Brad Ramsay takes a swipe at me in his proto-blog, the NARUC telecom e-mail:
[Bradnote - I think I would use a less complementary [sic] term that "cynic" ....come-on Ray - prevent any private negotiation??? "keep their hands deeply involved".....this kind of rhetoric reeks of the fringe "conspiracy" theorists literature - I don't know a single state commissioner that has any interest at all in preventing private negotiations or that does not really really hope that intermodal competition will take root and eliminate the need for oversight (and along with it - half the real political.......conundrums the current regulatory paradigm presents. Brad]
Sure, Brad, your ex ante incentives to negotiate depend entirely on the conditions under which that agreement will operate. That could well prevent private negotiation, or at least make it very difficult, going so far as to make parties unwilling to negotiate in the first place.. It's not a conspiracy theory. It is a straightforward statement that ex post conditions will affect ex ante incentives -- pretty much a commonplace in the scholarship on contracts.
And what less complimentary term would you use?