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Friday, April 17, 2015

Hollywood’s Conflict of Interest in Trade Negotiations

At the intersection of business and government, a conflict of interest can be indicative of plutocracy, the rule of wealth, at the expense both of balanced public policy and democracy. That is to say, where the regulated have disproportionate influence over regulators and said influence places the regulated in a conflict of interest, the unethical dimension is dwarfed by the distortive impact on the political system. The disproportionate influence of the content industry (i.e., Hollywood) in the U.S. position on the Pacific Trade negotiations in 2014 is a case in point.



The full essay is at Institutional Conflicts of Interest, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Breaking Up the Biggest Banks: The Impact on Moral Hazard

Citing the “slap on the wrist” culture at the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren called on Congress in April 2015 to break up the big banks such as Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs.[1] She coupled the ‘break-up” approach to reducing the systemic risk with limiting the Fed’s ability to bailout individual banks. The synergy in Warren’s approach is worthy of further analysis.

The full essay is at "Breaking Up the Biggest Banks."




1. Reuters, “Elizabeth Warren Calls on Congress to Break Up the Big Banks, Change Tax Rules,” The Huffington Post, April 15, 2015.

God's Gold: Banking and Monopoly

A decade or so into the twenty-first century, a typical business practitioner might suppose that godliness and greed live in two utterly different universes—Wall Street and Main Street both being subject to the sway of greed rather than the bliss of the heavenly hosts. The world is profane, while the sacred lives in some other shoebox. Even so, the oil and water have been allowed to mix, though of course without fusing into one compound. For example, God has been invoked to justify profit-seeking and wealth, and even love of gain, or greed. The relationship between greed and what we take to be the divine is actually more complex than meets the eye.


The full essay is at "Banking and Monopoly."