In 2011, as the phone-hacking scandal unfolded, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged a new era of transparency in the government’s dealings with the media. All meetings between senior government and media figures were to be recorded and published on a quarterly basis and a major public inquiry was launched – partly with a focus on the relationship between press and politicians.... Read more about Transparency, What Transparency?
The financial crisis of 2008 was perceived as a failure not only of financial institutions, but also of their regulators. A popular narrative is that the industry has “captured” agencies so that bureaucrats serve its interests instead of the public interest. ... Read more about Capture at the SEC? Let’s Pause for a Sec
The clock was ticking, the world was watching, and Washington was elevating in-fighting from standard practice to something of an art form. And yet, in the summer of 2010 the mammoth Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed, a reaction to the crippling financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing Great Recession. President Obama quickly signed it into law. Could such an ambitious law get passed today? Emphatically no, according to the men for whom Dodd-Frank is named.... Read more about Dodd/Frank on Dodd-Frank: Former Reformers on Their Namesake Law
In 1785, having spent several years representing American interests, Benjamin Franklin left Paris in possession of a parting gift from Louis XVI: a golden case adorned with the King’s portrait and 408 diamonds. Though the gift was in line with common courtesy throughout Europe, in the new United States such a luxurious present was perceived as having the power to corrupt its recipient. As legal scholar Zephyr Teachout writes in her forthcoming history of the American concept of corruption, Franklin’s snuff box was “a symbol of seduction, addiction, dependency, luxury, and the confusion about the relationship between politics, power, intimacy, and friendship.” In 18th century America such gifts were regulated transactions requiring Congressional approval.... Read more about McCutcheon and Corruption in America