The farce of antitrust penalties in the financial sector

It has been on the news this week that the Hungarian competition authority (GVH) imposed a record fine on 11 banks that coordinated their actions to dissuade mortgage borrowers from participating in a scheme aimed at lowering the financial burden on home-owners with foreign-currency loans. Details of the case aside, this case made me realise just how farcical it is to impose these hefty fines in an industry, where governments find it acceptable that only gains are privatised and losses are socialised. Read more of this post

Errors in competition policy

When I meet someone who works for competition authorities I often try to get them to answer two questions: (1) which standard of harm they follow as a principle: consumer welfare or total welfare, and (2) when it comes to making inevitable errors, which one would they be less willing to succumb to: type 1 or type 2?

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Are American lawyers more honest than their European counterparts?

Surely it is by no means powerful or conclusive evidence but I came across a very interesting finding, which suggests that in representing mergers in European Commission cases US law firms seem to be more genuine about efficiency defence claims than their EU counterparts. Read more of this post