“Well written and an interesting perspective.” Clan Rossi --- “Your article is too good about Japanese business pushing nuclear power.” Consulting Group --- “Thank you for the article. It was quite useful for me to wrap up things quickly and effectively.” Taylor Johnson, Credit Union Lobby Management --- “Great information! I love your blog! You always post interesting things!” Jonathan N.

Friday, November 2, 2012

E.U. Directives: Applicability to American Federalism

Far from having gone off the court to an easy retirement in the Bahamas, U.S. Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens found a calling in advocating the addition of four words to the U.S. constitution, here put in italics: “The laws of the United States . . . shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges and other public officials in every state shall be bound thereby.” While the proposal seems innocent enough, and even a matter of progress after the fashion of the E.U. Stevens’ rationale befits the more general shift at the time from federalism to consolidation in American governance.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires, available at Amazon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wiley Punishing Resellers: Beyond Profits

Publishers sell English-language textbooks at lower rates in developing countries. Such “cut-rate foreign goods” are a staple on e-Bay. In late October 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on a case that pits the practice against the claims of publishers of copyright infringement. The case began when Wiley accused a USC doctoral student of copyright infringement and won a $600,000 judgment. The student not being able to afford the judgment, Wiley successfully urged the judge to take the student’s golf clubs and his computer after his graduation—as if sending the student to his room without dinner even though the vase is still broken. Clearly, the clubs and computer could not come even close to covering the judgment. Given the lack of publicity on the particulars, I doubt that the terms were even designed to be a deterrent. If I am correct, the motive comes from more of a “stick it to him” mentality. Whereas a legal analysis of the case is doubtless most typical, I want to try to uncover the sordid nature of this mentality behind the “clubs and computer” slap-down.

The full essay has been incorporated into On the Arrogance of False Entitlement: A Nietzschean Critique of Business Ethics and Management, available at Amazon.

German Conservatives Ease Up on Greece

During the summer of 2012, it was all too easy, especially for financial analysts (whose expertise is on finance rather than politics), to summarily conclude that the E.U. was not capable of keeping the states of Greece and Spain from default. Perhaps the human brain has an innate proclivity to think in bipolar terms in the sense that something (or someone) is presumed either “good” or “bad.” Empirically, social organization, which includes politics and finance, is typically more gray than “black and white.” This is undoubtedly the case concerning the political risk analysis that goes into assessments of systemic risk, especially where uncertainty is salient. In general terms, I would say that as of 2012 the anticipated demise of the euro (and even the E.U.) was much exaggerated. Somehow or other, European policy-makers were able to hold the federal ship-of-state together in spite of its vulnerabilities.

The full essay is at Essays on the E.U. Political Economy, available at Amazon.