New York Attorney General Grapples to Regulate New Web-based Businesses in Old Ways

The New York Attorney General (AG) had an op-ed in the New York Times presenting a curious mix of resistance to change, insistence on regulating new things in old way, acknowledgement that web-based businesses create some value and regulators can’t always enforce rules intelligently, and sprinkled now and again with the barely disguised threat that regulators will not … More New York Attorney General Grapples to Regulate New Web-based Businesses in Old Ways

New York State Also Moves Quickly on Price Gougers

Michael Giberson The New York Attorney General’s office takes action against 13 gas station owners in the state for price gouging. Like last week’s prompt response by New Jersey, this is unusually quick work for price gouging cases. A few quotes from the AG’s press release: NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today … More New York State Also Moves Quickly on Price Gougers

Headline: “Gov. Christie Expects Property Taxes to Rise in Sandy-ravaged Areas”

Michael Giberson At least the Governor understands that emergencies can drive costs up. We’ll see if this understanding goes beyond the expenditure of public funds to include excess costs faced by small business in New Jersey once the state gets around to prosecuting price gouging cases in earnest. Christie tax story here. One example of … More Headline: “Gov. Christie Expects Property Taxes to Rise in Sandy-ravaged Areas”

Gasoline Supply Chain Stories in Post-sandy New Jersey and New York

Michael Giberson Edward McAllister and David Sheppard, with Reuters, have a great story on the connection between disaster preparedness and the nature of retailer ownership. They report that corporately-owned retailers, such as convenience-store chain WaWa and vertically-integrated gasoline refiner/retailer Hess, drew on corporate resources in advance of the storm to be ready to return stores … More Gasoline Supply Chain Stories in Post-sandy New Jersey and New York

Columnist Alleges Post-sandy Pizza Price Gouging

Micheal Giberson I’m fascinated by this story by Karin Price Mueller, a columnist for The Star-Ledger, about post-Sandy price gouging. Here is the shortened version of the main episode: But after more than 48 hours without electricity …, my three children and I wanted a change of scenery. We went across town to a friend’s … More Columnist Alleges Post-sandy Pizza Price Gouging

New Jersey Moves Rapidly on Price Gouging Investigations

Michael Giberson Something new in the realm of price gouging law enforcement: speedy action. Frequently states begin investigations of consumer complaints only after the emergency is over, conclude investigations months later, and then begin negotiating some sort of settlement with accused stations. You may recall that New Jersey only finally reached a conclusion in its … More New Jersey Moves Rapidly on Price Gouging Investigations

Mark Thoma on Price Gouging

Michael Giberson At Fiscal Times, economist Mark Thoma discusses price gouging and fairness and capitalism. I hoped Thoma had provided the thoughtful defense of price gouging restrictions that John Carney was looking for. Thoma didn’t really–he had a weightier topic in mind and price gouging was just a lever he used to pry open the … More Mark Thoma on Price Gouging

Thomas Sowell on Price Gouging

Michael Giberson An excerpt from a Thomas Sowell column on price gouging: Charges of “price gouging” usually arise when prices are significantly higher than what people have been used to…. This raises questions that go to the heart of economics: What are prices for? What role do they play in the economy? Prices are not … More Thomas Sowell on Price Gouging

The One-sided Debate over Price Gouging

Michael Giberson John Carney proposes declaration of free-trade zones for gasoline in shortage-afflicted areas. Prices could stay regulated elsewhere, but consumers and merchants would gain the option to trade at higher prices within the zones. Great idea, but there is zero chance that very visible politicians will want to be upstaged by an invisible hand, … More The One-sided Debate over Price Gouging

List of State Anti-price Gouging Laws

Michael Giberson Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have anti-price gouging laws In the wake of “Superstorm Sandy” there has been a lot of writing on price gouging. Constantine von Hoffman, CBS Moneywatch, said in his column that only seven of 13 states struck by the storm had laws against price gouging, but he … More List of State Anti-price Gouging Laws