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remembrance/veterans’ day November 12, 2018

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My father and both of my grandfathers served in WWI and WWII. They were lucky to survive, but their service had an impact on their lives afterwards and on the lives of all who loved them. People who waited for them to come home, fearing that they might not. People who lived in a world that was different because of their sacrifice from how it might have been if they had not made that sacrifice. They felt an obligation to put their lives at risk in the service of others. Their country, yes, but a vision of their country that was worth a great and personal sacrifice.

brexit insanities October 24, 2018

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As the House of Lords prepares to debate a People’s Vote on Brexit tomorrow, Dominic Raab declines to appear before the House of Lords’ EU Committee until a deal with the EU has been finalised. The Committee notes that this:

inhibits the Committee in fulfilling its obligations in scrutinising the progress of Brexit negotiations at this vital stage, and flies in the face of the commitment in your letter of 17 July, “to give evidence on a regular basis.”

Meanwhile the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee wrote to Michael Gove, with some questions about what might happen in a no deal scenario (including questions about how long after Brexit it might take for the UK to be able to export animals and waste to the EU, issues with respect to the safety of chemicals and about when the UK might reclaim jurisdiction to make decisions about fishing in UK waters).
Parliament seems to have been doing a decent job of trying to focus on a lot of the technical problems associated with Brexit, but the ultimate shape of the withdrawal seems to be pretty much up in the air.

implications of brexit for innovation in private law September 25, 2018

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I have reviewed Horst Eidenmueller, Collateral Damage: Brexit’s Negative Effects on Regulatory Competition and Legal Innovation in Private Law (May 7, 2018) at Jotwell here.

international economic crime September 9, 2018

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I was just in Cambridge for Barry Rider’s 36th International Symposium on Economic Crime which focused on unexplained wealth. At a time of uncertainty about the future of post WWII institutions and co-operation it was interesting – reassuring even – to see transnational co-operation at work.

an important reminder: “everybody’s got a sacred story” August 18, 2018

Posted by Bradley in : ethics , add a comment

From Jeanne Marie Laskas’ article in the Guardian, Dear Mr President:

“I learned in that process that if you listen hard enough, everybody’s got a sacred story,” he said. “An organising story, of who they are and what their place in the world is. And they’re willing to share it with you if they feel as if you actually care about it. And that ends up being the glue around which relation­ships are formed, and trust is formed, and commu­nities are formed. And ultimately – my theory was, at least – that’s the glue around which democracies work.”

fintech developments August 2, 2018

Posted by Bradley in : financial regulation , add a comment

The OCC has announced that it will begin to accept applications for national banking charters from Fintech companies via a policy statement, and a supplement to the Comptroller’s Licensing Manual. The Department of the Treasury published another in the series of papers on A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities, this time on Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation. The report summarizes its recommendations as falling within four categories:

Adapting regulatory approaches to changes in the aggregation, sharing, and use of consumer financial data, and to support the development of key competitive technologies; Aligning the regulatory framework to combat unnecessary regulatory fragmentation, and account for new business models enabled by financial technologies; Updating activity-specific regulations across a range of products and services offered by nonbank financial institutions, many of which have become outdated in light of technological advances; and Advocating an approach to regulation that enables responsible experimentation in the
financial sector, improves regulatory agility, and advances American interests abroad.

The report identifies regulatory fragmentation as an impediment to responsible innovation in many areas, is largely deregulatory, and endorses the idea of regulatory sandboxes, suggesting Congress enact legislation to provide for these. But the report uses words like appropriate a lot to describe what regulation might look like, and there are recognitions of some risks associated with Fintech (such as cybersecurity and other operational risks). So, a bit cagey about how deregulatory the plan is. I imagine a lot, but it’s written in a way that doesn’t always make that completely clear. However, note that whereas in many cases the report argues for federal rules (supposedly to eliminate complexity) in the case of payday lending the report argues that the CFPB’s payday lending rule should be rescinded in favour of state regulation.

The NYDFS expressed reservations about both initiatives. The NYDFS’ recent Online Lending Report emphasized the need for consumer protection in the online lending context.

The Treasury Report did not address blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in any detail the report notes that FSOC is leading a working group on these issues although there’s not much information publicly available about what the working group is doing. And we know that the SEC has concerns about initial coin offerings.

Towards the end of the report there are some comments about the US needing to be involved in the work of international forums and standard-setters, and to work with regulators in other jurisdictions. But international standards should let domestic regulators establish their own approaches before setting international standards, and they should be careful to adhere to their core mandates.

janelle monae July 28, 2018

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Went to see Janelle Monae yesterday evening. She was awesome.

three tall women review March 29, 2018

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Here. I saw this play in previews. It was wonderful – a really interesting play with splendid acting by all 3 of the main actors.

two exceptional pieces in the guardian: anne enright and deborah levy March 24, 2018

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My day started with Anne Enright’s article on abortion and Deborah Levy’s piece on starting again at 50. Two beautiful and powerful articles to begin a day with.

eu statement on the 25th anniversary of the single market March 20, 2018

Posted by Bradley in : brexit , add a comment

A joint statement from Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Boyko Borissov, holder of the rotating Council Presidency and Prime Minister of Bulgaria with the title, One Market- One Europe highlights a positive view of what the UK is seeking to leave behind (as it moves from being an internal (but perhaps not completely reliable) source of strength for the EU to being an external source of potential risk):

Over the past 25 years, the integration of our economies throughout the Single Market has generated millions of jobs, and made the EU the world’s largest economy. The Single Market is the jewel in the crown of our integration and this domestic market of 500 million people is the foundation for Europe’s strength, at home and abroad.
The Single Market provides Europe’s citizens with the freedoms and opportunities that were only a dream for our parents and grandparents, and our social market economy benefits us all. There are no second-class Europeans in our Single Market and so there is no room for second-class products or for second-class workers; meaning, the same pay for the same work in the same place, the same quality of food and the same safety of toys and other products….
The European Single Market is 25 years young. A generation of Europeans has grown up with it and benefitted from it. We will keep making it stronger so that the next generation will benefit even more.