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Gordon Smith
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Touché, Bio_Gal. Correction made.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2010 on Law School Grading Redux at Conglomerate
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Mar 15, 2010
Dan, This happened to my classmates in law school, and the Dean decided to give all of them passing grades. (Does anyone ever fail with the pass-fail option?) I agreed with that decision, and I think it is clearly the least bad option.
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2009 on Dean's Nightmare At NYU Law at The Faculty Lounge
Ben and Gary, I would have thought the same about the younger Gruyere, but one day, when I happened to have some PRR lying around, I slapped it on a hamburger and wow! It was great. The big disclaimer here is that PRR is my favorite Wisconsin cheese, so I would probably enjoy it on a piece of cardboard. Spencer, I will try to forget your comment and pretend it never happened.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2009 on The Best Burgers in America? at Conglomerate
Don, I thought the comparison to the status quo was implicit in the word "less." And, yes, I do think that the status quo works for most people, sometimes in unexpected ways (which is the part of Peggy Noonan's column that I agreed with). I am not opposed to reform directed and fixing the leaks in the status quo, some of which are material, but my fear based on what we are hearing about the proposed plan(s) is that they will result in less access for people who are currently satisfied with the system and greater costs for almost everyone. I basically agree with you on the second point. Noonan is making a classic slippery slope argument, and I don't think she has much evidence for it. Of course, sometimes slopes are slippery ...
Noonan speculates that the freedom issue "gives some people real pause," and yet this issue is an "unarticulated public fear"? That's silliness. What's stopping the public from articulating this fear? Lots of people have an incentive to make people afraid of what Congress is doing, but somehow this latent fear goes untapped? Surely the answer is that the public hasn't articulated this fear because it is one of those clever arguments created by columnists like Peggy Noonan. She wants to make it a public fear, which is why she is writing the column. Most people don't perceive the health care debate in those terms, but that doesn't mean they are stupid. I agree with Noonan that people are conducting "an internal Q-and-A" about health care, and they realized that the proposed plan will mean less access for more money. And I think that will ultimately kill it.
Blushing ... my bad. Still, I read Tufte a few years ago and was completely unpersuaded.
Toggle Commented Jul 25, 2009 on Teaching skills by teaching naked at Conglomerate
Jake, Tufte doesn't purport to do a "pervasive debunking" of PowerPoint. He criticizes bad PowerPoint, and his best insights relate to the presentation of technical information. I think we can all safely oppose bad PowerPoint ... and bad handouts, bad lectures, bad Socratic method, bad use of whiteboards, etc.
Toggle Commented Jul 25, 2009 on Teaching skills by teaching naked at Conglomerate
Matt, I don't really lol much when sitting at the computer, but that did it. You really got me with "How exactly does Orin do it? There must really be two – yeah!"
Mehrsa, This is a great set of questions, and I am intrigued by the notion that our old regulatory categories don't make sense to you. I know that you are at the beginning stages of thinking about this, and I am looking forward to what you come up with.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2009 on Are Banks (still) Special? at Conglomerate
Justin, You argue for a market solution, but don't law schools operate in a market? Perhaps you could explain how this market is producing such (seemingly) poor results. In my view, the market for law students has generated substantial innovations in legal education over the past several decades, including the propogation of clinics, externships, and specialty certificates. You are obviously dissatisfied with your legal education, but that doesn't mean the market is broken. As for clinical instruction being more expensive than traditional classroom instruction, that is not an assertion that requires proof. It is a well-established fact. You seem to be arguing for an apprenticeship model that would avoid the need for law school altogether. You would have felt at home in the early 1800s, but I don't see much point in talking about the model today.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2009 on The One-Year Law School at Conglomerate
Why especially in B-schools, David?
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2009 on Evaluating Law Teaching at Conglomerate
Great comments from both David and DCM. I hope others chime in, but one quick note about the extent of legal analysis in the second and third year: the first year tends to focus on common law analysis, and the second and third year tend to have more statutory/regulatory classes, as well as any transactional courses (if those occur at all). So while I largely agree with the point that many professors focus on coverage in the last two years of law school, I think there is other stuff going on.
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2009 on The One-Year Law School at Conglomerate
"Bernie Madoff was quite alone." The 150-year sentence is symbolically tough, but being alone is the real hell. As you noted in your prior post, however, he earned it.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2009 on "Symbolism is Important" at Conglomerate
Nice tribute, Mehrsa. MJ is only a few years older than I am, and I remember watching the Jackson 5 as a kid. By the time I reached high school, all of that music seemed really dated. Then, I served a Mormon mission in Austria, during which I was completely unconscious of popular music. When I returned to the US, my best friend exclaimed, "You'll never guess who is popular again ... Michael Jackson!" This revelation was intended to induce a cringe, and it did. I confess that I never owned any of his albums, and I was never a big fan of his 80s music. But I always wished I could do the moonwalk.
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2009 on "Gone Too Soon" at Conglomerate
Mark, Truth be told, I was more enamored with the software than the analysis. Despite the grandiose title of the presentation, his claims are pretty modest and obvious: people are much healthier and richer than they were 200 years ago. He is not making any claims about comparative political systems, like the silly Mr. Austin. If you wanted to infer such claims, you would have to take account of the fact that China's progress along the x-axis occurs mainly after the country started liberalizing economic policy in the late 1970s -- a point that is nicely illustrated in the video. Finally, I know it's easy to get agitated when reading blogs, but I think you might benefit from remembering the philisophical principle of charity before commenting. It requires a bit more work on the front end, but it inevitably leads to more interesting comments on the back end.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2009 on 200 years that changed the world at Conglomerate
To J.W. and Justice Jacobs, This post has not generated any commentary (before this comment), but I wanted to note how much I appreciate Justice Jacobs taking time for the interview. And I appreciate his thoughtful answers over a wide range of topics. For those of us who follow the Delaware courts, it's no surprise that the judges are so active in furthering legal scholarship and legal education, but I also appreciate their willingness to engage with us in this forum.
Thanks all around for the wonderful suggestions. My list of stops is growing!
Toggle Commented May 27, 2009 on American Adventure at Conglomerate
Interesting post, David. One question that makes me wonder about your interpretation: is Section 106(d) about a program that Treasury didn't administer under this statute? When I read "the sale of troubled assets purchased under this Act," I think of Paulson's original plan (resurrected, in slightly modified form, as PPIP) to purchase troubled assets, which strangely did not happen under the Trouble Assets Relief Program. If that's true, then it would imply a depleting fund for Treasury. You suggest that Section 106(d) was "meant to cover the profits of the TARP," but I don't see how TARP -- either the initial version or the modified version -- would generate "profits." Under the initial version, I think everyone expected the government to take a loss on transactions in troubled assets. Under the modified version, TARP might generate "returns on investment," but Section 106(d) seems a long way from that. I agree with you about Section 115(a) -- the statement that Treasury can have no more than "$700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time." That would seem to imply rolling. I also agree that what Geithner says is what this statute is going to mean, regardless of what the drafters may have thought they were doing.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2009 on Can Treasury Roll Its TARP Money? at Conglomerate
John, Ok, I'll play ... how would you suggest implementing your proposal? Many (most?) schools place students on committees, but I assume that you think this is not enough, right?
Yeah, I just saw the AmEx story, and I agree with you that they are seeing some rough times ahead. Chenault said, "we continue to be very cautious about the economic outlook." Still, AmEx is a company that needed a restructuring independent of the financial crisis, so I am not sure how much to read into this. It may be simply a continuation of what they started last year.
Toggle Commented May 18, 2009 on Green Shoots at Conglomerate
fg: "Why, you're not anyone if you're not writing a "green shoots" post." I did the same search, and I was embarrassed to be so late to the party. (Though I am sure you will remember my optimistic New Year's post, which is looking pretty prescient.) To be sure, we still have plenty of bad economic news, but it's interesting that your measures are all -- or at least mostly -- about the cumulative effects of the financial crisis. The metaphor of "green shoots" implies that the field is still mostly dead plants, but that we are seeing some signs of life. In other words, when we notice green shoots, we are not commenting on the cumulative effects of the crisis but rather on marginal phenomena. And the message is rather modest: there is reason for hope that things have turned around.
Toggle Commented May 18, 2009 on Green Shoots at Conglomerate
After writing the comment above, I decided to throw caution to the wind and get all optimistic with my "Green Shoots" post. I'm blaming Alexander Rybak.
Zaring: "Geithner's Treasury Department announces a new program every 14 days that then takes longer to get off the ground." PIPP is Exhibit A here. We had a flurry of discussion about it weeks ago, but it still is not up and running. Does all this talk about "green shoots" assume that Treasury will execute on PIPP? It might be nice to see some results before we get all optimistic ... or gloomy again.
attymsd, I deleted your comment yesterday, and I edited this comment. Enough of the ad hominem attacks. Your strong views are welcome, but stick to the substantive arguments.