Sociological Perspectives

The Resurgence of Calls For Financial Literacy

04/30/20

Today is the last day of National Financial Literacy Month. At a time when the economy has come to a grinding halt, it seems pertinent to talk about financial literacy, or, more accurately, the fallacy of financial education.

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Coronavirus Will Hasten the Shift To App-Based Banking and Lending. How Will That Affect People's Pocketbooks?

04/14/20

Over at the Machine Lawyering blog -- organized and edited by the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Law Faculty’s Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development -- Slipster Nathalie Martin and I just posted some commentary about our new article,

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The Myth of Optimal Expectation Damages

04/10/20

Roughly eighty years ago, Lon Fuller and William Perdue (the former, then a faculty member at Duke Law, and the latter, a 3L), wrote two of the most famous articles in contract law (here). One of the puzzles they posed -- about why the law favors the expectation damages measure -- resulted in an entire body of scholarship, including the theory of efficient breach.

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Consumer Bankruptcy, Done Correctly, To Help Struggling Americans

01/07/20

Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren unveiled her new plan to reform the consumer bankruptcy system. The plan is simple, yet elegant. It is based on actual data and research (including some of my own with Consumer Bankruptcy Project co-investigators Slipster Bob Lawless, former Slipster, now Congresswoman Katie Porter, and former Slipster Debb Thorne).

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Supreme Court Grants Cert To Decide Fate of Repossessed Cars in Bankruptcy

12/19/19

Yesterday, the SCOTUS granted certiorari in City of Chicago v. Fulton, 19-357, to resolve a circuit split about whether a creditor's inaction in not returning property repossessed pre-petition can violate the automatic stay. The split arises predominately from chapter 13 cases in which, pre-petition, creditors repossessed or cities impounded debtors' cars.

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Bankruptcy and Mindfulness

12/17/19

The practice of mindfulness and other types of meditation are growing on the coasts and within the law school and lawyer communities. Perhaps these practices can provide meaningful benefits to bankruptcy clients, bankruptcy lawyers and bankruptcy professors and judges. The essence of "mindfulness for lawyers" efforts begins with the notion that the adversary system can take a toll on home life, friendships and our own notions of who we want to be.

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What a Local Traffic Snafu Teaches About Artificial Intelligence in Underwriting

11/13/19

The DC suburbs are a case study in NIMBYism. Lots of communities try to limit through-traffic via all sorts of means:  speed bumps, one-way streets, speed cameras, red-light cameras, etc.  The interaction of one of these NIMBYist devices with GPS systems is a great lesson about the perils of artificial intelligence and machine learning in all sorts of contexts.  Bear with the local details because I think there's a really valuable lesson here.

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Matt Levine, Insider Trading and Mr. Potato Chip

09/26/19

Matt Levine is my favorite financial journalist to read on a regular basis because he is so darn funny (yes, there is lots of substance too, but I'm shallow and want to be entertained as well). Today's piece though, especially to someone who used to teach the law on insider trading, was priceless.

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Anderson and Nyarko's Cool New Papers on Contract Evolution

09/05/19

Two of the contracts papers I’ve been most looking forward to this fall have just been posted on ssrn. They are are Rob Anderson’s “An Evolutionary Perspective on Contracting: Evidence From Poison Pills” (here) and Julian Nyarko’s “Stickiness and Incomplete Contracts” (here).

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