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Housing Bubble Déjà Vu
An op-ed by Mark Roe
. The 2008-2009 financial crisis exposed a serious weakness in the global financial system’s architecture: an overnight market for mortgage-backed securities that could not handle the implosion of a housing bubble. Some nine years later, that weakness has not been addressed adequately. When the crisis erupted, companies and investors in the United States were lending their extra cash overnight to banks and other financial firms, which then had to repay the loans, plus interest, the following morning. Because bank deposit insurance covered only up to $100,000, those with millions to store often preferred the overnight market, using ultra-safe long-term US Treasury obligations as collateral.
Wisconsin Public Radio
How Social Media Divides Democracy – And What To Do About It (audio)
An interview with Cass Sunstein
. A well-functioning democracy depends on people interacting with a wide range of people and ideas. As the internet and social media grow ever more sophisticated and targeted, they threaten democracy by creating “echo chambers” and “information cocoons.” So says a Harvard professor of behavioral economics, who offers practical and legal solutions.
Lawmakers Look to Curb Foreign Influence in State Elections
Amid concerns that Russia helped sway the 2016 presidential election, several states are considering legislation that would bar companies with significant foreign ties from contributing money in state campaigns. A long-standing federal statute bars noncitizens and foreign companies from donating directly to candidates or political parties at the federal, state and local levels. Another law prohibits businesses from directly donating to federal-level candidates or political parties. But the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case cleared the way for corporations and unions to pay for political ads made independently of candidates’ campaigns...“The board of a public company generally conceives of themselves as working for the shareholders,” said John C. Coates
, a professor at Harvard Law School who testified in favor of the bill in Connecticut.
‘Don’t Waste, Donate:’ New report shows how government can help reduce food waste
It seems like a simple solution: Companies with excess food should just donate it to people in need. So why don’t they? Maybe they’re worried about liability. Perhaps they can’t afford to transport the food to where it will do the most good. Or, they’re unsure about the expiration-date labeling and would rather not chance giving away past-due goods. So what’s to be done? Plenty, according to a report released Thursday, March 9, by The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Natural Resources Defense Council...“If even a quarter of the recommendations in the report are embraced and implemented, millions of pounds of wholesome food will make it to those in need instead of clogging up our landfills,” said Emily Broad Leib
, director of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic and one of the report’s main authors.
New Travel Ban Can’t Stop Talking About the First
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. Are there do-overs in the White House? That’s the question that will determine the fate of President Donald Trump’s new and improved executive order on immigration from six majority-Muslim countries. The state of Hawaii has filed suit challenging the order on essentially the same grounds that the federal courts used to block the first iteration. Whether the second order is similarly blocked depends on whether the court looks solely to the content of the new order or to the entire context of its birth.
The High Cost of Rolling Back Fuel Standards
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein
. A Republican president takes office, vowing to eliminate job-killing regulations issued by his Democratic predecessor. In his first weeks, the automobile industry publicly asks him to eliminate specific regulations that are, in its view, crushingly burdensome. He agrees. Sound familiar? It should. But we’re speaking of 1981, not 2017, and of Ronald Reagan’s decision to repeal one of the central achievements of the Jimmy Carter administration: a rule designed to reduce highway deaths and injuries by requiring “passive restraints,” such as airbags, in motor vehicles.
Harvard Law to begin accepting GRE scores, not just the LSAT
Harvard Law School soon will allow students to apply for admission using their scores from the GRE standardized test, a break from tradition that's meant to draw a wider range of candidates to the school. For decades, Harvard and other law schools have required students to take the Law School Admissions Test, known as the LSAT, to be considered. Other graduate programs often rely on the Graduate Record Examination, commonly called the GRE..."Harvard Law School is continually working to eliminate barriers as we search for the most talented candidates for law and leadership," Martha Minow
, the school's dean, said in a statement. "For many students, preparing for and taking both the GRE and the LSAT is unaffordable."
The Washington Post
Could lawsuits force Trump to give up his businesses?
The Wall Street Journal reports: A lawsuit filed Thursday by a Washington wine bar targets President Donald Trump’s lease with the federal government to rent the Old Post Office downtown, with the aim of forcing him to divest himself from the Trump International Hotel operating in the historic building...The Cork Wine Bar plaintiffs could, of course, add a claim under the emoluments clause, claiming government representatives pay for hotel rooms, meals and banquet facilities that are prohibited. “An emoluments clause complaint against the president in his official capacity would be fully consistent with the unfair competition claim they have now filed against Donald J. Trump in his capacity as a private businessman,” constitutional litigator Larry Tribe