Category Archives: Academia

Selling The Starred Footnote

I’m late to the game in blogging about this, but I just found out about it on Friday at a conference on the Ethical Limits of Markets hosted by the Institute For The Study of Markets and Ethics at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (about which I’ll have more to say later). Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski are selling acknowledgements in the preface of their book Markets without Limits, which will be published by Routledge Press, most likely in late 2015 or early 2016.

The book answers the question “Are there some things which you permissibly may possess, use, and give away, but which are wrong to buy and sell?” in the negative, in contrast to the numerous books already written on the topic which take the contrary position. Brennan and Jaworski are selling three tiers of acknowledgements: Silvermint Tier, Platinum Tier, and Gold Tier (The Silvermint Tier is so named because philosophy and women’s studies professor Daniel Silvermint is paying to have the highest tier named after him.)

Wish I had thought of that! But no reason I can’t adopt it going forward. In addition, I’ve decided to sell links to and mentions of your work in my blog posts and tweets. I’m still working out the exact fee schedule, but will charge extra for highly positive mentions and even more for highly negative mentions (as controversy is always an attention getter). Finally, if those pesky law review editors won’t stop bothering you for support that you can’t find, just let me know and I’ll sell you a blog post setting out the needed statements, to which you can then cite.

We often complain that student editors demand support for obviously correct statements of common knowledge – indeed, it is sometimes the case that the proposition is so widely known and accepted that it is difficult to find discussion of the point in print. For example, you may want to reference the uncontroversial view that “professors of market regulation are considered smarter and more interesting than professors of constitutional law,” yet struggle to find something in print to that effect (in contrast to the faculty lounge and hallway conversations in which this assertion is frequently found). Problem solved! Just let me know the statements for which you need a citation and I’ll post them here for a fee. The profit possibilities on this one are nearly endless.

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Shanghai: Work, Food, and More



I was in Shanghai last week for the first time, attending a conference and an alumni dinner. The conference – The 2014 International Forum on Financial Law — was at KoGuan Law School at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and was a lot of fun. The conference format was a new one for me and I thought worked very well, especially for an international audience.

Image - Version 2The morning consisted of public lectures by party officials, regulators, practitioners, and academics with simultaneous translation. One or two of the Chinese academics were fairly critical of various aspects of the Chinese legal system, and watching the responses from fellow presenters and audience members was especially interesting, though I’m sure that I missed many of the subtleties of these exchanges.

IMG_0539The afternoon was divided into parallel sessions, one in Chinese and one in English, with paper presentations by invited guests. My presentation was in the English session, of course, so I can only speak to the specifics of that one, but I was very pleased with the quality of the presentations and discussion. I learned some new things about emerging corporate law and financial regulation issues in China, Singapore, and Japan, and was struck by both the similarities and the differences of the concerns: for example, several of the papers were on shadow banking in China, which is clearly a concern (as it is in the U.S.), but the character of shadow banking appears quite different in China, making the US experience only partially comparable.

IMG_0544My panel line-up was scheduled as follows, though for scheduling reasons there was a last minute switch of Shen Wei’s presentation on Chinese local government debt and shadow banking (which was excellent) instead of Cheng-Yun Tsang (who did a fine job on the next panel):

Host: Shen Wei, Professor of KoGuan Law School, SJTU

Discussant: Douglas Arner, Professor of The University of Hong Kong


Kim Krawiec, Professor of School of Law, Duke University

Wang Jiangyu, Associate Professor of Law School, National

University of Singapore

Manabu Matsunaka, Professor of Nagoya University

Tang Yingmao, Associate Professor of Law School, Peking University

Cheng-Yun Tsang, Doctoral Student of School of Law, Duke University

Naturally, I made time for some food tourism as well (courtesy of UnTour, which I highly recommend). Included are photos of my street food breakfast in Shanghai on the day of departure, which was delicious, and can be roughly divided into three categories: noodles, dim sum, and deep fried dough (yum, yum!)

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On Going Home Again

Gift from students in my first class at the University of Tulsa, because I had been "first class"

Gift from students in my first class at the University of Tulsa, because I had been “first class”

I suppose that every academic has a special place in her heart for the school that first took her in and nurtured her during those early, formative years.  Or at least she should.  Some folks are lucky enough to go on the job market as the flavor of the month and get jobs from everywhere.  Others of us can just be grateful that someone was willing to overlook the lack of a sterling resume long enough to give us a chance to prove ourselves.

Last week I gave a workshop at the University of Tulsa, which just happened to be my very first academic job.  It was the first time that I had been back to visit since I left the faculty more years ago than I really care to admit, and I was excited to see old and new friends there.

What was the same?  The people – it was great to see old friends and colleagues again.  And Janet Levit, who started the same day as me and did her best to help me adjust from Manhattan to Tulsa, Oklahoma – a state I had never visited before my job talk — is now the Dean. So it was wonderful to see her success.

But there are a lot of new folks too, some of whom, like Tamara Piety, I’ve met before at conferences and the like, and there are some brand new junior hires who I really enjoyed meeting.  And of course the place just doesn’t seem the same without my old friend and mentor, Larry (“I didn’t ask what you just published, I asked what you’re working on now!”) CatáBacker, who gave me exactly the sort of tough love that I needed at the time.

But the one thing I really remember about Tulsa is the students and, in particular, my very first securities regulation students.  Above right is a plaque on my wall that they gave me on the last day of class, because I had been a “first class teacher” in my “first class.”  Though it was adorable, I had been trying to hide the fact that it was my first teaching gig and was a bit disappointed to realize that I had failed pretty miserably in that regard.

Anyway, it was good to be back, if only briefly.

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