Tax inversions and Ronald Coase

Ronald H. Coase Pfizer and Allergan called off their $150 billion merger this morning.  What caused these two companies to call the whole thing off? The headline reason for not going through with the transaction was that the Treasury Department changed the rules on tax inversions.  A tax inversion is a situation where a US-headquartered company, in this case Pfizer, merges with a … [Read more...]

Remembering Thalidomide: In Praise of Regulations and Bureaucrats

The front page of this morning’s New York Times carried an obituary for Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey.  The name wasn’t familiar to me, but I knew the story for which she was famous: blocking the approval of thalidomide for use in the United States.  As the Times points out, by September 1960, “The drug had already been sold to pregnant women in Europe for morning sickness, and the application seemed … [Read more...]