Obama Could Invoke An Old Law To Stop Companies From Leaving America To Save On Taxes

President Barack Obama could act without congressional approval to limit a key incentive for U.S. corporations to move their tax domiciles abroad in so-called “inversion” deals, a former senior U.S. Treasury Department official said on Monday. By invoking a 1969 tax law, Obama could bypass congressional gridlock and restrict foreign tax-domiciled U.S companies from using inter-company loans and interest deductions to cut their U.S. tax bills, said Stephen Shay, former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration. He also served as international tax counsel at Treasury from 1982 to 1987 in the Reagan administration.

More states push homicide charges in heroin overdoses

As legislators across the country pass anti-heroin bills and health officials hold community summits, prosecutors in more states are pursuing homicide, and similarly serious charges, against those who provided the deadly doses…”It’s a growing trend, but still a tactic used in a minority of states around the country,” said Ron Sullivan, director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School.

Should you follow an activist into a stock? (subscription)

We’re living in the era of the activist investor. Last year Carl Icahn and his ilk launched initiatives at 200 companies—including Microsoft, Dell, and Dow Chemical—aimed at sprucing up management, improving operations, selling off certain units, and ultimately improving the share price. That’s a sevenfold jump compared with a decade earlier, according to Harvard research, and the ranks of prominent megaphone-wielding investors seem only to be growing. That prompts an obvious question: When Icahn leaps, should you jump too? The short answer: Yes. Evidence shows that buying stocks after change-oriented campaigns are instigated can yield superior returns for several years…Lucian Bebchuk, a Harvard Law School professor who also heads the university’s Program on Corporate Governance, found similar initial gains.

A tribute to Nadine Gordimer

By Margaret H. Marshall. During the long years that I was unable to return to South Africa, where I was born, raised, and lived for the first 25 years of my life, I could spend time with Nadine Gordimer only when she visited Boston. She often stayed with close friends of hers in their home on a quiet, leafy street, close to the center of Harvard. She seemed to thrive during those visits, tasting the freedom that we who are privileged to live here too often take for granted. It was a response I knew well: I had endured the offensive restrictions of apartheid, and breathed deeply on my few visits to the United States before I settled here.

D.C. Circuit Court limits Obamacare funds, White House hopes to appeal the ruling

A three-judge panel at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Affordable Care Act cannot provide subsidies to millions enrolled under the federal health care exchange because the law, as written, does not allow it…Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe told the Financial Times that he would not “bet the family farm” on the law being vindicated on appeal. Tribe is a longstanding supporter of the Affordable Care Act. “It looks like the panel is quite divided over what to do with what might [have been] an inadvertent error in the legislation or might have been quite deliberate,” Tribe told the Financial Times. “But it’s very specific that only people that go onto a state exchange are eligible for the subsidies. And if that becomes the ultimate holding of the U.S. Supreme Court, where this is likely to end up — that’s going to have massive practical implications for the administrability of Obamacare.”

Four Years Later, Economic Cost of Dodd-Frank Remains Elusive

In a rare public exchange in June 2011, Jamie Dimon asked then Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke what the total economic costs of the year-old Dodd-Frank Act would be…As the regulatory reform law turns four on July 21, Dimon’s question remains unanswered, despite being a recurring concern raised by the financial industry and many Republican lawmakers…”A cost-benefit analysis is an important element of decision-making,” said Parkinson. “But as a practical matter, it’s hard to quantify the benefits and it’s hard to quantify the costs. Often the analysis doesn’t provide as much insight as you’d like.” Two papers by Jeffrey Gordon, a law professor at Columbia University and John Coates, a law and economics professor at Harvard University, also strongly support that claim.

Two Perspectives on Subprime Auto Loans

A letter by Charles Fried. It would help if we called things by their true names. The car dealers who put false income data into loan applications for people living on Social Security, surreptitiously add on unexplained charges, and sometimes even forge signatures are thieves. The banks that — knowingly or with willed ignorance — buy and package these loans are receivers of stolen property. The investors who buy these packages for their high rates of return are like customers who shop for bargains from fences or the tailgates of trucks selling hijacked goods. The free market is great, but it depends on honesty. Why aren’t more of these people being prosecuted?

Local Woman Travels to Israel Amid Growing Violence, Airline Ban (video)

A Harvard student and graduate of West Springfield High School left Wednesday for a Birthright trip to Israel. This as the conflict with the Palestinians and concerns over airline safety grows. Becca Gauthier [’15] has her bags packed and heads to a train on her way to a flight to Israel. She will be flying El-Al Airlines, as a growing number of other carriers refuse to fly over the embattled air space of the Middle East.

Regret that sent email?… Get it back!

Since the dawn of the Internet, email users have been haunted by the finality of hitting the “send” button. No more. What could be the foremost of all First World problems — the inability to retrieve or delete an ill-conceived email — is now a thing of the past for users of Pluto Mail, according to the Harvard law student who created it. “I’ve been annoyed with the fact that any email I send lasts forever, and I think Snapchat popularized the more-forgettable Internet, and I thought it would be great to bring it to email. It’s a very salient problem. I think everyone has had this ‘uh oh’ moment,” said David Gobaud [`15], founder and CEO of Pluto Labs Inc. “Basically the Pluto service turns your emails into dynamic ones that you can maintain control over. I built a new email server that turns an email into a living document.”