The Week in Review (Sort of)
The following are some items that I came across or reviewed this week that I thought might be of interest to our readers.
Item 1: Greenwood on Human Rights for Human Beings
On June 26th, Daniel Greenwood responded (here) to the Supreme Court’s summary reversal of a Montana Supreme Court decision upholding that state’s campaign finance regulation. The Montana Supreme Court had upheld the statute despite the fact that it directly targeted corporate political spending contrary to Citizens United. What follows is an excerpt, but I encourage you to read his entire piece here (it’s not long).
Obviously, corporations, which are creatures of statute, must have legal rights [like being able to sue]…. These corporate legal rights come from the legislatures, which regularly tinker with them. Constitutional rights, however, are rights against the legislatures: they are rights we have even if our representatives try to take them away. As a result, constitutional rights are also rights defined by judges, who are supposed to determine the content and limits of the rights by interpreting the text of the Constitution…. It is hard to see why anyone would want to fossilize corporate law in our hard-to-amend Constitution, let alone give judges primary responsibility for regulating large economic enterprises.
Item 2: Partnoy on Slowing Down
Pushing back against the seemingly never-ending pressure to get more things done in less time, Frank Partnoy, author of books such as “Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets” and “F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street,” has just published “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay.” The book is currently #10 on Amazon’s Business & Investing (Finance) bestseller list, and you can find a review from the Wall Street Journal here.
Item 3: Quote of the Week
U.K. Business Secretary Vince Cable had this to say about the Libor-fixing scandal (here):
[The public] just can't understand why people are thrown into jail for petty theft and these guys just walk away ….
Item 4: Things That Make You Go “Hmmm”
The Reuters story on the expert panel report looking into the Fukushima disaster (here) prominently quotes the panel report’s reference to “collusion” among government, regulators, and the Tokyo Electric Power Co. in its headline. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal story (here) merely cites negligence and makes no reference to collusion.