

Pizer concludes that governments need to consider how to plan for delinking when making arrangements to link, akin to provisions in private contracts that establish terms for withdrawal from an agreement.

Read More:
Carbon Markets and the Future of International Climate Policy (hks.harvard.edu)
Global Climate Investment Hits Plateau (csmonitor.org)

COMMENTARY: SANFORD PROFESSOR ON HEALTH CARE FUNDING
Don Taylor, associate professor of public policy, says in an interview with the Triangle Business Journal that the “piecemeal” funding of the Affordable Care Act is partially to blame for the government gridlock.

If the ACA was paid for in its entirety through one tax, it would be incredibly difficult to do away with in one swoop, Taylor says. However, because funding for the program comes from so many areas, it’s easier for opponents to isolate them one by one.

Read More:
Duke professor: ACA’s piecemeal funding led to government gridlock (bizjournals.com)

 

TASK FORCE CO-CHAIRED BY DUKE LAW PROFESSOR RECOMMENDS ‘BETTER WAY FORWARD’ ON VOLCKER RULE
The Capital Markets Task Force, which is part of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative, released a new report highlighting a path forward on the Volcker Rule and the Lincoln Amendment. The report proposes six recommendations to help regulators better implement the Volcker Rule and concludes that a well-crafted Volcker Rule may eliminate the need for the Lincoln Amendment.

James Cox, Duke Law Professor, says “As President Obama pushes regulators to complete the Volcker Rule by year’s end, the complexity and lack of clarity of the regulations proposed by the agencies remain a work in progress. We suggest a few central ideas for how regulators should approach their final regulations: focus on activities and not individual transactions; use a data-driven, metrics-based approach that fits specific asset classes and isn’t a one-size-fits-all model; and phase in the implementation of Volcker Rule regulations to monitor each asset class.”

Read More:
New BPC Report Recommends Alternative Plan for Implementing Volcker Rule (bipartisanpolicy.org)

 

EDITORIAL: UNIVERSITY RESEARCH BENEFITS STATE’S ECONOMY, CREATES JOBS
Earlier this week, the National Institutes of Health announced that they were awarding over $100 million in grants to medical research at Duke University and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. The News & Observer followed this announcement with an editorial highlighting the way these grants, like others before them, will continue to encourage economic development with the Research Triangle Park. It says, in part,

“These universities and, for that matter, most research universities more than “earn their keep.” Those hundreds of millions of dollars support thousands of jobs. And when important discoveries are made – and they are at N.C. State, UNC-CH and Duke – they make a difference to the world.”

Read More:
Huge grant spotlights how universities benefit state’s economies (newsobserver.com)
OBAMA NAMES DUKE ALUM ZIENTS TO OVERSEE HEALTHCARE.GOV IMPROVEMENTS
The White House has enlisted former budget official Jeffrey Zients (T ’88) to help fix the online enrollment process under the Affordable Care Act, White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed Tuesday.

Zients, who is slated to take over the helm of the White House National Economic Council, has also served as acting director of OMB.

Read More:
White House Enlists Jeffrey Zients to Help Fix Healthcare.gov  (WashingtonPost)