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Posts Tagged ‘antitrust laws’

Justice Department’s Antitrust Chief Leaving Post

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 7, 2011

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Ms. Christine Varney is resigning from the Justice Department as assistant attorney general with responsibility for its antitrust enforcement.  Ms. Varney is stepping down after only a little more than two years on the job and will join the private law firm of Swaine & Moore LLP.  It was reported that as a Cravath partner she will be involved with antitrust issues for clients involved with mergers and acquisitions.

During the Clinton Administration, Ms. Varney was an FTC Commissioner.  She then joined the law firm of Hogan & Hartson and represented Netscape in its antitrust battle against Microsoft.

The fact that a high-level Justice Department official is departing is not all that newsworthy.  However, Ms. Varney’s resume is informative and shows not only why the government rarely implements logical strategic visions, but how many of its employees are in conflict with the people they are supposed to be serving.

Ms. Varney is an example of a person moving in and out of government to bettering herself.  After working for the Clinton Administration, Varney landed a job at a prestigious law firm.  Then, when her Democrat party returned to power, Ms. Varney rejoined the government in an even higher level position in the Obama Justice Department.  Now, with little more than two years on the job, it’s back to private practice and more money.

While there is nothing wrong with people bettering themselves, jumping in and out of government to do so cannot be considered public service.  In fact, it is likely that leaving a high-level position in government with less than three years service creates inefficiency and chaos within the agency, costing taxpayers dearly.  In addition, it is likely that Ms. Varney will use the contacts and influence she gained government in ways that conflict with the public good.

Ms. Christine Varney’s resume is unfortunately the norm in government for people in both political parties.  This is a part of the culture of corruption that is Washington, D.D.

Those that are quick to call for increased governmental intervention in the economy and society rarely consider the motivations of the government employees and bureaucrats responsible for implementing the policies.  It is unrealistic to expect those like Varney to place the public good above their own personal gain.


Posted in Corruption, Government Ineptness | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Andrew Cuomo Acts Against Intel

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 6, 2009

a cuomoNew York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has filed an antitrust suit against Intel Corporation, complaining that certain of its practices were anti-competitive.  While this Blog is not familiar with the merits of the case, the timing of the action is not appropriate.

States’ Attorney Generals typically do not challenge national antitrust issues prior to the Federal government acting.  According to antitrust expert John DeQ. Briggs, “It is highly unusual for a state attorney general to take on a national monopoly case before the Feds have acted“.  It is likely that Mr. Cuomo’s motivations relate to his expected run for the Governor of New York in 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Anti-Trust, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »