Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Foreign National About to Run a Key Bureau of a Top U.S. Regulatory Agency

This is off the charts. Dr. Alison Oldale will join the Federal Trade Commission as Deputy Director for Antitrust in the Bureau of Economics after serving as the Chief Economist for the United Kingdom’s Competition Commission. This is a high level position in the FTC.

S.M. Oliva brought this to my attention and here is some of what he wrote on the subject:
Did we lose a war? Or have we just run out of pro-antitrust economists in the USA?....The Bureau of Economics is the FTC’s clearinghouse for reviews of mergers and other interventionist policies. Most of the Bureau’s work is carefully shielded from public view. So on top of this institutional secrecy we now have a senior official whose loyalties are with a foreign government...
As Olivia makes clear, this isn't a question about immigration, or allowing workers into the country. It is just extremely odd that a top U.K. regulator will now have an impact on United States mergers and acquisitions and get to undersatnd how the innner workings of the FTC function.

The U.K. Competition Commission knows her role over here will be a long-tern plus for the U.K. In a statement they wrote:
Whilst we will be sorry to lose her services for a while, this secondment will bring longer-term benefits for us and further strengthen our relationship with the FTC.
How can she be considered anything less than a spy? What the hell is the FTC thinking? Certainly not about the interests of America. There is a major question as to whether the FTC serves any useful function in the first place, but to bring a foreign national into the decision making process at the top levels of an agency that may in the future deal with the opposing interests of the foreign national's home country is just bizarre.


  1. Considering that a Homeland Security Chief was a dual citizen (credible allegation, I didn't actually see his passport), why not anti-trust too?

    After all, post Wikileaks, nationalism is so passe....

    [sarcasm off]

  2. You didn't actually believe the US won it's war of independence, did you?

    What is better to rule?

    A. A group of serfs who are constantly resisting their masters

    B. A group of serfs who actually believe they're free and are therefore motivated to develop and refine the implements of their, and future third party's, bondage.

  3. Don't worry...if she's anything like all the other transnational British public sector bureaucrats out there, the last thing she'll be thinking of is the British national interest.

  4. Dr Lani Kass.
    This crap has been going on for a while.

  5. Might this have something to do with the coming trans-Atlantic anti-trust assault on Google? The Euros have already begun, and, per the WSJ of today, the FTC has launched a "wide-ranging, formal investigation" into whether or not Google is too profitable, too dynamic, too efficient and too zealous in looking after the best interests of its stockholders.