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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hollande Proposes Economic Government for Euro-Zone: Muddying the Water?

At a press conference marking French President Francois Hollande’s first year in office, the powerful head of the large E.U. state called for an economic government for the euro zone.  One might be tempted to ask, what exactly is an economic government? By definition, a government is a political entity. Show me a government without politics and I’ll pack up and head to the Himalayas for a life of other-worldly contemplation. What, pray tell, is an economic government exactly?

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.

           President Francois Hollande of France proposing an economic government for the euro-zone. What exactement is an economic government?    Source: Reuters

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A "Banking Union" or Coordinated State Laws and Regulations?

A subtle though important difference exists between American and European federalism, each of which covers both the "kingdom" (i.e., early modern, now mostly republics) and "empire" (i.e., ancient and early modern, now usually huge federal systems) scales. So I am referring to federal systems like the U.S., E.U. and Russia (and U.S.S.R), rather than to federal systems within any of their respective political subunits (e.g., Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany). The difference between the E.U. and U.S. that I discuss here can be grasped by looking at the two competing proposals for federal bank regulation in the European Union. The crucial question facing the E.U. finance ministers concerns which system of government. 

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.

This picture depicts the distinctive European model of modern federalism wherein the state governments play a salient role in implementing (and modifying) federal law.   source: mapperywordpress.com

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bloomberg News "Speed" Journalists Exploiting Terminal Subscribers: On the Failure of Firewalls

In 2012, I was stunned to hear an official of Deloitte place all his faith in the internal firewalls that he had constructed in the CPA firm to inhibit the exploitation of the conflict of interest that exists between the auditing and consulting divisions. A year later, Matt Winkler of Bloomberg apologized because reporters in the news division had used clients’ proprietary information from the Bloomberg terminals to report financial news stories before other news organizations. The firewall between selling terminals and reporting news had not been sufficient to prevent exploitation of the conflict of interest. There is a lesson here for any multi-divisional company or bank that is relying on firewalls.

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

Obama Mimics Cameron's View of the E.U.

President Obama has said he “wants a strong UK in a strong EU.” In his joint news conference with David Cameron of the EU state of Great Britain on May 13, 2013, the president elaborated on his earlier statement in a way that reveals his view of the EU as an entity. In short, he shares Cameron’s view that the EU is essentially a number of economic relationships rather than a political union of states.

The full essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.