- Penn student and professor credit Edward Emmett’s work on asbestos in Ambler, PA. (6/18/2013). Penn News.
- Professor Gerald Faulhaber, Wharton emeritus professor of business economics and public policy, warns about the vulnerability of personal information on wireless devices. (6/5/2013). Wharton.
- Huffington Post article on potential causes of drop in crime rate cites Professor Jonathan Klick’s study on cell phone use and crime (5/6/2013). Huffington Post.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on a University of Pennsylvania study on how political ideology effects consumer preference for environmentally friendly products, mentioning co-author Professor Howard Kunreuther and colleagues (5/2/2013). Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics,
weighs in on the effectiveness of shareholder reform campaigns, such as those of New York City Comptroller John Liu. (4/14/2013). Crain’s New York Business.
- The New York Times writes about workplace exposure to n-propyl bromide in North Carolina, noting how Adam Finkel, executive director of PPR, warned OSHA about the chemical’s risks years ago. (3/31/2013). New York Times.
- Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, defends International Game Technology’s decisions to not disclose a $10 million corporate purchase. (2/17/2013). Los Vegas Review-Journal.
- Professor Howard Kunreuther, commenting on the 2013 World Economic Forum Global Risks Report, calls for greater action to address climate change (1/8/2013). PRWeb.
- Professor Richard Berk comments on the effectiveness of gun seizures in Chicago. (2/2/2013). Christian Science Monitor.
- Professor Ted Ruger comments on the Supremacy Clause and state laws that reject Obama Administration gun regulations. (1/18/2013). ABC News.
- Professors Howard Kunreuther and Mark Pauly discuss their new book, Insurance and Behavioral Economics. (1/17/2013). AM Best.
- Professor Richard Berk signs onto a letter from leading scientists asking the Obama administration for access to gun violence information. (1/16/2013). CBS.
- Adam Finkel, executive director of PPR, compares chemical testing and regulation standards in the United States to those in Europe. (1/14/2013). Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Professor Richard Berk discusses his crime-prediction algorithm. (1/10/2013). Wired.
- An article on banking reform cites Professors Richard J. Herring and Charles Calomiris’s work. (1/8/2013). Pragmatic Capitalism.
- Professor David Zaring on how the judicial branch has played a low-key role in responding to the financial crisis. (1/7/2013). New York Times.
- Professors Cary Coglianese and Ted Ruger write about how the FDA failed to prevent a national outbreak of meningitis and suggest possible ways Congress can strengthen the agency in the future. (1/5/2013). Detroit Free Press.
- Professor David Skeel discusses religious freedom in the military in light of the resignation of a West Point cadet. (12/27/2012). Wall Street Journal.
- After the Newtown shooting, Professor Richard Berk comments on the statistics behind child homicides. (12/24/2012). Washington Post.
- A Mashable article cites Professor Jonathan Klick’s research on cell phone use and crime. (12/20/2012). Mashable.
- Professor Cary Coglianese questions whether or not the regulatory system deserves blame as a whole for recent disasters and tragedies and argues that failure often stems from structural or personnel deficiencies that Congress can and should remedy. (12/20/2012). The Hill.
- Professor Tom Baker criticizes states for opting out of creating their own health insurance exchanges. (12/13/2012). Financial Times (subscription only).
- The FDIC Systematic Resolution Advisory Committee, which includes Professor Richard J. Herring, discusses banking regulation. (12/13/2012). New York Times.
- Wharton Professors Richard J. Herring and Susan Wachter weigh in on how the Farm Credit System impacted the housing bubble. (12/3/2012). National Mortgage News.
- Professor David Zaring participates in the FTC Forum on Protecting Consumers Through Cross-Border Codes of Conduct. (11/29/2012). Federal Trade Commission.
- After Hurricane Sandy, Professors Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Howard Kunreuther outline the implications of an increase in expensive insured catastrophes since 2001. (11/24/2012). New York Times.
- Professor David Skeel writes about an anti-electioneering provision of IRS code which creates a “cloud of uncertainty over what a pastor or church can say.” (11/22/2012). Wall Street Journal.
- Adam Finkel, executive director of the PPR, talks about OSHA chemical exposure standards. (11/19/2012). The Center for Public Integrity.
- Professor Tom Baker calls for simplicity in online health insurance exchanges. (11/16/2012). Marketplace.
- Professor Stanley Laskowski encourages Penn collaboration with the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative in recognizing World Toilet Day to find solutions to sanitation problems. (11/15/2012). Penn News.
- The Wall Street profiles David Skeel’s argument for allowing states to file for bankruptcy. (11/9/2012). Wall Street Journal.
- Professor David Abrams uses empirical techniques such as instrumental variables and cost-benefit analysis to make recommendations on the economics of crime and punishment to policy makers. (11/6/2012). Wired.
- Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, comments on Netflix’s recent adoption of a “stockholder rights plan” also known as a “poison pill.” (11/5/2012). Commerce Times.
- Professor Ted Ruger talks about FDA scrutiny of an Atlanta medical device maker. (10/26/2012). The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
- Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, comments on the Facebook IPO, specifically Citi’s firing of a junior analyst involved in the IPO. (10/26/2012). Thomson Reuters.
- Professor Richard Berk discusses homicides in Washington D.C. (10/14/2012). Washington Post.
- In an interview with the Penn Gazette, Professor Tom Baker talks about the implications of the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid provision. (10/9/2012). Penn Gazette.
- Professor Vukan Vuchic’s 2005 book Urban Transit (Operations, Planning And Economics) is mentioned in an article on light rail transit (LRT). (9/27/2012). The Straits Times.
- ESPN quotes Professor Tom Baker on the Penn State settlement of the Jerry Sandusky case. (9/15/2012). ESPN.
- Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan testifies on ways to redesign TRIA in front of the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee during a hearing titled "TRIA (Terrorism Risk Insurance Act) at Ten Years: The Future of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program.” (9/11/2012). House Financial Services.
- Professor David Abrams talks to the New York Times about patent law, and the author cites a forthcoming research article written by Abrams and Penn Law professor R. Polk Wagner (8/26/2012). New York Times.
- Professor Vukan Vuchic highlights the need for high-speed trains in the Northeast Corridor of the United States. (8/21/2012). Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Professor David Skeel warns that government commitment to “rule-of-law virtues” has diminished since the financial crisis. (8/21/2012). Wall Street Journal.
- After Progressive Insurance received bad press for their handling of a fatal accident, Professor Tom Baker weighs in on the provisions of underinsured motorist coverage. (8/17/2012). New York Times.
- The Annenberg School on Professor Robert Hornik’s study on patient/clinician interaction. (8/16/2012). Annenberg School for Communication.
- Professors Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Howard Kunreuther applaud Congress for renewing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). (8/8/2012). Huffington Post.
- Professor Vukan Vuchic’s book Transportation for Livable Cities is mentioned in an article about rapid transit in Lahore. (7/25/2012). The Express Tribune.
- Wharton Professor Richard J. Herring talks about the LIBOR manipulation scandal. (7/18/2012). Wharton.
- Professor Tom Baker discusses malpractice insurance for troubled New York hospitals. (7/15/2012). New York Times.
- Dr. Christopher Barkan, a professor and executive director of the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, mentions Professor Vukan Vuchic’s work on high-speed rail. (7/12/2012). NPR.
- Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, refutes the contention that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney committed a felony by listing himself as managing director of Bain Capital. (7/12/2012). FactCheck.org.
- Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, speaks about Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins’ optimistic remarks about the future of Blackberry. (7/8/2012). New York Times.
- Professor Vukan Vuchic weighs in on how to manage ageing mass rapid transit (MRT) lines. (7/7/2012). The Straits Times (Singapore) (accessed from Lexis Nexis, subscription only).
- A U.S News blog references Professors Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, and Tess Wilkinson-Ryan’s recently published paper An Experiment on Mutual Fund Fees in Retirement Investing. (7/5/2012). U.S News.
- Professor Ted Ruger and Professor Ezekiel Emanuel on the Supreme Court’s ruling of the Affordable Care Act. (6/28/2012). New York Times.
- Professor Eric W. Orts notes the business costs for companies that make environmentally responsible choices. (6/22/2012). Wharton.
- Wharton Professor Richard J. Herring comments on the Indonesian economy. (6/20/2012). Wharton.
- Professor Richard Berk on crime-prediction and the Philadelphia court bail system. (6/14/2012). Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Donald E. Callaghan call for a segregated “Euro II” currency. (6/8/2012). Huffington Post.
- Professors Howard Kunreuther and Tom Baker are mentioned in the announcement of the newly formed Wharton/Penn Risk and Insurance Program (WPRIP). (5/18/2012). Wharton.
- Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, talks to Reuters about the practice of excluding certain investors from prominent IPOs in light of the Facebook IPO. (5/17/2012). Thomson Reuters.
- Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika comments on sources of obesity among low-income Americans. (5/15/2012). Family Practice News.
- Professor David Skeel reacts to an FDIC proposal on the seizure of failed financial firms. (5/9/2012). Wall Street Journal.
- Wharton Professor Richard J. Herring speaks as part of the American Enterprise Institute Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee. (5/7/2012). American Enterprise Institute.
- Professor David Zaring comments on the Supreme Court’s use of legislative history. (4/23/2012). Washington Post.
- Professor Vukan Vuchic comments on rapid structure infrastructure failures. (4/19/2012). The Straits Times (Singapore) (accessed from Lexis Nexis, subscription only).
- Professor Cary Coglianese appears in Politico’s “Arena Profile” discussing the implications of recent Obama administration controversies. (4/17/2012). Politico.
- Professor David Skeel comments on the timing of the clearinghouse default process in Dodd-Frank. (4/6/2012). Bloomberg.
- Professor David Skeel comments on U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff’s political activism. (4/4/2012). Bloomberg.
- Professor Richard Berk notes how per-capita crime statistics can be misleading. (4/2/2012). Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Professor David Skeel discusses municipal bankruptcy in relation to state bond laws. (3/28/2012). The Nation.
- Forbes quotes Professor Tom Baker on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. (3/28/2012). Forbes.
- Professor Ted Ruger on the oral arguments for the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act decision. (3/27/2012). NPR.
- Professor Ted Ruger considers the possibility of Justice Scalia as a swing vote in the Affordable Care Act Decision. (3/23/2012). Bloomberg.
- Professor Vukan Vuchic endorses rail rapid transit as the most “reliable and safe mode of urban transportation.” (3/17/2012). The Straits Times (Singapore) (accessed from Lexis Nexis, subscription only).
- Professor Howard Kunreuther testifies against lowering the SBA loan interest rate to businesses affected by disasters and instead argues for directing businesses to buy more disaster insurance in front of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access during a hearing titled "Examining the Role of Government Assistance for Disaster Victims: A Review of H.R.3042.” (2/16/2012). House Committee on Small Business.
- Managing Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center Erwann Michel-Kerjan identifies income inequality as one of the major risks facing the globe today, and cites China as a prominent example. (1/21/2012). Wall Street Journal (Asia).
- In an interview Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Managing Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center notes the widely held disquiet over catastrophic events occurring within the next 10 years, adding that he is concerned that risk consulting centers are not doing enough to prevent the risks that they assess. (1/20/2012). FastCompany.
- Wharton Professor Richard J. Herring discusses how economic mobility is grounded in a mobile workforce. (1/18/2012). Wharton.
- Prof. Cary Coglianese is highlighted in The Free State Foundation's "New Burden on Public Participation" (1/18/2012). The Free State Foundation.
- Jill Fisch comments on why so many university leaders serve on boards. (1/18/2012). Pittsburgh Tribune_Review.
- This year’s World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report – coauthored by Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan – shows greater concern over social risks such as income disparity and sovereign debt, whose impacts develop slowly, in addition to climate change and water shortage. (1/17/2012) US News.
- Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan, co-director and managing director of the Wharton Risk Center, comment on the population increase at potential floods sites along the American coast. (1/14/2012). The Economist.
- Erwann Michel-Kerjan argues that the international interdependence increases the impact of disasters. “A local event can become a global event much more quickly.” Howard Kunreuther, co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Process Center, adds that people react disproportionally to disasters that occur across the globe, such as buying earthquake insurance after one struck Japan. (1/11/2012). New York Times.
- Professor Cary Coglianese's study on regulatory information on government websites leads to recommendations by the Administrative Conference of the United States. (1/1/2012). The ABA Journal.
- Prof. David Skeel comments on pension agreement by retired police, firefighters in RI to alleviate municipality’s financial strain. (12/20/2011). The New York Times.
- Professor Christopher Yoo comments on AT&T's abandoned bid to acquire T-Mobile USA. "T-Mobile may be able to use its newfound cash and spectrum to bolster its fourth-place position in the wireless industry, just behind Sprint Nextel Corp," said Yoo. (12/20/2011). The Republic .
- Following a civil complaint by the S.E.C. against former head of Fannie Mae Dan Mudd for allegedly understating Fannie Mae's exposure to subprime mortgages, Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, comments on Mudd's future with his current employer, Fortress Investment Group. “The board has to ask themselves whether this is a problem in terms of his integrity,” said Fisch. (12/19/2011). The New York Times.
- Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, shares her view on rating agencies and their accountability for the 2008 financial crisis. (12/19/2011). Dukascopy.
- David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, discusses his 2010 article for The Weekly Standard, “Give States a Way to Go Bankrupt,” and what he expects in the future for bankruptcy as a possibility for states. (12/14/2011). Bloomberg.
- Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, comments on whether former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine may have violated the Sarbanes-Oxley reform act he helped create. "I think one of the questions that it raises is whether Sarbanes-Oxley and even Dodd-Frank reduces the incentives for this kind of conduct," said Fisch. (12/14/2011). Newsworks.
- David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, comments on American Airlines' strategy of declaring bankruptcy to slash labor costs. (12/7/2011). The New York Times (Op-ed).
- David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, explores whether or not it was immoral for American Airlines to file for bankruptcy. (12/5/2011). Christianity Today (Op-ed).
- Professor Cary Coglianese, director of the Penn Program on Regulation, writes about the Regulatory Accountability Act in "The Arena." (12/3/2011). Politico.
- Can tort reform limiting damages in medical malpractice lawsuits reduce claims? Yes, said Professor Tom Baker, but they are ill-advised because they do nothing to address the underlying problem. (12/1/2011). Claims Journal.
- Following a federal judge's rejection of a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup, Professor Jill E. Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, commented on the rise of no-wrongdoing settlements between the banks and the SEC. (12/1/2011). Fortune Magazine.
- David Skeel, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an expert in corporate bankruptcy, said that though airline bankruptcies are fairly common these days, there is still some amount of a stigma attached to filing. "Look at General Motors," Skeel said. "Well before it filed for bankruptcy, it was clear that it needed to file for bankruptcy. But Rick Wagoner, the then-CEO, refused to file, and stigma was one of the big arguments that he made." (11/29/2011). NPR.
- As creditors prepared to file lawsuits against small investors in the now-bankrupt Tribune Co., Professor David Skeel commented on the expansion of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code provision 546(e), which has been broadly interpreted to insulate investors who sold stock into a busted leveraged buyout. (11/27/2011). Chicago Tribune.
- Tom Baker, deputy dean and professor of law and health sciences, discussed insurance policy buybacks after the Archdiocese of Milwaukee revealed it was exploring this possibility in order to pay part of sex-abuse settlements. In a buyback an insurer buys back its policies, leaving the insured with a pool of money, and protecting itself against potentially greater losses. Baker explained that this is a relatively common option used by insurers to limit their exposure and provide a degree of certainty in an outcome. "It's something they do if they want to exit a relationship, usually if there is uncertainty about the underlying liability of coverage," said Baker. (11/21/2011). Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Professor Ted Ruger discusses why the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to President Obama's 2010 health care law and what is at stake. (11/16/2011). WHYY Radio Times.
- Risk Management Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan describes how the G20 can be much more proactive on supporting global risk management in governments in Op-Ed. (11/1/2011). The Huffington Post.
- Professor David Skeel discusses how (or whether) the Dodd-Frank Act's 'orderly liquidation authority' will work and suggests potential legislative fixes to financial reform. (11/1/2011). The Deal Pipeline.
- Professor David Skeel writes about his late friend William Stuntz' book The Collapse of American Criminal Justice, defending one of its more controversial proposals, jury nullification. (10/25/2011). The Atlantic.
- Professor Cary Coglianese speaks of the difficulty in turning public attention to e-rulemaking, a somewhat complex and technical process up to this point. “Ten years ago, people thought that if you put rulemaking materials online, there would be a groundswell of interest, but that has not happened,” said Coglianese. “There is not a lot of prominence to e-rulemaking, which is striking given that it is an essential role of government to create binding laws.” (10/24/2011). Federal Computer Week.
- Professor David Skeel says the popular comparison of the Greek financial crisis to the collapse of Lehman Brothers "completely misinterprets the significance of Lehman." Instead, he writes, "Greece is Europe's Bear Stearns." If the European Union bails out Greece instead of forcing it to default and restructure, it will face a similar meltdown as the U.S. faced after rescuing Bear Stearns in 2008. (10/18/2011). Wall Street Journal (subscription only).
- Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan explains the advantages of catastrophic bonds over reinsurance, both of which can be used in the case of natural disasters. (10/10/2011). The Washington Times.
- The high activity of FEMA may contribute to underinsurance and increased demand for federal aid, according to Risk Management Professors Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Howard Kunreuther. (10/3/2011). Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Professor Ted Ruger discusses the First Amendment as it relates to the Department of Health and Human Services's recent changes to the Affordable Care Act, requiring that employers include coverage of women's preventive care including birth control. (9/30/2011). RH Reality Check.
- Professor Jill Fisch called a jury's decision in the case of Trust Company of the West versus Jeffrey E. Gundlach, a bond fund manager found liable for breaching his fiduciary duty and stealing trade secrets at his former firm, yet still awarded millions of dollars in unpaid compensation, "a split-the-baby decision." Fisch said, "It didn't resolve any questions about how much you can compete, and it seems like it was a long expensive battle that could have been avoided." (9/16/2011). New York Times.
- Professor Jill Fisch, co-Director of the Institute for Law and Economics, comments on a national trend toward older corporate boards of directors. "There is a concern at a certain point, ‘Are you going to rubber-stamp, are you going to stop paying attention?" said Fisch. "But I don't think there is a bright line in terms of age." (9/15/2011). Bloomberg.
- Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan, managing director of the Wharton Risk Management Center, says leaders must "limit the amount of new construction in high-risk areas and make sure people and firms already in those areas have proper [insurance]]" to counter inconsistent natural disaster insurance subscriptions and financial risks faced by the federal government. (9/15/2011). Washington Post.
- Following the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees's demand that Goldman Sachs remove CEO Lloyd Blankfein as chairman of the board and replace him with an independent board chair, Professor Jill Fisch said academic research on the usefulness of an independent chair is "inconclusive" and the addition of an independent chair is not a one-size-fits-all "magic elixir" for companies, including Goldman. (9/14/2011). Mother Jones.
- Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan observes the massive economic impact dealt by the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, and the way they impede development. "Future disasters promise also to have much more ripple effect through a complex net of business, social and political inter-dependencies," he warns. (9/9/2011). Huffington Post.
- In testimony before a House Judiciary subcommittee, Professor David Skeel called proposed legislation that would divert large corporate bankruptcy cases away from the two top courts that now handle most of that work "an enormous but well-intentioned mistake." (9/8/2011). Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg Businessweek.
- Professor Tom Baker calls claims that malpractice reform improves the practice of medicine and reduces medical costs "a complete bunch of bunk." He also calls the medical-malpractice problem "the welfare queen of modern-day politics," saying, "It's someone everyone can hate, and it taps into ideas that make a lot of sense to people." (9/1/2011). National Journal.
- Penn Law Fellow and Executive Director of the Penn Program on Regulation Adam Finkel comments on a paper that gives new details about the amount of a toxic chemical named perc that remains in clothing after it is dry-cleaned. (9/2/2011). Washington Post.
- Professor Christopher Yoo calls the Justice Department's move Wednesday to block AT&T Inc.'s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA on the grounds that the combination would hurt competition a shock, saying, "With T-Mobile's competitive problems you could reasonably make the case that T-Mobile doesn't have the resources to be a viable player without the merger." (9/1/2011). Wall Street Journal (subscription only).
- In response to the many residents of risk areas without flood insurance- which costs taxpayers when disaster strikes- Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan invites the nation to ask,"Do we expect people to pay for people living in disaster areas?" (9/1/2011). LA Times.
- Penn Law Professor Tom Baker comments on the expected disputes between homeowners and insurance companies following the property damage of Hurricane Irene. "A flood of claims may lead to a river of litigation," he says. (8/31/2011). Reuters.
- Speaking of the need for federal agencies to improve their online presentations of rule-making information for the general public, Professor Cary Coglianese says, "This information should be accessible to all Americans, not just to those sophisticated players that know how to navigate through the system to find it." (8/30/2011). Nextgov.com.
- Cary Coglianese, Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, says the website Performance.gov gives visitors "a picture of what high-level officials in the White House might be seeing when they're managing what's happening across the entire federal government." (8/26/2011). Marketplace.
- Working under commission from the Administrative Conference of the United States, Professor Cary Coglianese has published a study with recommendations for federal agencies to improve their use of the Internet for electronic rulemaking. (8/22/2011). Federal Times.
- Speaking to the importance of federal agencies providing clear links to rulemaking pages on their websites, Professor Cary Coglianese writes, "Rulemaking may perhaps never be a 'top task' in terms of the numbers of web users, but in a democracy few tasks compare in significance with the ability of government agencies to create binding law." (8/16/2011). FierceGovernment. FierceGovernment Editor's Corner.
- Professor Jill Fisch explains why News Corp's incorporation in Delaware may protect it from shareholders who attempt to file derivative complaints against the company because of the recent phone hacking scandal and resulting stock plummets. "Delaware law doesn't allow you to say this corporation got into trouble and now we're going to look back and say, 'Gee, the directors saw it coming,'" says Fisch. (8/12/2011). Reuters.
- A new Rhode Island law that guarantees municipal bondholders will be paid back even if the cities and towns in which they invest go bankrupt could spur a nationwide trend -- if courts allow it to stand. "One of the big issues with a municipality filing bankruptcy is the effect on bonds, so if that's off the table, you can bet more states will think about passing these kinds of laws," said Professor David Skeel. (8/11/2011). Reuters.
- Professor Tom Baker explains why a company like Transatlantic Holdings Inc. would be attractive to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which recently bid $3.25 billion in an unsolicited offer that seeks to break up a deal the target company had reached with another insurer. (8/8/2011). Bloomberg.
- Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan, managing director of the Risk Management and Decision-Processes Center, describes the role on private insurance companies in the National Flood Insurance Program. (7/31/2011). Philly.com
- As the phone-hacking scandal continues to unfold, Professor Tom Baker answers the question, "Who is paying News Corp's legal bills?" (7/20/2011). Reuters.
- In the first part of a series of articles examining the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), Adam Finkel, director of the Penn Program on Regulation, tells the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News that while serving as a regional administrator for the agency, he was under pressure to expand VPP membership, sometimes at the cost of enforcement. "It was always, 'How many people are you putting on this? How many new sites have you got?'," says Finkel. (7/7/2011). Huffington Post.
- As semiautonomous systems become more common in cars, the question arises: How should insurance companies handle claims linked to the possible failure of these systems? Professor Tom Baker provides possible outcomes of a hypothetical scenario in which an insurance company must determine liability for an accident in which a driver was using his car's active cruise-control system. (6/28/2011). Wired.
- Professor Christopher S. Yoo calls an impending investigation into Google's search-advertising business by the Federal Trade Commission "a major headache for Google even if they ultimately prevail in court." Yoo says that even though changes in antitrust laws in the United States have made it much harder for the government to prevail, the U.S. investigation "will occupy many, many hours of management's time and attention." (6/23/2011). The Guardian.
- "[T]o claim that the car companies would have collapsed if the government hadn't intervened in the way it did, and to suggest that the intervention came at very little cost, is a dangerous misreading of our recent history," writes Penn Law Professor David Skeel in an op-ed challenging the government's portrayal of the auto bailouts as a brilliant success with no unpleasant side effects. "Commandeering the bankruptcy process was not, as apologists for the bailouts claim, the only hope for GM and Chrysler. And the long-term costs of the bailouts will be enormous." (6/6/2011). Wall Street Journal Op-Ed.
- Penn Law Professor, David Skeel, comments on the product liability in the government's bailouts of car-makers Chrysler and General Motors. "This was not a normal case. The government was deciding who was going to be taken care of and who was not," said David Skeel, a University of Pennsylvania law school professor and bankruptcy expert. Even if the auto makers had legal rights to leave behind product-liability claims, "there is a deep unfairness," he said. "It would have been easy enough to set something aside for them." (5/27/2011). Wall Street Journal .
- Speaking about the European Union debt crisis, David Skeel finds parallels between the uncertainty of additional bailout funds for Greece and the initial incertitude among U.S. banks after the Bear Stearns bailout. "It's what many economists were calling 'constructive ambiguity'," Skeel said. "If you don't know you're going to be bailed out, that's a good thing, because you will act as if you're not going to be bailed out." (5/25/2011). Brisbane Times.
- Citing the increading rate of catastrophes and their wider impact in globalized networkds, Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan calls on private insurance companies to develop new risk models. (5/16/2011) Insurance Journal.
- As corporate boards attempt to develop plans for "black swan" events--unforeseen occurrences like natural disasters, financial collapses, and terrorist attacks--Professor Jill Fisch points out the limitations to their reach. "To a large extent, a board has to rely on management members and outside advisers in terms of bringing serious risks to the board's attention and recommending a course of action," Fisch says. "Boards are asking more questions but – ultimately – these events are not something they are very well equipped to assess on their own." (5/9/2011). Business Insider.
- Penn Law Professor Jill Fisch, co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, comments on shareholder concerns related to the succession of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett now that ethics violations have forced former manager (and replacement frontrunner) David Sokol to resign from the company. (5/1/2011). Bloomberg.
- Howard Kunreutherand Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Co-Directors of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Process Center, produced the annual Global Risks Report in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. They identified upcoming risks, highlighted the interconnected nature of diverse risks as a new element of risk analysis and urged leaders to address causes of global risks. (Spring 2011). Wharton Magazine.
- Arguing that the impact of a federal regulation should be studied before and after it is adopted, Professor Cary Coglianese, director of the Penn Program on Regulation, writes, "The debate over regulation stems in part from everyone's insufficiently informed beliefs about the actual impacts of regulation. One way to narrow the political chasm is to generate more facts about what works and what doesn't." (4/29/2011). Los Angeles Times Op-Ed.
- Soon Delaware's Chancery Court, one of the most important business courts in the United States, will get a new chief judge for the first time in 14 years. Professor Jill Fisch anticipates that the selected replacement for Chancellor William Chandler will need to reconsider the relationship between Delaware courts and corporate management. "I have a sense that the Chancery Court is due to re-examine shareholder activism and corporate boards and push up against the Supreme Court," says Fisch. (4/26/2011). Reuters.
- Professor Jill Fisch explains the decision of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Judge Robert Mahony to bar Delaware money manager David Baldt from working as an investment adviser and institute a small fine after he was found guilty of engaging in insider trading in 2008, rather than impose larger fines that could have run into the hundreds of thousands. Fisch says it's not uncommon for an administrative law judge to impose an industry bar and no fine. A bar is meant to protect the public interest going forward, she notes, while a fine is meant as a punishment for past activities. (4/22/2011). The News Journal.
- Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan talks about distributing risk and including new types of investors to manage risk in an interview. (4/18/2011) Foreign Policy.
- The Philadelphia Orchestra board voted to file for Chapter 11 reorganization this weekend, a move considered unusual since its assets are more than triple its liabilities. For this reason Professor David Skeel says the American Federation of Musicians may have a "decent argument" that the filing is not in good faith. "There's no requirement that a debtor be insolvent," he explains, "but if the debtor clearly is solvent, the court might be persuaded that the case should be dismissed as not having been filed in good faith." (4/17/2011). Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Have prosecutors and regulators been aggressive enough in pursuing wrongdoing by high-profile participants that led to the latest financial crisis? Professor David Skeel notes, "If you look at the last couple of years and say, ‘This is the big-ticket prosecution that came out of the crisis,' you realize we haven't gotten very much." He continues, "It's consistent with what many people were worried about during the crisis, that different rules would be applied to different players. It goes to the whole perception that Wall Street was taken care of, and Main Street was not." (4/14/2011). New York Times.
- Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan advocates for "audit-plus committees" that will incorporate risk into strategy development. "It's the board's responsibility to oversee internal and external factors that can jeopardize the organization, but there is very little structure right now to allow this, and not many board members have the desire or expertise to do it." (4/1/2011). CFO Magazine.
- "On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most prepared and zero being the worst-prepared ever, you can put Haiti at zero, you can put Japan at eight and you can put the U.S. at five," said Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan in an article on earthquake risk management in the US (3/15/2011). CNN
- Professor David Skeel confirms the possibility of another bank using similar techniques as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to affect financial stability in the future, despite the enactment of the Dodd-Frank law: "These kinds of transactions had a lot to do with the financial crisis and Dodd-Frank doesn't target them in any direct way." (3/11/2011). Bloomberg.
- Speaking on the topic of whether states should be permitted to declare bankruptcy and what such changes might mean for pensions, Penn Law Professor David Skeel explains, "Some people on the right see it as a chance to whack the public unions." (3/3/2011). New York Times.
- Penn Law Professor Tom Baker calls the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal law intended to protect worker benefits that is now invoked by life insurers to deny paying death benefits to families, "the most important federal insurance regulation of the past generation," and adds "If ever a law backfired for the public, ERISA is the perfect example." (3/1/2011). Bloomberg.
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel comments on the prevailing assumption that regulators will continue to bail out U.S. banking firms in financial trouble instead of proceeding with the orderly liquidation process detailed in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms. (2/25/2011). Reuters.
- On the question of whether allowing states to enter into bankruptcy proceedings would make it easier for states to renegotiate pension and other benefit promises, Penn Law Professor David Skeel anticipates that, if turned into legislation, the proposal would "give debtor states even more power to rewrite union contracts, if the court approves." (2/24/2011). Institutional Investor.
- As states grapple with multibillion-dollar deficits and yawning budget gaps, the world wonders: Can states go bankrupt? Penn Law Professor David Skeel believes a state bankruptcy could be an extension of the federal code governing municipal insolvencies, known as Chapter 9. "I feel that what's been done with municipal bankruptcy ... provides a pretty clear road map for what a state bankruptcy law could do," he said. (2/18/2011). The Deal.
- Professor Cary Coglianese, director of the Penn Program on Regulation, discusses the process of developing new government rules and laws that would compel airlines to enhance consumer protections in a political climate that is resistant to regulation. (2/17/2011). Washington Post.
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel comments on whether the federal bankruptcy court would allow MLB documents to be subpoenaed in a case brought by the Madoff bankruptcy trustee seeking $1 billion from Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz. The lawsuit alleges that the Mets owners ignored warnings that Madoff was a fraud. (2/11/2011). Fox Sports.
- "Now, more than ever, we need...a solution of last resort that does not depend on using a major federal bail-out as a backstop," David Skeel, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, said in written testimony prepared for a hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to address state budgetary woes. Some of Wednesday's testimony will be dedicated to the question – raised by Republican lawmakers – of whether states should be allowed to file for bankruptcy protection as a solution to their fiscal stress. (2/9/2011). Financial Times.
- "What comes after net neutrality is, unfortunately, a little bit more net neutrality," said Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo, suggesting that despite calls for the FCC to move on from the net neutrality debate, he wasn't confident that would happen. (2/5/2011). Computerworld Australia.
- Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo participated in a panel discussion on Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision on net neutrality, a policy that requires Internet providers to allow content providers equal access to networks. The program was part of a day-long Free State Foundation conference on the FCC's decision on net neutrality. (2/4/2011). CSPAN (video).
- Can the Dodd-Frank Act make good on its promise to prevent the next collapse and put an end to government bailouts of private institutions? In his book, "The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act And Its (Unintended) Consequences," Penn Law Professor David Skeel presents a critical analysis of the landmark legislation. (2/3/2011). Penn Current.
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel discusses the financial status of states that have serious deficit issues and the possibility of bankruptcy. (2/3/2011). C-SPAN Washington Journal (video).
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel discusses a proposal that would allow states to declare bankruptcy as a way to handle overwhelming debt. He wrote the widely circulated opinion page "Give the States a Way to go Bankrupt" for the Weekly Standard. (1/30/2011). NPR.
- "Reorganizations often have a lot of transition costs associated with them as government begins to work in its new organizational form," said Penn Law Professor Cary Coglianese, who directs the Penn Program on Regulation, discussing President Obama's State of the Union call for an overhaul of federal bureaucracy. "It may be worth it in some cases, but there's no panacea for making government work better." (1/26/2011). ABC News.
- In a solicited opinion article Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan, managing director of the Risk Management and Decision Process Center, states that the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, will discuss risk management as outlined in the 2011 Global Risks Report. This report, co-authored by Michel-Kerjan and Wharton Professor Howard Kunreuther, outlined the risks faced in the upcoming decades, including "fiscal crises, climate-related risks, extreme energy price volatility, and economic disparity." (1/24/2011). Washington Post.
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel discusses topics raised in his new book, The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and Its (Unintended) Consequences. (1/20/2011). Bloomberg TV.
- Penn Law Professor Christopher Yoo spoke about the FCC's recent vote to impose net neutrality rules on broadband providers. The vote may set up a long-term effort to rewrite the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for the Internet Age, Yoo said. Congress and the FCC should "tread lightly and carefully" when exploring new rules for the Internet because of rapid changes in technology, including a fast move by Internet users to mobile broadband, Yoo added. (1/19/2011). PCWorld .
- Cary Coglianese, Penn Law professor and director of the Penn Program on Regulation, discusses President Obama's order of a far-reaching review of federal regulations with the goal of weeding out rules that hurt job growth and creation. "This is a statement to Republicans in Congress as much as it is to the American people and to the president's own Cabinet officials," Coglianese said. (1/18/2011). Associated Press.
- For states facing severe financial problems, we can see the crisis coming from a mile away – and Congress has no excuse not to act by creating a new bankruptcy law for the states, argues Penn Law Professor David Skeel. "The collapse of the big banks in 2008 took the country by surprise, and regulators concluded that they had no other choice than to bail them out. This time we can see the crisis before it is too late, and we have a real choice. Rather than bailing the states out, Congress should give them a fresh start by enacting a new chapter of the bankruptcy laws for states." (1/18/2011). Wall Street Journal Op-Ed.
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel says that state bankruptcy could pass constitutional muster. The key, he says, is that it would have to follow the same rules that govern local-government bankruptcies: The decision to file would have to be voluntary and the bankruptcy court couldn't interfere with governmental powers. He also notes that for states facing major financial challenges, "[t]he issues are so big I really think they can't be dealt with outside of bankruptcy." (1/15/2011). Los Angeles Times.
- In an interview Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan explains the Global Risk Report which he helped write. He identified risks in climate, energy price, and finance, as the most costly at the global scale for the next decade. (1/13/2011). Bloomberg TV.
- "This isn't David vs. Goliath," said Penn Law Professor Tom Baker, discussing Toyota squaring off against insurance companies that sued the auto maker last week to recoup sudden-acceleration crash claim payments. "This has to be the worst news that the general counsel of Toyota has gotten in a while. If I'm Toyota and I see name-brand insurance companies suing me, I am definitely paying attention." (1/4/2011). NPR.
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel discusses the legality of states filing for bankruptcy to deal with pension issues. He recently wrote an article arguing that creating a new bankruptcy chapter for states is the best option for avoiding a massive federal bailout. (12/30/2010). Fox Business.
- Wharton Professor Howard Kunreuther calls on leaders to consider the new risks formed by interconnected networks. To support such actions, "we need well-enforced regulations to ensure that a firm undertaking specific risk-reducing measures does not feel at a competitive disadvantage." (12/29/2010). The Washington Post.
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel discussed bankruptcy issues for cities and towns facing unsustainable pension costs, saying the question of whether a municipality can cut benefits to current retirees is a "big issue" emerging from the smattering of recent cases in Chapter 9, which provides a route for municipal bankruptcies. Skeel recently wrote a widely circulated article advocating that states be allowed to file for bankruptcy, which is currently not permitted under Chapter 9. (12/23/2010). Wall Street Journal.
- A review of Penn Law Professor David Skeel's book, The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and its (Unintended) Consequences: "essential reading" … "Skeel, who constructs a deceptively complex argument that informed laymen can easily get through, provides a way of thinking about the legislation that gives it a coherence … This is an important contribution, not only to weighing the reforms themselves, but in making some sense of the larger crisis." (12/15/2010). The Deal.
- Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo joined Radio Times for a debate on network neutrality – the idea that Internet service providers should not discriminate between data or content traveling along their lines but treat it all equally. The hotly debated issue is gaining new attention due to the FCC chairman's announcement last week of a new network neutrality proposal. (12/10/2010). WHYY.
- A New York Times editorial states that, "Before the 2009 financial crisis, David Skeel, an expert on financial regulation, explained that 'hedge funds are best understood by what they are not. They are not regulated.' Astoundingly, that is basically still true." Skeel is the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. (11/30/2010). New York Times .
- Professor Cary Coglianese, director of the Penn Program on Regulation (PPR), and Fellow Adam Finkel, executive director of the PPR, discussed the bill introduced by Sen. Landrieu to address the regulatory burden on small businesses. Coglianese also discussed the role of notice and comments in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's proposed reinterpretation of its noise protection standards. (11/25/2010). BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter, vol. 40, no. 46 (subscription only).
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel writes that creating a new bankruptcy chapter for states is the best option for avoiding a massive federal bailout. (11/20/2010). Weekly Standard.
- With U.S. trustee and creditors in the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy proceedings questioning spending at the megachurch, Penn Law Professor David Skeel said the trustee is clearly taking an aggressive stance in the early stages of the case. "They usually don't go over everything with a fine-toothed comb," he said. Skeel said churches are not operated like a typical business. "Church staffs are not always as bottom-line-oriented as a business would be," he said. "That's a real issue in a case like this." (11/18/2010). Los Angeles Times .
- "What we need is the disclosure of reasoned explanations, sound explanations that show why decisions got made the way they did," said Cary Coglianese, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, discussing government transparency in an age when government information is readily available on the Internet. "Modern technology may give us more noise when what we really need is better music." (11/12/2010). Bangor Daily News.
- Penn Law Professor David Skeel writes on Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn. The church-state case, which is currently before the Supreme Court, involves a long simmering dispute over the constitutionality of tax credits for religious and other private schools. (11/5/2010). Wall Street Journal Op-Ed.
- There have been many initiatives by both parties to broaden citizen participation in the policy process through e-government. But are those measures working? Penn Law Professor Cary Coglianese discusses the movement toward e-goverment, which has been around since the Clinton administration. (11/3/2010). Federal News Radio.
- "The worst thing about the current foreclosure crisis is that we could have been out of it long ago if the big banks weren't so blinded by their own short-term financial interests," said Penn Law Professor and Marketplace Commentator David Skeel. "Let's go back three years ago. The real estate bubble burst and home owners ended up owing a lot more than their homes were worth. But the most obvious fix to this problem was ignored: All we needed to do was tweak the bankruptcy law." (11/2/2010). American Public Media .
- "I've never heard of four competing plans at the same time in the same case before," said David Skeel, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and author on bankruptcy, discussing the four simultaneous reorganization plans in the Tribune Company bankruptcy. (11/2/2010). Chicago Breaking Business.
- A review of Penn Law Professor Sophia Lee's article, Race, Sex, and Rulemaking: Administrative Constitutionalism and the Workplace, 1960 to the Present, 96 Va. L. Rev. 799 (2010): "exceptional … [I]ts detailing of the enactment and enforcement of equal employment rules by the FCC from the 1960s to today is remarkable." Professor Lee's article uses the history of equal employment rulemaking at the FCC and the FPC to document and analyze, for the first time, how administrative agencies interpret the Constitution. (10/29/2010). Jotwell.
- Penn Law Professor Jill Fisch's article analyzing the significance of voting recommendations issued by proxy firms, "The Power of Proxy Advisors: Myth or Reality" (with Stephen Choi and Marcel Kahan), is cited as "a compelling case that some popular descriptions of the power of proxy advisers overstate their influence." (10/26/2010). CNBC.
- On Nov. 2, Californians will vote on Proposition 19, which would allow anyone age 21 or older to grow marijuana and to possess as much as an ounce of the plant for personal use on private property. But if the law were to pass, could the federal government overturn it? Penn Law Professor Ted Ruger discusses the validity of the proposed marijuana-legalization measure. (10/15/2010). The Atlantic. & National Journal.
- "It's a nice idea in theory, but the people who have the motivation to be whistleblowers may not have the smoking gun about the corporation," said Professor Jill Fisch, an expert on corporate governance who co-directs the Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, speaking about the whistleblower bounty program included in the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. (10/13/2010). Wall Street Journal.
- "If you have zero unannounced visits and if the industry knows there will be no unannounced visits, that changes the incentive to be vigilant," said Cary Coglianese, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in regulatory issues. The Wall Street Journal reported in the article that according to its analysis of federal data, surprise inspections of deepwater drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico dwindled to about three a year over the past decade, even as exploratory drilling far from shore increased. (10/11/2010). Wall Street Journal.
- In an opinion piece co written with Paul Slovic, Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan identifies two psychological limits to compassions: disaster fatigue and numbing in the face of large numbers. To compensate for these constraints, they recommend developing institutions that can consistently provide relief. (10/7/2011). Huffington Post.
- With the upcoming midterm elections and strong reactions to a joint Google-Verizon policy proposal, the debate over network neutrality is as volatile as ever. Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo discussed the muddier aspects of the Google-Verizon proposal, as well as the politics behind the FCC's potential actions on network neutrality. (9/1/2010). Knowledge@Wharton.
- In the wake of three major energy disasters – BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Massey Energy's coalmine explosion in Virginia, and Enbridge's pipeline spill in Michigan – Penn Law Professor Cary Coglianese, director of the Penn Program on Regulation (PPR), and Fellow Adam M. Finkel, executive director of the PPR, discussed how regulatory citation systems can better avert such disasters. (8/24/2010). Fortune.
- "The courts are staking out a role that frankly we seem to need," said Penn Law Professor Jill E. Fisch, speaking about the trend of judges taking a tougher line on bank settlements. "They are standing in for the general public, the public interest, and demanding more" from regulators. (8/23/2010). New York Times.
- What would a 'private' Internet look like? Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo discusses the Google-Verizon net neutrality proposal and the possibility of a tiered Internet. (8/11/2010). ABC News.
- Penn Law Professor Theodore Ruger joined Radio Times to dissect Judge Vaughn R. Walker's ruling to overturn California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, for discriminating against gay men and women. (8/10/2010). WHYY (audio).
- Making Financial Regulation Work: The Supreme Court's Role, Washington Post, 08/03/2010, David Zaring
- Penn Law Professor Jill Fisch discussed how difficult it may be for shareholders to prove that BP broke securities laws and hid the risks of its drilling operations. (7/16/2010). Reuters.
- "It's a no-brainer that the president needs good aides and good advisors. The controversy is over what shades of presidential power people want," said Penn Law Professor and Deputy Dean Cary Coglianese, discussing the Obama administration's appointment of "czars," who are often answerable only to the White House. Coglianese added that whether people are for or against appointing czars usually depends on whether they agree with – or oppose – the president's policies. (7/8/2010). Understanding Government.
- Penn Law Professor Jill E. Fisch discussed the Supreme Court's decision on the honest services fraud statute. The decision "hugely clarifies" what constitutes honest services fraud, said Fisch. (7/6/2010). Legal Intelligencer (registration required).
- "The Pakistani government needs to rapidly learn "large-scale" disaster management. Many do not appreciate there is a radical difference between traditional disaster management and catastrophic disaster management," says Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan. He follows that the destruction of the floods will greatly impede the development of the country, but that this period of increasing disasters necessitates guiding populations and development to minimize risk. (7/2/2010). Washington Post.
- Companies have a constitutional right to sue their regulators, said Penn Law Professor and Deputy Dean Cary Coglianese, speaking about Massey Energy Company's suit against the Mine Safety and Health Administration. But "[y]ou don't want to do this frivolously," Coglianese said. "If you really don't think you have any case at all, you do have to come back and interact with these regulators in the future." (6/29/2010). Fortune.
- "Even if it turns out that it would be a hard suit to win, just the gesture of requiring A.I.G. to scrap its ability to sue is outrageous," said Penn Law Professor David Skeel, speaking about the government's bailout of A.I.G., which required the company to forfeit its right to sue several banks – including Goldman Sachs – over irregularities with most of the mortgage securities it insured in the pre-crisis years. "This really suggests they had myopia and they were looking at it entirely through the perspective of the banks." (6/29/2010). New York Times.
- "What they all want to do is have the insurance companies pay, if possible," said Penn Law Professor Tom Baker, speaking about the liability questions facing BP and other companies involved in the Gulf oil disaster. (6/25/2010). New York Times.
- Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan commends the OECD on its creation of a permanent board to monitor and analyze terrorism insurance internationally. "While proper insurance coverage will not prevent the next large-scale terrorist attack, it will provide the necessary financial safety net for people and corporations to get back to their feet as quickly as possible right after it, providing some economic stability in an already turbulent world. "(6/23/2010). Huffington Post.
- "You have to give Apple its reward for creating an incredibly innovative smartphone," said Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo, noting that the company's extreme control over its platform is not enough to bring government retribution. "People who build the proverbial better mousetrap have to get some reward for it." (6/11/2010). Financial Times.
- Should the U.S. stop BP from paying dividends to its shareholders to make sure the company covers all costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill? "BP can, and should, pay governments, the fishing industry and the owners of coastal properties for their losses," wrote Penn Law Professor Tom Baker in the New York Times Room for Debate blog. "We don't ordinarily want the government telling companies when they can declare a dividend. But can anyone doubt that this is an extraordinary case?" (6/10/2010). New York Times.
- "They are so obviously solvent," said Penn Law Professor David Skeel, explaining that BP would be hard pressed to find a bankruptcy court that would accept a Chapter 11 petition at this point. But Skeel said a bankruptcy might make sense in the next two years, once the oil spill is capped. (6/10/2010). Reuters.
- As the White House Office of Management and Budget continued its push for greater openness and transparency in the rulemaking process, Penn Law Professor and Deputy Dean Cary Coglianese, director of the Penn Program on Regulation (PPR), and Adam Finkel, executive director of the PPR, discussed the immediate positive impact, and potential limitations, of the OMB's new guidance for federal agencies. (6/10/2010). BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter, vol. 40, no. 23 (subscription only).
- Penn Law Professor Tom Baker discussed the significance of one of the first court rulings to address insurance coverage involving problematic Chinese drywall. Baker said the ruling, in which a federal judge held that a Virginia homeowner's insurance policy doesn't cover damages caused by the drywall, was a small victory for insurers as a whole because it was based on state law, which governs insurance contracts. "This is ultimately a question of state law, and the courts that ultimately matter in the long run are state courts," Baker said. (6/9/2010). Bradenton Herald.
- As the White House Office of Management and Budget continued its push for greater openness and transparency in the rulemaking process, Penn Law Professor and Deputy Dean Cary Coglianese, director of the Penn Program on Regulation (PPR), and Adam Finkel, executive director of the PPR, discussed the immediate positive impact, and potential limitations, of the OMB's new guidance for federal agencies. (6/10/2010). BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter, vol. 40, no. 23 (subscription only).
- "There isn't very much accountability for ratings agencies right now," said Penn Law Professor Jill E. Fisch. "And by and large, courts have held that the ratings agencies are not subject to liability." (6/2/2010). NPR Marketplace.
- "Currently independent directors do not seem to have a meaningful role as a gatekeeper," and they do not serve as a "fiduciary with respect to the underlying quality of the investment," said Penn Law Professor Jill E. Fisch, discussing the role of independent directors in collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs. In light of those limitations, she said one could rightly ask, "Why not just get rid of them?" (5/27/2010). Reuters.
- "When read together, both these articles point toward strong central control of the federal bureaucracy," said Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo, analyzing Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's scholarly articles backing wider executive power. "The control goes to the agency head, and the agency heads are in turn accountable to the president." (5/21/2010). New York Times.
- "[D]espite all the rhetoric about an individual mandate, it's essentially a tax incentive regime, so people who don't have insurance pay a little more in taxes," said Penn Law Professor Theodore Ruger, explaining why the new healthcare law does not violate the commerce clause of the Constitution. Ruger also discussed the strength of other constitutional arguments that states' attorneys general have raised in lawsuits seeking to overturn the healthcare law. (5/12/2010). MedPage Today.
- "You might feel bad for people who sell at the bottom," said Penn Law Professor Jill E. Fisch, referring to investors caught on the wrong side of trades in last week's still unexplained market freefall. But "[t]hat's part of being in the market," she added, suggesting that such investors may have little recourse. (5/11/2010). Reuters.
- Speculation about the Obama administration's second Supreme Court appointment ended when the President introduced Solicitor General Elena Kagan as his nominee for the seat vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens. Penn Law Professor Theodore Ruger, a former clerk to Justice Breyer and an expert on constitutional law, spoke to Radio Times about Kagan's qualifications and the road ahead. (5/11/2010). WHYY Radio Times.
- Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan, managing director of the Risk Management and Decision Process Center, and Professor Howard Kunreuther, co-director of the Center, propose to Congress multiyear flood insurance as a way to renovate the National Flood Insurance Program. (4/28/2010). Huffington Post.
- "It's certainly plausible that's where we could be headed," said Penn Law Professor David Skeel, speaking about the possibility that a strike threat could give management of the Philadelphia Inquirer, currently in bankruptcy, the opportunity to reject a bid from the secured lenders, even if they offered more money. "This is uncharted waters." (4/27/2010). Reuters.
- In an interview on the disruption caused by the European volcano eruption, Professor Ewann Michel-Kerjan calls on companies to develop a disaster strategy team to prepare for unlikely but potentially catastrophic events, highlighting the greater probability of facing a disaster in a highly interconnected global economy. (4/23/2010). The Economist.
- If Bear Stearns or AIG had been able to keep their derivatives creditors at bay, there would have been much less justification for a taxpayer rescue, argues Penn Law Professor David Skeel in an op-ed with Thomas Jackson. "There isn't [a silver bullet in financial reform], but removing the special treatment of derivatives in bankruptcy comes close. It could provide the basis for a sensible compromise on derivatives regulation while also addressing the bailout problem." (4/21/2010). Wall Street Journal Op-Ed.
- As lawmakers move closer to passing sweeping reform of the financial system, including the complex derivatives market, Penn Law Professor David Skeel spoke on the PBS NewsHour about derivatives rules and the reform effort. "The reform Wall Street is really worried about is the requirement that derivatives be traded on exchanges. … this threatens to take away a huge profit center from Wall Street banks." (4/21/2010). PBS.
- "From the complaint, it looks pretty strong," said Penn Law Professor Jill Fisch, describing the SEC's civil fraud case against Goldman Sachs. "It's a test case in terms of the SEC going forward both for whether they're successful and, if they settle, will it be a meaningful penalty." (4/18/2010). Wall Street Journal.
- "These are pretty egregious facts in terms of the scope of the fraud," said Penn Law Professor Jill Fisch about the SEC's charges against Goldman Sachs, alleging that the bank created and sold mortgage investments it knew were shoddy and likely to collapse. "According to the allegations, Goldman was manufacturing a product that it knew would fail and selling that product to investors, and that goes a lot further than the role we've understood the investment banks to have played." (4/17/2010). NPR.
- "There are many reasons to oppose Sen. Chris Dodd's (D., Conn.) financial regulation bill," writes Penn Law Professor David Skeel in an op-ed with Peter J. Wallison. "The simplest and clearest is that the FDIC is completely unequipped by experience to handle the failure of a giant nonbank financial institution." (4/7/2010). Wall Street Journal.
- "This could be the biggest economic-loss class action in the history of the United States," said Penn Law Professor Tom Baker, speaking about lawsuits against beleaguered carmaker Toyota. (4/6/2010). ABC News.
- At the Federal Communications Bar Association seminar on new technologies and the first amendment, Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo joined panelists to discuss the recent increase in regulation of the media, especially in respect to broadcasting indecency. (3/31/2010). C-SPAN.
- As critics of the new health care law raise the specter of swarms of IRS agents knocking on individuals' doors demanding to see their insurance cards, Penn Law Professor Cary Coglianese sees a different model, based on the tax system. But he adds that it's hard to overstate the massive amount of information that will be generated by the law, and hard to overstate the challenges of processing all the data. "What makes this very difficult is not the conceptual complexity, but rather the fact that it's applying to hundreds of millions of people." (3/25/2010). NPR (Audio).
- David Brooks of the New York Times cites Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjal's new book, The Irrational Economist, co authored by Paul Slovic, as part of a growing trend of economists pulling in knowledge from other disciplines. (3/25/2010) New York Times.
- Pennsylvania's challenge to the constitutionality of the new health care law is not ripe for judicial review, says Penn Law Professor Theodore Ruger. "Lawsuits are only valid for resolution by courts once there is an actual, concrete injury to the party that's claiming the grievance. I think to raise this ground the states are going to need to wait until their shared payments kick in, which will be more than five years out." (3/24/2010). WHYY.
- "The past decade has been the costliest for natural disasters ever," said Wharton Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Professor Howard Kunreuther, drawing on data from their recent book, At War with the Weather. (3/24/2010). US News and World Report.
- "Considering they were dumped into bankruptcy by the government essentially, it has proceeded better than anyone could have imagined," said Penn Law Professor David Skeel, suggesting that if Lehman Brothers can efficiently resolve its bankruptcy, that should raise questions about whether a separate resolution authority is needed to resolve bank failures. (3/15/2010). Reuters .
- Testifying on the NBC-Comcast merger before the Senate Commerce Committee, Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo argued that there are almost no areas of overlap between Comcast and NBCU, and since therefore no loss of competition, there is no need to do anything more than wave the merger through the applicable regulatory agencies. Yoo also suggested that a merger review should not be used as a vehicle to impose new backdoor regulation. (3/11/2010). Radio Business Report .
- The Penn Program on Regulation has launched RegBlog, a new blog that tracks key developments related to regulation. RegBlog.
- Penn Law Professor Jill Fisch questions whether narrow sets of data from the 1920s can inform today's debate on investor protection regulation. She has reservations about using such data to conclude that good performance in that decade resulted from consumer protection regulations, noting that the performance was achieved during "the biggest bubble of all times in the 1920s." (3/3/2010). Business Week.
- In a Q&A, Penn Law Professor Tom Baker discussed medical malpractice caps in the wake of the Illinois Supreme Court's decision striking down the state's medical malpractice law. "Caps don't solve the problems of the medical liability system," Baker said. "Doctors still have tremendous distrust of the system. And people that are the most deserving don't get the money." (2/4/2010). Chicago Tribune.
- Christopher S. Yoo, Penn Law Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer and Information Science, wrote an op-ed calling for a "third way on net neutrality" to address the increasing demands on Internet service providers. (1/18/2010). Multichannel News.
- Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo spoke at the FCC's workshop on "Innovation, Investment, and the Open Internet." The workshop examined how the internet's openness affects the ability of network operators, internet content and application providers and other Internet technology developers to innovate and to drive investment, job creation and economic growth through the internet ecosystem. (1/13/10)
- "It's certainly becoming more mainstream," Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo said about the rise of television streams on the Web, describing a "'can't wait' culture that gets frustrated when it takes more than two seconds to load a Web page." (1/3/2010). New York Times.
Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday (12/16/09) on "Piracy of Live Sports Broadcasting Over the Internet." He addressed the technology policy forum on "New Media, New Networks: The Evolution of Content on the Internet" co-sponsored by Arts+Labs and GW's Institute for Politics, Democracy & The Internet (10/29/09), and he spoke at a briefing for Capitol Hill staff on "Net Neutrality: Understanding the FCC's Proposed Rule Making," sponsored by the Congressional Internet Caucus (10/28/09).
- With the Obama administration claiming that Fox News is a partisan organization, not a news Penn Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo said there's no evidence that Fox News is breaking Federal Election Commission law, which governs political speech on cable. "Media members are allowed to be politically active" as long as all campaign contributions are property disclosed, Yoo says. (10/21/2009). Christian Science Monitor.
- Penn Law Professor Tom Baker, author of The Medical Malpractice Myth, discusses healthcare reform on the show Radio Times. (9/23/2009). WHYY (mp3).
- President Obama called for a new look at how medical malpractice lawsuits were handled as a possible way of containing spiraling healthcare costs. But Penn Law Professor Tom Baker, author of The Medical Malpractice Myth, theorizes that having "a common enemy" - trial lawyers - keeps insurance and pharmaceutical companies - the real culprits behind rising costs, he said - from fighting among themselves. (9/13/2009). Philadelphia Inquirer.
- In 2004, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a program that led to the SEC's inability to fend off the 2008 economic crisis. "The program was voluntary," wrote Penn Law Professor Jill Fisch, in her piece, 'Top Cop or Regulatory Flop,' which looked at the SEC's role in the crisis. "And the price demanded by the investment banks for their submission to SEC oversight was high." (9/11/2009). Vancouver Sun.
- President Obama called for a new look at how medical malpractice lawsuits were handled as a possible way of containing spiraling healthcare costs. But Tom Baker, an insurance industry expert at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, said that while a link between defensive medicine practices and healthcare costs existed, other factors contributed to the range of tests and procedures physicians often ordered. Those factors include patient demands and a push to increase profits. Costs related to malpractice, Baker said, including damage awards, settlements and insurance rates, constitute just a fraction of healthcare spending nationwide. (9/10/2009). Los Angeles Times.
- Tom Baker, a professor of law and health sciences at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and author of "The Medical Malpractice Myth," explains why making the legal system less receptive to medical malpractice lawsuits will not significantly affect the costs of medical care. (8/31/2009). New York Times.
- "Instead of restoring public confidence in government,
President Obama's rhetoric on transparency seems to have raised
unrealistic expectations," wrote Penn Law Professor
"The issue is really how much transparency, and what kind, should
apply to different aspects of government. Good, open government is
not the same as a reality television show, broadcasting every move
officials make and every conversation they have." (8/26/2009).
Philadelphia Inquirer. SSRN.
- In the 1,000 pages of H.R. 3200, the main version of the health
reform bill, medical malpractice reform remains the Great Unmentioned.
That's OK with Penn Law Professor
who said that only 4 to 7 percent of those eligible to collect from a
doctor actually ever make a malpractice claim. (8/22/2009).
- Bank of America will likely face more embarrassing disclosures about bonuses
paid at Merrill Lynch after a federal judge refused to rubber-stamp a settlement
over the $3.6 billion of payouts, "but I see less of a risk to BofA than I do
potentially to government officials," said
a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and co-director
of its Institute for Law and Economics. "One of the things the settlement
covers up is the government role, including that of the Federal Reserve,"
she added. "More disclosure of what went on could provide a check on
overreaching by any one regulator." (8/11/2009).
- "Anyone who thinks that limiting liability would reduce health
care costs is fooling himself. Preventable medical injuries,
not patient compensation, are what ring up extra costs for additional treatment," wrote Professor
author of The Medical Malpractice Myth. (7/12/2009).
New York Times.
- A recent study by Stephen Choi, Penn Law Professor
and Marcel Kahan found that proxy advisory firms are information aggregators
rather than "independent power centers." Their paper, "Director Elections
and the Influence of Proxy Advisors," is available at
The study expands on the trio's earlier "Director Elections and the
Role of Proxy Advisors," which is also available at www.ssrn.com and
will appear in the Southern California Law Review later this year. (6/22/2009).
- Jill E. Fisch,
a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an expert in securities
regulation, suggested that in such areas of specialization, Judge Sotomayor's
opinions tend to be "fairly technical and restrained," but without the flair
of a jurist who feels deeply one way or another about the topic. "I don't see
this as one of her core interests," she said, suggesting that in such cases
the judge might "look at the letter of the law, and follow the leadership of
those who have more passion for those questions." (5/27/2009).
New York Times.
- The EPA recently proposed regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Unfortunately, using this 1970s-era law to address climate change is like driving a
Model T on a cross-country trip, Penn Law Professor
wrote in an op-ed. (5/2/2009).
- Penn Law Professor Cary Coglianese
told a Congressional hearing that the role science plays in the decision-making process must be
understood in context. This is because regulators have to weigh a variety of factors, such as
effectiveness, efficiency and fairness. Furthermore, he said regulators should not hide decision-making
behind the "cloak of science" because that misinforms the public about which factors were used to come
up with any specific regulation. "Science cannot do everything," Coglianese said. "Science describes;
it does not prescribe. Regulatory agencies tend to blur that distinction." [See news release.] (5/1/2009).
- Immigration restrictions, like trade restrictions, protect native workers
to the detriment of employers who pay them and consumers who purchase the
goods or service from them, Penn Law Professor Howard Chang said at a
University of Scranton event. Chang called for a path toward legal citizenship
based on an immigrant's work history, clean criminal record and other criteria.
- The University of Maryland selected former PPR faculty affiliate Don Kettl
as the new dean of its public policy school. (4/16/2009).
- Should the government share the results of its stress tests of 19 major banks?
Experience shows that more disclosure rather than less is better when it comes to banks,
said Penn Law Professor Jill Fisch, who specializes in securities issues.
"We did get into this mess because we had a lot of sloppiness in the way
financial institutions and others were required to disclose their values
and models and risk," she said. "Going forward that can't be a good thing."
- The real problem facing health care is too much malpractice, not too
much litigation, says Tom Baker, a law professor at the
University of Pennsylvania. "The idea that Americans are suit-happy,
litigation-crazy, and ready to rumble in the courts is one of the more
amazing myths of our time. It's not pretty to say, but doctors and
nurses make preventable mistakes that kill more people in the United
States every year than workplace and automobile accidents combined."
Canadian Medical Association Journal
- Former PPR faculty affiliate Edward DeSeve was appointed senior
advisor in OMB and special advisor to President Barack Obama. (3/31/2009).
- "President Obama - a former law lecturer and outstanding contracts
student -will exercise the power of the deal... and will hold up the
money that A.I.G. needs" to stop similar bonus payments in the future,
wrote Penn Law Professor Tom Baker. "After all, it's the
people's money, and the people are with him." (3/17/2009). New York Times
- Environmentalists should not fret over the Obama administration's
intention to close an EPA program that rewards voluntary pollution
control by corporations, said Penn Law Professor Cary Coglianese. "In the program's absence, responsible companies will still continue to go beyond
compliance and make environmental progress," he said. (3/14/2009).
- Despite the epic volatility of the stock market last year, settlements
in class-action securities cases fell more than 50% to the lowest levels
since 2003. "There's a lot of cases against companies in the financial
sector," said Jill Fisch,
a professor of securities law at the University of Pennsylvania Law
School. "When you've got the whole sector trading for less than $5 a
share, what's the effect of the fraud?" (3/11/2009). Forbes
- An annuity scheme popular in the late 19th Century could hold the key
to providing health insurance for adults ages 19-29, who account for
more than one-third of all uninsured adults,
Professor Tom Baker
wrote in an op-ed. (3/9/2009). New York Times
- Listen as Penn Law Professor Tom Baker
and BusinessWeek writer Diane Brady talked with Radio Times host Marty Moss-Coane about the
question: "Why is AIG too big to fail?" (3/9/2009). WHYY
- While workers on H1-B visas aren't included in a law that protects green-card holders from employment discrimination, demands that Microsoft layoff foreigners before cutting jobs held by citizens may violate civil rights laws, said
Howard Chang, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. (2/20/2009). Rocky Mountain News
- While workers on H1-B visas aren't included in a law that protects
green-card holders from employment discrimination, demands that
Microsoft layoff foreigners before cutting jobs held by citizens may
violate civil rights laws, said Howard Chang, a professor at the
University of Pennsylvania Law School. (2/20/2009). Bloomberg
- Adam Finkel, a former
Labor Department official who now is executive director of the
University of Pennsylvania Law School Program on Regulation,
said he hopes Cass Sunstein, the new president's likely choice to
oversee rules for everything from global warming to workplace safety,
will moderate his conservative views. "When you do it right, you see
there are a lot of things we need to regulate significantly," Finkel
said. (2/10/2009). Bloomberg
- As litigation costs threaten to consume insurance coverage limits for
financial firms sued in connection to the alleged Madoff investment
scheme, Tom Baker, a
professor of insurance law at the University of Pennsylvania, is
skeptical that plaintiffs and defendants will enter into quick
settlements in order to maximize payouts to aggrieved investors.
Settlements with insurance companies typically happen only with
companies that are already insolvent, he said. (2/6/2009). Law360 (Subscription)
- In what will be a "bonanza for lawyers," litigation over Bernard L.
Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme will pick up as victims seek
help from their insurance companies - and those insurance companies balk
at paying at least some of the claims, said Tom Baker,
a professor of insurance law at the University of Pennsylvania.
"The question will be will their insurance companies step up to the plate." (1/30/2009).
Law 360 (Subscription)
- Obama's political appointees do not have to undo the Bush regulatory framework to achieve their policy objectives, said Cary Coglianese in the Congressional Quarterly.
- An insurance company with a potential $25 million liability from a 2007 Houston office fire is claiming smoke that killed three people was "pollution" and surviving families shouldn't be compensated for their losses since the deaths were not caused directly by the actual flames. But, "The purpose of a pollution exclusion is not to not cover people who die from smoke inhalation in a fire," said Penn Law Professor Tom Baker. "I would hope they (the insurers) lose this." (12/17/2008). Houston Chronicle.
- Prominent EPA program fails to demonstrate environmental improvements, said Cary Coglianese, associate dean of the Penn Law School and director of the Penn Program on Regulation. (12/9/2008). Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Professor Robert Hornik found that "A five-year, $1 billion anti-drug advertising campaign by the U.S. Government was ineffective, and may have actually done more harm than good." (10/15/08) Press release.