“Administration plans to strengthen antitrust rules”

That's the headline and Greg Mankiw comments.  My point is a simple one: if this administration is so pro-science, should they not attempt to move major antitrust trials away from the jury system?

Some commentators are suggesting that the demonstrated political clout of the banking lobby suggests a growing need for antitrust enforcement.  Yet the pre-crash banking system was not a prime candidate for legal strictures on the grounds of competition policy.  Citigroup arguably is too big in absolute terms, and had too many contacts in high places, but antitrust policy, and the underlying theory and legal precedents, puts far more emphasis on relative market share.  In fact the unfolding of the crisis is an object lesson in how antitrust policy doesn't target the real competitive abuses much at all.  Furthermore the sin of Citigroup has been to lose money and become insolvent (or nearly so), not successful monopolization.  Those are close to being exact opposites.


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