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Planet Money

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The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.

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#185 Planet Money: Sex, Drugs And Regulation

June 11th, 2010

Episode 278 of 910 episodes

Economists have been writing for decades about "regulatory capture" -- the idea that regulators are "captured" by the industry they're supposed to be watching over, and wind up serving industry's interests. In a famous paper published in 1971, the economist George Stigler wrote: ...as a rule, regulation is acquired by the industry and is designed and operated primarily for its benefit. That notion still holds sway. In the years leading up to the savings and loan crisis of the late '80s and early '90s, for example, the industry persuaded Congress to make the regulations more lenient. A decade later, Congress went along with another industry push to leave many derivatives largely unregulated, and to allow consolidation in the finance industry.

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