An op-ed by Cass R. Sunstein. Saturday marked the death of Gary Becker, perhaps the greatest social scientist of the last 50 years. More than anyone else, Becker is responsible for the rigorous pursuit of the idea that human beings are rational and responsive to incentives. That’s a simple idea, but Becker used it to produce path-breaking insights into countless areas, including crime, discrimination, addiction, politics and the structure of the family. Becker was a colleague and a friend of mine, and he was a quintessentially rational man.
A blockade of Harvard University President Drew Faust’s office yesterday failed to convince school officials to divest from fossil fuel companies, but students pledged not to give up. “This is the first of many big steps we’re prepared to take,” said Kelsey Skaggs [`16], a Harvard Law School student. “We will continue to put pressure on the administration until they divest.”
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Aristotle said that when a general law doesn’t fit a particular case, the proper course is to rectify the law so it does fit. Today, in the last oral argument of this term, the U.S. Supreme Court grappled with his advice in the case of Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies.
For years, the government has upheld the principle of “net neutrality,” the belief that everyone should have equal access to the web without preferential treatment. But now, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and a former cable and telecommunications top gun, is circulating potential new rules that reportedly would put a price tag on climbing aboard the Internet. ..This week, speaking with Bill Moyers …are David Carr [who] covers the busy intersection of media with business, government and culture for The New York Times. Susan Crawford is a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.
In January, the White House announced a task force to study the issue of college sexual assault. White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett joins Katie to share the task force’s recommendations. Also commenting in the segment: Diane Rosenfeld, lecturer on law.
The 848-page Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act dedicates 149 words to framing a new disclosure about “pay versus performance” at public companies. Boards and management must deliver “a clear description” to shareholders of “the relationship between executive compensation actually paid and the financial performance of the issuer,” the law states…“If you’re stripping out pension valuations and other things, you’re cooking the books,” says Harvard Law School professor Jesse Fried, co-author of Pay without Performance: the Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation.
…Since the start of the 21st century, a new breed of shareholder—the activist hedge fund—has frequently played a decisive role in interactions between corporations and markets…A major recent study by Lucian Bebchuk, Alon Brav, and Wei Jiang of activist investments from 1994 through 2007 also found five-year improvements in the operating performance of targeted companies.
Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz condemned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s “very bad” racist comments, but told Newsmax that his greater concern was that “I don’t think we want the thought police to be intruding on people’s private conversations.” “We need to preserve privacy,” Dershowitz said in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. “We need to be able to preserve a person’s ability to share his thoughts, even if we don’t agree with his thoughts, with private people.”
Democrat Sen. Edward Markey from Massachusetts says the government should crack down on broadcast messages that promote what he calls hate crimes, by regulating content on television, radio and the Internet…That claim has other First Amendment legal minds howling. “He’s not going to be able to come up with legislation that sufficiently protects the First Amendment,” said Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, Breitbart reported.