Posts Tagged ‘level playing field’

U.S.Export-Import Bank Supporters Want a Level Playing Field

October 11, 2015

The Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday October 10-11, 2015


Trade Bank Renewal Gets Push Forward, by Nick Timiroas and Kristina Peterson

WASHINGTON– “A majority of House lawmakers took a rare procedural vote to force a vote later this month on reauthorizing the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a blow to conservative Republicans who want to close the trade bank….

Some 42 Republicans joined with Democrats to reach the 218 signatures needed to force a vote that would renew the Ex-Im Bank’s charter for four more years.  Supporters of the bank say it keeps U.S. firms on a level playing field against foreign competitors that enjoy similar support from their governments; opponents say it puts taxpayers at risk and allows the government to pick winners and losers.”

No one wants a tilted field in playing games, serious games of finance.




The SEC Seeks to Level the Playing Field for Investor

December 31, 2014

The Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, December 27-28

SEC to Close Gap in Filings’ Release

Lawmakers Expressed Concern After Studies Showed Rapid-Fire Traders were Given an Edge on Data

“WASHINGTON–The Securities and Exchange Commission, seeking to level the playing field for all investors, plans to fix a flaw in how it electronically distributes corporate regulatory filings that has allowed rapid-fire traders to get a first look at potentially market-moving news.”

According to this news article, traders can “exploit” the time differential in lag times between direct feeds and those on the agency’s website, not a level playing field.  

For more information about this idiom, please go to http://www.sportsidioms and type in the idiom in the “search” area.


Is the Stock Market a Level Playing Field?

June 23, 2014

The New York Times EDITORIALS Monday, June 23, 2014

The Hidden Cost of Trading Stocks

“There’s no escaping the conclusion that the stock market is not a level playing field where all investors, large and small, have an equal shot at a fair deal.

A recent groundbreaking study found that undetected insider trading occurs in a stunning one-fourth of public-company deals.  Experts have long debated the pros and cons of high-frequency trading, another pervasive practice, but there is no doubt that it gives superfast traders the jump on others in trading stocks.  And the very idea of trading on a public exchange, where stock prices and trading volumes are visible to all, is being eclipsed by private trading of public stocks in 0ff-exchange venues, called dark pools, usually operated by banks.”

In addition, according to this article, stock exchanges pay rebates to brokers for sending them buy and sell orders.  Apparently, the rebates “are corrupting… A study from 2012 estimated that rebates cost individual investors, mutual funds and pension funds as much as $5 billion a year.”

It’s not just athletes who need a level playing field to keep games fair, investors need fair markets.


For Schools, Long Road To a Level Playing Field

May 23, 2014

The New York Times, Business Day, Wednesday, May 31, 2014

For Schools, Long Road To a Level Playing Field, by Eduardo Porter

Economic Scene

“In the American national mythology, there are few more revered ideas than the belief in education’s power to provide every child a shot at success and to overcome entrenched inequality…By the early 20th century, young Americans were much more educated than their peers in almost every European country.

That is, of course, no longer the case.  Every few years, the United States faces the ritual humiliation of seeing how its educational standards trail those of most other industrial countries.  The most recent came in 2012 when tests performed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on 15 year-olds found the United States in 26th place among 34 countries in math, 17th place in reading and 21st place in science.

But perhaps even more disturbing, the report highlighted another trend:  the persistent gulf in the test results between the rich and the poor…But the truth noted the O.E.C.D., is that ‘socioeconomic disadvantage translates more directly into poor education in the United States than is the case in many other countries.’  One of O.E.C.D’s core recommendations: ‘Stop channeling disadvantaged students into a lower-quality education.’…

Addressing the vast disparities between students’ abilities will not be easy…”

Some examples cited are  “a model that blends live and virtual teaching to tailor education to students’ abilities and interests, designing classes based on the ease and speed with which each student works… And it may help (to) move the American system from one focused on basic skills and minimum standards to one seeking to develop higher-order thinking skills, giving teachers and principals much more discretion to experiment with different ways of achieving these goals.

In addition, teacher training institutions need to be upgraded to “prepare teachers to teach what the state expects students to learn,” attracting better qualified students to teach; higher salaries for teachers.”

This long article about inequality in education and possible solutions supports the headline, leveling the playing field for students.

 The idiom leveling the playing field is used in business, the military and many sports.  It is difficult to have a fair game, whether sports, war or business, if the playing field is uneven or tilted one way or another. Of course, the idiom or metaphor comes from field sports.

Chief Justice John Roberts: “Campaigning for Office Is Not a Game”

October 31, 2012

End game, throw the game, ground game, all new game:  These are a few of the metaphors being used to describe this election.

In Jeffry Toobin’s new book, The Oath, about the U.S. Supreme Court and its recent decisions, Chief Justice John Roberts is quoted in  the chapter entitled, Democracy Is Not A Game as follows:

“Leveling the playing field’ can sound like a good thing,”  the chief justice wrote for the majority decision. “But in a democracy, campaigning for office is not a game.  It is a critically important form of speech.  The First Amendment embodies our choice as a Nation that, when it comes to such speech, the guiding principle is freedom–the ‘unfettered interchange of ideas’–not whatever the State may view as fair.”  The court stated that an Arizona law was a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Toobin: “This case concerned the constitutionality of The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act, which had been passed by the voters in 1998, to address the state’s appalling history of political corruption. This fairly modest reform established a system of optional public funding of campaigns for certain state offices.  A candidate who chose to accept public funding would receive extra money from the state if his or her privately funded opponent exceeded a certain set spending limit.  The basic idea was simple: to keep elections competitive if a privately funded candidate was vastly out spending a publicly funded one.  The question in the case was whether the First Amemdment permitted the government subsidies.”

The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court used two sports idioms in this comment:  level playing field, which other justices had used, and “campaigning for office is not a game.”  Idiomatic terms such as level playing field and a game are pervasive in American English.

A Level Playing Field for Rebels in Libya?

March 11, 2011

New York Times OP-ED, Thursday, March 10, 2011

Libya Calling, by Hisham Matar:

According to Mr. Matar, who immigrated to the U.S.,  the Libyan rebel force have “extraordinary courage and humanity”, but need better weapons, and hope for a no-flight zone.  He adds: “And Philippe Sands, a law professor at University College London, told me  that the recently adopted Security Council resolution that imposes an arms embargo on Libya needs to be amended so that the rebels can get the equipment they need to ‘level the playing field’ and ‘properly protect themselves.’

The term “level the playing field” is used in war and sports.  To learn more about the term, go to <>

Condo Buyer in New York City Wants a Level Playing Field

February 13, 2011

The New York Times, Saturday, February, 12, 2011, Christine Haughney

“Fight over 109 Square Feet in Condo Shines Light on How Homes Are Measured”

A buyer wanted to buy a condo advertised as having 743 square feet, but when the buyer measured it, after paying a deposit, it only measured 634 feet.  The seller refused to reduce the purchase price by the percentage of the difference. The buyer doesn’t think this is right: “We’re trying to do whatever we can so that it’s a level playing field.”  

A level playing field helps in sports and business.