Cleveland Plain Dealer discusses the argument advanced by by friend and fantasy football mate Jonathan Adler:
If the law known as Obamacare gets struck down in the latest court challenge, the victors will thank a Hudson resident and Case Western Reserve University law professor who discovered what the law's critics say is a major flaw.
Jonathan Adler, 44, says he didn't even appreciate initially how significant his discovery might be. He thought it was an interesting bit of legal arcana, worthy of scholarship. But his analysis of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, has led to four pending cases in federal courts, two likely to be decided within months, that offer ACA opponents their best chance of gutting the law. ...
Adler, a Case law professor since 2001, pored over the ACA after it passed in 2010 and found this: Congress created a system for providing tax subsidies and penalties in order to give incentives for people to buy health insurance or for employers to provide it. States were supposed to create new agencies that would offer online insurance-shopping options, and states would tie into a federal tax system to dole out the subsidies and assess the penalties.
But the ACA made clear, Adler says, that the subsidies were to be used in these new state marketplaces, or "exchanges." There is no record, he says, that shows Congress directed the subsidies to what has since evolved: a large, federally run, health-policy shopping exchange. When the subsidies are mentioned in the law, Adler says, it is always and only in the context of state exchanges. ...
Without the tax subsidies, the ACA cannot work. Its central tenet is insuring nearly every American, but health insurance would be too expensive for many people without the subsidies.
Adler, commenting via Twitter this afternoon, said that "our argument is that the law should be enforced as written." He also tweeted, "It's the IRS and Administration that are trying to 'overturn' the law with creative re-interpretations."
Over at Linkedin, Geoff Gussis posted the titular question and asked:
Is A Lawyer Surplus Dooming American Society? - InhouseBlog.com inhouseblog.com
A lawyer surplus equals doom to society? Is Santa stocking up on extra coal for this author? Whatever happened to the old adage that everyone hates lawyers until they need one?
To which I responded:
I'd recommend checking out The American Illness: Essays on the Rule of Law edited by F. H. Buckley (and to which I was a contributor. "This provocative book brings together twenty-plus contributors from the fields of law, economics, and international relations to look at whether the U.S. legal system is contributing to the country’s long postwar decline. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between economics and the law—in such areas as corruption, business regulation, and federalism—and explains how our system works differently from the one in most countries, with contradictory and hard to understand business regulations, tort laws that vary from state to state, and surprising judicial interpretations of clearly written contracts. This imposes far heavier litigation costs on American companies and hampers economic growth."
Over at Linked in, I noticed a post discussing how non-profit directors can initiate positive organizational changes, which called to mind a director education program I did a couple of years ago. So I thought I'd post the slides I used (please note that the process of embedding the slides into the blog post for some reason generated some odd characters I've been unable to eliminate. So here is a clean pdf of the file: Download Nonprofit board training.pdf (509.4K)):
Senate Democrats took the dramatic step Thursday of eliminating filibusters for most nominations by presidents, a power play they said was necessary to fix a broken system but one that Republicans said will only rupture it further.
Democrats used a rare parliamentary move to change the rules so that federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments can advance to confirmation votes by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote supermajority that has been the standard for nearly four decades.
It's a sad day for democracy. I explained why the judicial filibuster was a good idea in a TCS column back when the Gang of 14 saved it during the Bush administration. It seems to me the argument still apply.
Ed Whelan has a brief comment on the continuing intransigence of the Argentinian government in the ongoing litigation over its bond default.
Many people over the past week have suggested that Jonathan Martin is in some way a wimp and just couldn’t handle “an NFL Locker Room”. Others further contend that Incognito was just giving the guy a hard time in jest. Wrong. Just plain wrong. This wasn’t a playground bullying or garden-variety rookie hazing. It is alleged Martin was the target of repeated discrimination and harassment, the likes of which no one should have to endure in their place of work.
Carpenter v. Con-Way Cent. Express, Inc., 481 F.3d 611 (8th Cir. 2007):
To establish a Title VII race-based hostile work environment claim, a plaintiff must show (1) he is a member of a protected group, (2) he is subjected to unwelcome race-based harassment, (3) the harassment was because of his membership in the protected group, and (4) the harassment affected a term, condition, or privilege of his employment. Singletary v. Mo. Dep't of Corr., 423 F.3d 886, 892 (8th Cir.2005). A hostile work environment “is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim's employment and create an abusive working environment” as viewed objectively by a reasonable person.Tademe v. Saint Cloud State Univ., 328 F.3d 982, 991 (8th Cir.2003) (internal quotation omitted). “To be actionable, the conduct complained of must be extreme in nature and not merely rude or unpleasant.” Nitsche v. CEO of Osage Valley Elec. Coop., 446 F.3d 841, 846 (8th Cir.2006) (citations omitted). “Allegations of a few isolated or sporadic incidents will not suffice; rather, the plaintiff must demonstrate the alleged harassment was ‘so intimidating, offensive, or hostile that it poisoned the work environment.’ ” Id. (quoting Tuggle v. Mangan, 348 F.3d 714, 720 (8th Cir.2003)).
Passananti v. Cook County, 689 F.3d 655 (7th Cir. 2012):
In claims of racial harassment, racially-charged words certainly can suffice. See,e.g., Hrobowski v. Worthington Steel Co., 358 F.3d 473, 477 (7th Cir.2004)(although plaintiff failed to show that employer was negligent in discovering and remedying coworker harassment, his work environment, in which he was repeatedly subjected to the word "n****r" and other race-based comments, was sufficiently severe or pervasive to support an otherwise actionable hostile work environment claim); Rodgers v. Western–Southern Life Ins. Co., 12 F.3d 668, 675–76 (7th Cir.1993) (finding an actionable hostile work environment claim when supervisors and employees referred to plaintiff by the term “n****r" between five and ten times during his employment).
Based on what we know so far it seems to me that Martin would have to have evidence of more than 1 or two incidents to have a successful claim. He'd also have to decide whether bringing a lawsuit is so antithetical to the NFL culture that it would wreck his career. But if I were a plaintiff's lawyer, I'd be champing at the bit to represent Martin.
In an essay--tellingly published in The New Republic--denying that he's switched sides on Voter ID law (methinks he doth protest too much), Posner takes an unnecessary implicit potshot at Roberts:
... whatever judges may say self-servingly about being merely “umpires,” just calling balls and strikes and indifferent to who wins and who loses, their priors influence judicial decisions in areas in which the law is in flux because authoritative sources of law, such as the Constitution and statutes and precedents, do not yield clear answers to new legal questions.
A fair between the lines reading is that Posner is saying Roberts lied to get on the SCOTUS.
Posner has never been a conservative, but his journey from classical liberal to modern liberal (at best, liberaltarian) now seems complete. It's a pity we don't have formal excommunications anymore.
The LA Times reports that:
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have given some childhood sex abuse victims more time to file lawsuits, after a heated opposition campaign led by the Catholic Church that stretched from Capitol hallways to Los Angeles church pews.
In an unusually detailed three-page veto message released Saturday, the Democratic governor, a former Jesuit seminarian, said the bill raised questions of equal treatment of public and private employers. Pointing to a centuries-long tradition of limiting the period when legal claims can be filed, Brown said institutions should feel secure that "past acts are indeed in the past and not subject to further lawsuits."
He also argued that the legislation, which would have in part lifted the statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims for one year to allow some childhood victims to file lawsuits, was "unfair" because it singled out private organizations, such as Catholic dioceses and the Boy Scouts. Public schools would not have been affected by the bill, something Brown called "a significant inequity."
As I explained in a column for Tidings, SB 131 was fundamentally flawed and not just for the reason cited by the Governor:
By extending the period within which suits may be brought indefinitely, and thus raising the specter of litigation based on decades-old events, SB 131 is completely antithetical to the proposition that litigation should be based on “reasonably fresh evidence.” ...
SB 131 breaks faith with assurances given by the Legislature 10 years ago when it enacted SB 1779 (Burton), a one-time, one-year lifting of the statute of limitations for all of 2003 that allowed any victim of sexual abuse — regardless of how long ago it occurred — a second chance to file a lawsuit. SB 131 thus would revive claims for an unprecedented third time. ...
SB 131 is further flawed by its fundamental unfairness. SB 131 covers incidents of abuse that may have taken place in private schools, not public schools, so the 92 percent of California children who attend public schools aren’t covered. This discriminates against both public school children and operators of private schools. Why do public schools and teachers get a free ride, while their students get no relief and their private school counterparts face potentially staggering liability?
The financial impact cannot be ignored. As I pointed out in my law review article, The Bishop's Alter Ego: Enterprise Liability and the Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Scandal,(9) unlimited liability exposure for the Catholic Church will "impede, if not destroy, the ability of these ministries to serve the needs of their congregants. Indeed, the mere threat of liability might do so: 'Both church and society will suffer if the continuation of ministries prompted by compassion — ministries often involving risks — is stopped short by the nervous calculation of legal liabilities.'” (10)
As such, SB 131’s elimination of statutes of limitation raises serious concerns about the ability of religious organizations to freely exercise their religion, and thus has very serious implications for the free exercise rights that are supposed to be protected by the First Amendment.
I'm glad the Governor did the right thing. He didn't listen to trial lawyer front groups like SNAP. Instead, he prevented the trial lawyers who were behind this legislation from getting an unfair windfall. At the same time, however, I remain furious with Assemblymember Adrin Nazrian -- who represents my district -- for having voted for this fundamentally flawed bill.
A while back, Mollie Ziegler Hemingway had an op-ed in the WSJ on the clash between anti-discrimination laws and free exercise rights:
Robert Ingersoll and his partner, Curt Freed, were longtime customers of Barronelle Stutzman, a florist in Richland, Wash. After voters in the state approved same-sex marriage in December 2012, Messrs. Ingersoll and Freed decided to tie the knot, and called their florist. "There was never a question she'd be the one to do our flowers," Mr. Ingersoll told the Tri-City Herald. But Ms. Stutzman declined, citing her Christian beliefs about marriage.
"You have to make a stand somewhere in your life on what you believe and what you don't believe," Ms. Stutzman told Christian Broadcasting Network. For acting on her religious beliefs, Ms. Stutzman has been sued twice: once by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and once by the American Civil Liberties Union.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. Voters were assured that legalizing gay marriage wouldn't undermine religious freedom—after all, the public was assured that religious institutions would be free to act as they always had. But what about religious individuals? The effects of this new legal regime on private citizens have largely been ignored.
When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June, President Obama said: "How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision—which applies only to civil marriages—changes that."
That line was echoed by the media, with a typical comment coming from the Los Angeles Times editorial page: "Government entities in California must now recognize and extend equal rights to same-sex marriages, but that requirement does not extend to religions, their houses of worship or their ministers." ...
What's at stake is personal religious liberty. "Individuals really haven't gotten much protection at all," says Robin Fretwell Wilson, a professor of the University of Illinois College of Law who lobbies legislatures to protect individual religious liberty when revising marriage laws.
It's not just religious-minded business owners who need to worry. County recorders, magistrates and judges in Iowa as well as justices of the peace in Massachusetts and town clerks in New York have been told that refusing to perform services for same-sex couples will result in criminal prosecutions for misdemeanors or other sanctions. Faced with choosing between their jobs and their religious beliefs, many have resigned, including a dozen Massachusetts justices of the peace.
The threat is clear, but one must also acknowledge that Walter Olson has an equally valid comment in the letter section of today's WSJ on the real source of the problem:
Mollie Ziegler Hemingway conflates the effects of antidiscrimination law with the effects of recognizing same-sex marriage. Many of the conscience cases she cites involving private businesses arose in jurisdictions that don't recognize gay marriage, and most would reach the same legal result so long as local antidiscrimination laws remain in place, whether or not the law on marriage has changed. Libertarians have consistently worried about the tendency of anti-discrimination laws to erode individual rights of association. Modern progressives have consistently sought to dismiss or minimize such worries. Many conservatives from outside the libertarian tradition, such as Ms. Hemingway, do not seem to have given much attention to the issue until it gored their particular ox.
The basics of antidiscrimination law as applied to so-called public accommodations have been on the table continuously. These laws oblige some devout innkeepers, print-shop owners and caterers to offer service to persons whose celebrations or domestic arrangements their religious conscience cannot sanction. Because religion counts as a protected class virtually everywhere, the law obliges these small-business persons to assist in the celebration of religious rites they may consider idolatrous, wicked and a danger to the souls of the celebrants. Depending on the exact listing of additional protected groups in a given state or town, they may also be called on to serve unwed cohabitants, those entering remarriage after divorce and gay couples.
I hope more social conservatives will come to embrace a more consistent libertarian stance of skepticism toward antidiscrimination laws, including those that make religious affiliation or practice itself a protected class.
I very much take his point, but I would argue that the Constitution already defines certain things as being within a protected class and one of them is religious freedom. As another letter to the editor in today's WSJ pointed out:
Ms. Hemmingway quotes Chai Feldblum, an EEOC member as saying: "There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win because that's the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner."
Pardon me, but where in the Constitution does it speak of "sexual liberty"? Secondly, and given that it only talks of religious liberty, why isn't the obvious argument: In almost all cases religious liberty should win because that's the only way the religious beliefs of religious people can, in fact, not be impaired by government coercion?
The right to the "free exercise" of religion (not to mention freedom of speech) are clear statements. Only in the Orwellian world of political correctness can this right to "sexual liberty" trump rights of religion and speech. This is a travesty of the Constitution.
Increasingly it seems like it is the other way around, however, as a third letter noted:
I worry not only about the government's intrusion into the lives of Americans when they refuse to acknowledge same-sex marriage in their private businesses but also intrusions extending into our beliefs themselves. In other words, if I disagree with same-sex marriage and speak out against it, might I not be guilty in the future of a "hate crime"? It does not take a great deal of imagination to see where this is going.
Apropos of which, I leave you with this news item:
Guido Barilla, chairman of the world's leading pasta manufacturer, prompted calls for a consumer boycott on Thursday after telling Italian radio his company would never use a gay family in itsadvertising.
"I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don't agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role," Barilla, 55, said in an interview with Radio 24 on Wednesday. ...
Aurelio Mancuso, head of gay rights group Equality Italia, said Barilla's comments were an "offensive provocation" and called for a boycott of the company's pasta, sauces and snacks.
Honest disagreement apparently will not be tolerated.
I was asked to post this by the conference organizers:
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Love and Law Conference
PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, MALIBU, CALIFORNIA
FEBRUARY 7-8, 2014
In a provocative essay, philosopher Jeffrie Murphy asks: “What would law be like if we organized it around the value of Christian love [agape]?”Analogous questions arise within other theological and moral traditions. What would be the implications for the substance and the practice of law? We invite presentation and panel proposals for our upcoming conference. See below for details. The following speakers are already confirmed:
Jeffrie Murphy, Regents’ Professor of Law, Philosophy, and Religious Studies Arizona State University College of Law – “Love, Law, and Criminal Punishment”
James Boyd White, L. Hart Wright Collegiate Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Michigan – “Agape: the Activity of Reframing”
Charles Mathewes, Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia – "'Be Instructed, All You Who Judge the Earth': The Dialectic of Law and Love during the World in Psalm 2:10 and Augustine"
Richard Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Theological Seminary – “Calvin, Law, and Love”
Chaim Saiman, Professor of Law, Villanova School of Law, - "Law AS Love: A view from the Talmud”
Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California - “Love as Law: A Hindu Approach”
Najeeba Syeed-Miller, Assistant Professor of Interreligious Education, Claremont School of Theology – “Humanizing Legal Systems: Exploring the Capacity for a Humane Approach to Justice from a Muslim Perspective”
Barbara Armacost, Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law –“Restorative Justice”
Meghan J. Ryan, Assistant Professor of Law, SMU School of Law - “Dignity and Rehabilitation”
Patrick Brennan, John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies, Villanova University School of Law, - “Love, Justice, and Polity in Catholic Social Doctrine”
Zachary Calo, Associate Professor, Valparaiso University Law School –"Sacralizing Law? Political Forgiveness and Liberal Justice"
David VanDrunen, Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics, Westminster Seminary California - “Why Christian Love Is an Improper Category to Apply to Civil Law: A Contrarian Perspective”
Robert Vischer, Dean, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minnesota -“Is Agape the Last, Best Hope for the Legal Profession?”
Stephen Bainbridge, William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law – “The Relevance of Agape to Fiduciary Duties, If Any”
Ellen Pryor, Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, UNT Dallas College of Law - “Agape and Legal Education”
Michael Scaperlanda, Gene and Elaine Edwards Family Chair in Law, University of Oklahoma College of Law - “Love, Law, and the Immigrant”
Amy Uelmen, Visiting Lecturer, Georgetown School of Law – “A Duty to Rescue”
Joel A. Nichols Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota -"Love, Indeterminacy, and Family Law"
James W. McCarty, Emory Center for the Study of Law and Religion, "Divine Love, Humanity's Law, and the 'Crime Against Humanity' in Transitional Justice"
The idea that law should be a manifestation of love stands in tension with modern and post-modern notions that law should be solely concerned with individual autonomy or efficiency or that law is by nature only a matter of power. Our reigning schools of legal thought tend to be reductionistic, focusing on a limited aspect of human good. Liberalism leaves individuals isolated and alone. Many law and economics scholars emphasize efficiency, but have provided no basis for the protection of human dignity (at least for the ‘have nots’). Critical legal scholars have deconstructed law and concluded that law is merely power, but generally have failed to provide a basis for reconstruction.
Jeffrie Murphy notes that agape love is not simply concerned with making people’s lives more pleasant. It is not “cuddly.” If agape is the aim, a polity might “design legal practices and institutions with a view to the moral and spiritual improvement of affected citizens.” Would the grounding of law in love yield broad-based human flourishing and authentic freedom? Or might it provide the basis for an authoritarian regime?
The notion of law grounded in love has a rich history. Jesus summarized the Mosaic Law as love of God and neighbor. John Calvin said that all nations’ laws “must be in conformity to that perpetual rule of love.” Over the centuries groups have sought to ground law in love, to good and ill effect.
Law might bear several sorts of relationships to love. Love might be the motivation behind the work of lawyers, judges, legislators, police, and active citizens. The adoption and enforcement of wise laws can be among the most loving things that someone can do. It may also be that law can teach and encourage love. The Jewish law required land owners to allow poor people to harvest the grain at the edges of their fields. It may be that for some, this legal requirement created the good habit—the virtue—of love.
The idea of law grounded in love generates numerous big questions which will be addressed throughout this conference. We invite people from the fields of philosophy, political science, law, history, economics, theology, and psychology to propose presentations and panels on any aspect of this topic. See topic ideas below. Presentations may be based on previously published work or work in progress. There is no publication requirement.
Request for Proposals
If you would like to make a presentation or organize a panel, please submit your proposal by September 13, 2013 via email to [email protected]. Proposals should include a short abstract and bio (one page total). Speakers will be arranged into panels and will have 12-15 minutes to present. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with funding.
If you have questions about the substance of the conference, please contact Bob Cochran at [email protected]. For questions about the details of the conference, contact Dana Zacharia by email at [email protected] or by phone at (310) 506-6978.
For more information on the conference and to view details of past conferences, see our website:http://law.pepperdine.edu/nootbaar/annual-conference/
In today's WSJ, economist Richard Grossman argues we should scrap the London Interbank Offering benchmark rate (LIBOR). To be sure, as Grossman argues, the LIBOR rate has been plagued by scandal:
Because so much money is riding on Libor, banks have an incentive to alter submissions—up or down, depending on the situation—to improve their bottom lines. Many in the financial community had long known about Libor manipulation. As early as 2008, then-president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Timothy Geithnerwarned the Bank of England that Libor's credibility needed to be enhanced. E-mails between bankers that have come to light since the scandal broke almost a year ago prove conclusively that cheating was commonplace.
Instead of fixing LIBOR, however, Grossman wants to scrap it:
The British government should announce that, six months from today, Libor will cease to exist. The British Bankers' Association, which technically owns the interest-rate index, has been so wounded by the scandal that it has been willing to follow the government's lead and will no doubt agree.
And how will markets react? The way they always do. They will adapt.
Financial firms will have six months to devise alternative benchmarks for their floating rate products. Given the low repute in which Libor—and the people responsible for it—are held, it would be logical for one or more market-determined rates to take the place of Libor.
Grossman's argument is fraught with error. First, he far too glibly assumes that markets will easily adjust. But LIBOR is not just used in spot markets, which could adjust in the short term, but is also used in countless long-term contracts. As I explain in my article, Reforming LIBOR, attempting to replace LIBOR with an alternative benchmark likely would have triggered massive dislocation--and, as a result, massive litigation. In addition, the extensive network effects associated with LIBOR suggest that change would be costly due to path dependency.
Second, it's not obvious that there are any plausible alternatives to benchmarks based on interbank lending. Grossman argues that there are at least two:
One often mentioned candidate is the GCF Repo index published by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. This index is based on actual repurchase agreement transactions, and is thus a better indicator of the cost of funds than banks' internal estimates—even if those estimates were unbiased. Another option might be some newly constructed index based on credit-default swaps transactions, corporate bonds and commercial paper.
Like other interbank offering rate benchmarks, however, LIBOR submissions combine three components: (1) compensation to the lender for the time value of money, (2) compensation for the risk that the counterparty bank will default, and (3) a liquidity premium reflecting market transaction costs. This combination has proved highly useful for lenders. It allows lenders to pass on changes in their funding costs to borrowers and thus minimize basis risk, for example, by pegging the borrower’s interest rate to LIBOR plus an appropriate risk premium reflecting the borrower’s creditworthiness. As such, if the lending bank’s funding rate rises, so too will the rate the borrower must pay, ensuring that the lending bank will continue to receive the full risk premium. Grossman's alternative index based on CDSs etc... lack those characteristics.
The GCF Repo index also differs from bank funding costs, consisting of "the average daily interest rate paid for the most-traded GCF Repo contracts for U.S. Treasury bonds, federal agency paper and mortgage-backed securities [MBS] issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." The GCF Repo index also is problematic because it's based on US instruments. One of LIBOR’s major advantage is that the London time zone allows it to straddle the Asian and U.S. markets.
Finally, Grossman ignores the reforms that the UK government has put into place to ensure that the reformed LIBOR benchmark will be less vulnerable to manipulation. Specifically, LIBOR submissions will be based on a hierarchy of transaction types. A panel bank first looks to its own transactions in the inter-bank deposit market, in other deposit markets such as commercial paper, and finally in other related markets such as derivatives. In the absence of good data from such transactions, a panel bank next looks to its observations of third party transactions in those markets. The third tier of the hierarchy consists of third party quotes to panel member banks in those markets. Only in the absence of any such transaction data should a panel member rely on an estimate in making its LIBOR submission.
In order to further strengthen the link between LIBOR and actual transaction data, the number of currencies and maturities for which a LIBOR benchmark is quoted are to be reduced by eliminating currencies and maturities traded in particularly thin markets.
In sum, the case simply has not been made for scrapping LIBOR. Instead, we need to be careful to ensure that the new administrator is well supervised. This is so, because Grossman is right about one thing: NYSE Euronext is a suspect administrator. The BBA failed in large part because it had no skin in the game. NYSE Euronext has the opposite problem; i.e., too much skin in the game:
British authorities earlier this month granted a contract to run the index to NYSE Euronext, a company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, and a number of other stock, bond, and derivatives exchanges. NYSE Euronext is scheduled to be taken over by IntercontinentalExchange, a firm which owns even more derivatives markets.
In other words, the company that will be responsible for making sure that Libor is set responsibly and fairly will be in a position to profit like no one else from even the slightest movements in Libor.
The UK regulators will need to closely supervise NYSE Euronext to ensure it doesn't cheat and be prepared to force NYSE Euronext to step aside if necessary. But that's an argument for supervision, not for scrapping the whole project.
Making the news recently is California Senate Bill 131, which seeks to open up a one year "window" in 2014 allowing anyone over the age of 26 to sue the Catholic Church for damages stemming from clergy sex abuse. Suits would be allowed even if the alleged activity took place many decades ago and even if the accused abuser is long ago deceased, thus making it nearly impossible for the Church to effectively defend itself in court.
Sound familiar? It should. California enacted the exact same measure a decade ago, which led to the Catholic Church in California paying out $1.2 billion in settlements because of the "window" year of 2003 determined by the state legislature.
Indeed, it was implicit a decade ago that California's temporary lifting of the statute of limitations was a one-time event that would give people who were abused decades ago a unique opportunity to come forward and collect damages. Yet cash-hungry contingency lawyers are at it again for a second round. ...
After the record $660 million settlement in Los Angeles in 2007 (which was a direct result of the 2003 window), the jubilation among contingency lawyers was to the point that their celebration "looked like a frat party" with some lawyers "even chest bumping," according to one victim who witnessed the surreal scene.
Indeed, the notorious Church-suing lawyer Jeff Anderson, who funnels tens of thousands of dollars annually to the anti-Catholic group SNAP, has already set up a web site (along with Facebook and Twitter accounts) as a way to attract more clients in the event that SB 131 is passed.
Yet mainstream journalists like Powers go to great lengths to portray the Church's efforts opposing the outrageous bill as somehow nefarious and sinister. Meanwhile, they ignore the efforts of contingency lawyers like Anderson, who stand to bank millions if SB 131 is enacted.
It's a very bad bill, as I explained at: http://www.professorbainbridge.com/professorbainbridgecom/2013/06/an-open-letter-to-assemblyman-adrin-nazarian.html