Category Archives: Finance

News Article: If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you

News Article: Steven Mufson and Tracy Jan, If you’re a poor person in America, Trump’s budget is not for you, Washington Post (Mar. 16, 2017).

News Article: Too Broke To Go Bankrupt? Harvard Student Uses Software To Tackle Problem For Poor

News Article: Daniel Fisher, Too Broke To Go Bankrupt? Harvard Student Uses Software To Tackle Problem For Poor, Forbes (Mar. 2, 2017).


Article: Student Debt and Higher Education Risk

Article: Jonathan D. Glater, Student Debt and Higher Education Risk, 103 Cal. L. Rev. 1561 (2015).

To borrow for college is to take a risk. Indebted students may not earn enough to repay their loans after they graduate or, worse, may fail to graduate at all. For students who cannot pay for college without borrowing, this risk is both a disincentive and a penalty. Greater risk undermines the efficacy of federal financial aid policy that seeks to promote access to higher education. This Essay situates education borrowing within a larger cultural and political trend toward placing risk on individuals and criticizes this development for its failure to achieve any of the typical goals of legislation that allocates risk—such as prevention of moral hazard or other, particular public policy outcomes.

The Essay describes dramatic increases in student borrowing and explains the negative effects of greater reliance on debt, which increases the risk of investing in higher education. The Essay contends that recognizing student debt as a mechanism that transfers risk bolsters criticisms of increased borrowing and provides a consistent way to evaluate aid policy. The Essay outlines an insurance regime as the logical response to undesirable or unmanageable risk. Such a regime would preserve access to higher education and mitigate the danger of borrowing for college.

Letter to the Editor: How to make housing more affordable

Letter to the Editor: How to make housing more affordable, Washington Post (Oct. 21, 2016).

News Article: “A Bigger Economic Pie, but a Smaller Slice for Half of the U.S.”

News Article: Patricia Cohen, “A Bigger Economic Pie, but a Smaller Slice for Half of the U.S.,” N.Y. Times, Dec. 6, 2016.

News Article: “Portland Adopts Surcharge on C.E.O. Pay in Move vs. Income Inequality”

News Article: Gretchen Morgenson, “Portland Adopts Surcharge on C.E.O. Pay in Move vs. Income Inequality,” N.Y. Times, Dec. 7, 2016.

News Article: “Law School Debt Rankings – Law Schools with the Highest Debt”

News Article: Andrew Ostler, “Law School Debt Rankings – Law Schools with the Highest Debt,” JD Journal, Nov. 22, 2016.

Article: “Corporate Governance and Income Inequality: The Role of the Monitoring Board”

Article: Ezra Wasserman Mitchell, “Corporate Governance and Income Inequality: The Role of the Monitoring Board,” Shanghai University of Finance and Economics School of Law (Oct. 2016).

Does corporate governance play a role in income inequality? If so, how? This paper pursues this inquiry, beginning with an examination of the causes of significant income inequality throughout twentieth and early twenty-first century American history. The parallel developments of financial practices and board structures over these periods reveal the relatively contemporaneous rises of shareholder valuism and the modern monitoring board, with the latter providing institutional structure and norm propagation for the former, thus serving as a corporate governance channel through which income inequality is perpetuated.

History further reveals the monitoring board to be an institutional component of finance capitalism, and the so-called managerial board that dominated during a period of relative income equality to be an institutional component of industrial capitalism.

Some cautious reform suggestions are offered, but the purpose of this paper primarily is diagnostic. It also serves as a cautionary tale for developing nations in the process of building their institutional structures.

New Article: “Why Don’t Americans Save More Money?”

New Article: “Why Don’t Americans Save More Money?”- The Atlantic

New Article: “The Enforcers & the Great Recession”

New Article: Mark Totten, The Enforcers & the Great Recession, 36 Cardozo L. Rev. 1611 (2015).  Abstract below:

No one played a more vital role responding to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression than a small band of state attorneys general (AGs). Yet this story has never been told nor its implications considered. For more than a decade these AGs brought enforcement actions across the residential mortgage lending industry, reaching the origination, servicing, and securitization processes. From roughly 2000 to 2008, they targeted several of the largest subprime lenders for predatory and discriminatory lending. And they moved in the face of federal inaction — at times, even opposition. With the economic crisis everywhere visible by early 2009, they turned toward abuses in mortgage servicing and securitization. While they often collaborated with their federal counterparts during this time period, these AGs continued to lead and shape the enforcement agenda.

This narrative demonstrates that states are integral to the task of consumer financial protection. Congress was right to empower states in the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 by scaling back preemption and giving the AGs concurrent enforcement powers. The AGs not only serve as a stopgap when federal regulators fail to act, but they also alter the quality of enforcement in positive ways not replicated by even engaged federal regulators. The marks of AG enforcement include information advantages, agility, a remedial focus, resistance to capture, and entrepreneurialism. Moreover, these events also suggest a new enforcement model in the area of consumer protection that may sometimes prove more efficient than earlier approaches: the multigovernment, multiagency action. And while these observations concern consumer financial protection in the first instance, they also have implications for ongoing conversations about federalism and enforcement.