I was hired by Wendy Gramm to replace her as Assistant Director of the Bureau of Economics for Consumer Protection when Wendy became Bureau Director. The approach we were taking, relying on explicit economic analysis of law, was relatively new to the Commission and fairly controversial. I had been a professor before joining the FTC and had taught Law and Economics at UGA to law students and economics students. (I later did the same thing at Emory.)
Tim Muris, the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, thought it would be useful for senior Bureau attorneys to be exposed to a systematic formal economic analysis of consumer protection law, and so I spent a few hours a day for a week or two teaching a Law and Economics course to FTC attorneys. I don’t know if the attorneys appreciated the course, but I do know that they liked me better as a professor than as an economist applying economic analysis to their proposed cases. I also know that Tim appreciated what I did because when he returned to the Commission as Chairman he and Howard Beales, the Bureau Director, hired me to teach the same course that I had taught when I worked at the FTC.
This was just one example of my returning to the FTC; every two or three years I seem to return to present a paper or attend a conference. Most of my colleagues from my time at the agency are retired (I recently attended Lou Silversin’s retirement party) but at least two of my doctoral students (John Yun and James Cooper) work or have worked at the agency, so I still have ties there.
—Paul H. Rubin