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Daily Archives: June 13, 2014

Bank Profitability and Debit Card Interchange Regulation

Kay, Benjamin S. and Manuszak, Mark D. and Vojtech, Cindy M., Bank Profitability and Debit Card Interchange Regulation: Bank Responses to the Durbin Amendment (April 2, 2014). Available for download at SSRN:

The Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 alters the competitive structure of the debit card payment processing industry and caps debit card interchange fees for banks with over $10 billion in assets. Market participants predicted that noninterest income and total bank income would fall but that account fees would rise to offset the loss of income. Some participants also predicted that banks would cut costs in response to the law by reducing staff and shutting down branches. Using a difference-in-differences testing strategy, we show that debit interchange fee income and noninterest income falls for treated banks. We also find evidence that banks were able to partially offset this loss with deposit fees. We find no evidence of cost reduction by treated banks nor that banks strategically avoided the $10 billion threshold. We argue that these effects are consistent with predictions from theory.”

NOAA Annual Greenhouse Gas Index

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, James.H.Butler; Stephen.A.Montzka; Updated Spring 2014. “The Annual Green House Gas Index (AGGI) is a measure of the warming influence of long-lived trace gases and how that influence is changing each year. The index was designed to enhance the connection between scientists and society by providing a normalized standard that can be easily understood… Continue Reading

Early Cell Phone Update Plans: Are They Worth It?

Via “It seems that right after you get a new cell phone, a newer one with improved features comes out. Standard mobile service contracts allow you to upgrade after two years. Several major carriers are offering a new type of contract that allows you to upgrade sooner. While standard phone contracts require you to pay… Continue Reading

How America Saves 2014: report on defined contribution plans at Vanguard

How America Saves 2014: “This comprehensive report analyzes the saving, investing, and account activity trends in defined contribution (DC) plans at Vanguard. The report offers useful insights into current issues affecting DC plans, including employer contribution trends, automatic plan features, use of target-date funds, and use of advice services.” Continue Reading

US cancer survivors face significant economic burden

“U.S. cancer survivors face significant economic burdens due to growing medical costs, missed work, and reduced productivity, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “Cancer survivors face physical, emotional, psychosocial, employment and financial challenges as a result of their cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said… Continue Reading

World Press Trends: Print and Digital Together Increasing Newspaper Audiences

“Print and digital combined are increasing audiences for newspapers globally, but digital revenues are not keeping pace, posing a risk for newspaper businesses and the societies they serve, the annual World Press Trends survey released Monday by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) revealed. “Unless we crack the revenue issue, and provide… Continue Reading

NYT – U.S. Economic Recovery Looks Distant as Growth Stalls

Binyamin Appelbaum: “Recessions are always painful, but the Great Recession that ran from late 2007 to the middle of 2009 may have inflicted a new kind of pain: an era of slower growth. It has been five years since the official end of that severe economic downturn. The nation’s total annual output has moved substantially above… Continue Reading

U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress

CRS – U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress, May 5, 2014 “North America is experiencing a boom in crude oil supply, primarily due to the growth of heavy crude production in the Canadian oil sands1and the recent expansion of shale oil production in North Dakota, Montana, and Texas. North American production… Continue Reading

U.S. recovery could be strengthened by key reforms, OECD says

“Economic recovery in the United States is stronger than in most OECD countries, but it will remain sluggish unless new reforms are launched to boost growth, according to OECD’s latest Economic Survey of the United States. According to the OECD Survey, the labour market is not yet back to normal. Unemployment has declined rapidly, but many discouraged… Continue Reading

Autonomy Research for Civil Aviation: Toward a New Era of Flight

National Research Council: “The development and application of increasingly autonomous (IA) systems for civil aviation is proceeding at an accelerating pace, driven by the expectation that such systems will return significant benefits in terms of safety, reliability, efficiency, affordability, and/or previously unattainable mission capabilities. IA systems range from current automatic systems such as autopilots and… Continue Reading