Friday, May 19, 2017
Presentation #2: 10:10 – 10:30 Presenter: Cal Johnson, Beckemeyer and the Tax Benefit Rule
10:30 – 10:50 Commenter: Johnny Buckles
10:50 – 11:10 OPEN COMMENT
Open Forum: Round Table Discussion on Business Tax Reform
Presentation #3: 12:30 – 12:50 Presenter: Susan Morse, “The Dark Side of Safe Harbors?”
12:50 – 1:10 Commenter: Bruce McGovern
1:10 – 1:30 OPEN COMMENT
Presentation #4: 1:30 – 1:50 Presenter: Bill Byrnes, “How Much Does It Cost to Roast a Cup of Starbucks?” Download 5-19-2017
1:50 – 2:10 Commenter: Bill Streng
2:10 – 2:30 OPEN COMMENT
*Open Forum 2:20 – 3:20 Roundtable Introduction of Research Topics for Non-Presenters (if time permits)
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
This Thursday, 25 international law experts, policy officials, and faculty will convene at Texas A&M University School of Law for the inaugural International Law Weekend-South.
This initial conference brings together leadership from Halliburton, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and legal academics to examine key aspects of international trade, including:
- resource management and development,
- intellectual property impacts,
- the potential renegotiation of NAFTA,
- international corruption, and,
- regional and international agreements, and the role of judges in enforcement of same.
International Law Weekend-South was established in cooperation with the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and is co-sponsored by the American Society of International Law. ABILA President and Georgetown Visiting Professor of Law David Stewart has already named International Law Weekend-South the Association's official South Regional conference.
"This conference is going to provide a first-rate forum for exploring some of the most challenging questions of international law and practice facing the profession today, and – just as important – a terrific opportunity to engage students in thinking about cutting edge issues as well as career opportunities they may not have considered," Stewart said.
"From cross border trade to sustainable development to democratic transition, international law developments have been of utmost importance to this globalized world," said Professor Peter Yu, co-director of the school's Center for Law and Intellectual Property, and also Co-Director of Studies for ABILA. "With the many new policies that the U.S. administration is now rolling out, there cannot be a better time to closely examine these developments."
For more information about International Law Weekend-South, visit law.tamu.edu/ILWS17.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
|Associate Professorship of Taxation Law|
|Faculty of Law, St Cross Road, Oxford in association with Harris Manchester College, Oxford|
|Grade 10a: £45,562 - £61,179 p.a.|
The University proposes to appoint an Associate Professor of Taxation Law. The MSc Taxation is a Law Faculty degree that is organised and taught jointly with the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, based in the Saïd Business School (the Tax Centre). The appointed person will teach tax law at graduate level, especially on the part-time MSc in Taxation, and also at undergraduate level, they will engage in research at the highest level and supervise graduate students in the field of Taxation Law and in such other areas of research as may be appropriate. The postholder will have excellent opportunities to engage with the interdisciplinary tax research and policy work at the Tax Centre. The person appointed will be offered a non-tutorial fellowship at Harris Manchester College.
The successful candidate should have a law degree and/or professional legal qualification; a doctorate in a relevant subject or an established record of accomplishment in academic research, in either case together with a record of high quality research and publication commensurate with career experience, and the potential to produce further significant output of a recognised international quality during the tenure of the post; the ability to teach and assess high-achieving and challenging students in taught courses, and to provide supervision and research leadership for masters-level and doctoral students.
The salary will be on a scale from £45,562 to £61,179 p.a. plus additional benefits as detailed in the job description. Associate professors who are awarded the title of full professor may receive from the University an additional salary payment of £2,655 per annum.
Queries about the post may be addressed to the Pinsent Masons Professor of Taxation Law, Judith Freedman at: firstname.lastname@example.org. General queries may also be directed to Dr Rebecca Williams, Associate Professor of Law: email@example.com, who will not be involved in the selection or interview process.
Queries about the application process should be addressed to the Personnel Officer in the Law Faculty, Emma Gascoigne: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01865 281622. All enquiries will be treated in strict confidence and will not form part of the selection decision.
Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. To apply for this role and for further details, including the job description and selection criteria, please click on the link below.
The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday 27 February 2017.
Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in Oxford.
|Contact Person :||Emma Gascoigne||Vacancy ID :||127357|
|Contact Number :||01865 281622||Closing Date :||27-Feb-2017|
|Contact Email :||email@example.com|
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Sponsor: World Bank
The Latin American Workshop on Law and Economics is an academic annual meeting created in 2014 by a group of Law and Economics professors from Latin American universities ― Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, ITAM, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia, and Universidade de Brasília, Brasil.
The main purpose of this event is to encourage academic research on Law and Economics across Latin America, by discussing a wide array of topics regarding these two disciplines.
The event will take place on Thursday, November the 17th, and Friday, November the 18th, at the campus of Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
Friday, September 2, 2016
If you’re a scholar or scientist, you know the value of being published in an academic journal. Unfortunately, some dishonest publishers also understand this — and have used it to profit from rather than promote legitimate advancements in research and academia.
In its lawsuit against OMICS Group — which operates hundreds of online journals in a variety of fields — the FTC says the company bombards people with emails soliciting articles, misrepresents the reputation of its publications, and doesn’t disclose that authors have to pay substantial fees — ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars — to be published.
OMICS Group allegedly claims its journals are peer-reviewed, edited by prominent academics, and that its articles are widely cited in other academic and scientific journals. Also, the FTC says OMICS tells aspiring authors that its journals are listed in reputable indexing services, such as PubMed, a database run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
But, in its lawsuit, the FTC says these statements are misleading, at best: OMICS often fails to peer review submitted articles, either providing authors with no comments at all or only minor, non-substantive edits. OMICS also falsely lists specific academic scholars as its journal “editors” without their permission. NIH has refused to include any OMICS journals in PubMed because of concerns about the integrity of its practices. Also, authors often find out about OMICS’ fees only after their articles have been accepted for publication. And even when the authors have asked OMICS to withdraw those articles, OMICS has published them anyway. This means that, under academic ethical standards, those authors can’t submit those articles to other journals.
Unscrupulous publishers can be difficult to spot. They often make themselves sound legitimate by overstating their reputation or by using journal names that sound similar to the names of reputable journals. If you’re considering publishing in a journal that you’re not familiar with, ask yourself these questions:
- What does your librarian have to say? Check with your university librarian to see if he or she has ever heard of the journal or the publisher. Your librarian also may be able to tell you if the journal is included in relevant indexing services.
- Are there any publication fees? A legitimate journal will tell you up front whether it charges publication fees or not. If a journal doesn’t mention fees, don’t assume there aren’t any – contact the journal or publisher and ask about any fees.
- What is the journal’s publishing process? A legitimate journal will clearly lay out its publishing process, peer-review practices, and author responsibilities.
If you’ve been approached or taken in by a predatory publisher,report it to the FTC.
Monday, August 15, 2016
1. Lisa Alexander
Lisa Alexander is an expert in community development law, specializing in urban real estate, low-income housing law and policy, economic development, and urban reform. She has experience at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. and was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. She is also a former Associate Editor of the ABAJournal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law. She was named an “Emerging Leader” by the National Congress for Community and Economic Development. Coming to us from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Professor Alexander was recently appointed to the Wisconsin State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
2. William Byrnes
William Byrnes is a leading tax and financial crimes published author and co-author of eight Lexis treatises, a 10-volume Kluwer set, three Tax Facts books, and an 8-volume National Underwriter Wealth Planning treatise. His weekly financial law and planning article is syndicated by American Legal Media (ALM). Professor Byrnes pioneered online legal education in the early nineties and created the first online LL.M. offered by an ABA accredited law school. He served a senior position of international tax for Coopers and Lybrand, specializing in transfer pricing. He is a J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) and U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) appointed specialist for tax law and legal pedagogy.
3. Irene Calboli
Irene Calboli specializes in intellectual property, European Union law, and international trade law. She has published numerous articles in journals such as the Illinois Law Review and Florida Law Review. She is the Co-Chair of the Professor Membership Team of the Academic Committee of the International Trademark Association and a member of the Executive Committee of the Art Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Professor Calboli formerly taught at Marquette University Law School.
4. Vanessa Casado Pérez
Vanessa Casado Pérez is a leading scholar on property and natural resources law. In several publications, she explores the role of property rights in water scarcity mitigation. She is affiliated with the Bill Lane Center for the American West, collaborating with the Water in the West program, a joint venture between the Center and the Woods Institute for the Environment. She has served as a research assistant at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, and the University of Chicago and New York University law schools. Professor Casado Perez joins us from Stanford University Law School where she was a Teaching Fellow of the LL.M. Program in Environmental Law & Policy and Lecturer in Law and coordinator of the Stanford Law Fellows’ research workshop.
5. Susan Fortney
Susan Fortney is one of the country’s foremost legal ethics and attorney malpractice scholars. She has authored many books and law review articles on these and other topics. She also serves on the editorial board for two American Bar Association journals. During her impressive career, Professor Fortney has also received many awards for outstanding teaching. She comes to Texas A&M from Hofstra University Law School. She also formerly served as Interim Dean of Texas Tech University School of Law.
6. Nuno Garoupa
Nuno Garoupa is a top scholar in comparative law and law & economics. He has published dozens of articles in journals such as the Illinois Law Review and the American Law and Economics Review. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of York and also holds an LL.M. from the University of London. He has a long-established research interest in the economics of law and legal institutions. Professor Garoupa currently serves as President of the Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos in Portugal. He formerly taught at the University of Illinois College of Law.
7. Bill Henning
Bill Henning is a preeminent scholar in commercial law. Professor Henning has served as Executive Director of the Uniform Law Commission. He is a member of the Permanent Editorial Board for the Uniform Commercial Code, the American Law Institute, and the State Department’s Advisory Council on Private International Law. He currently serves as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Working Group VI. Professor Henning formerly taught at the University of Alabama School of Law.
8. Luz Herrera
Luz Herrera will join us from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. She will serve as Associate Dean for Experiential Education. A leader in clinical programs, she also specializes in civil justice and wills and trusts. A former Senior Clinical Fellow at Harvard Law School, she has been recognized by the Daily Journal as among the 100 Top Attorneys in California and by the Mexican American Bar Association with the Cruz Reynoso Community Service Award.
9. Charlotte Ku
Dr. Charlotte Ku is an expert in international law and has published numerous books and articles in the field. She has also served as acting director at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge, as executive director and executive vice president of the American Society of International Law, and as a chair of the Board of Directors of the Academic Council on the United Nations System. Dr. Ku is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a member of the Board of Advisors, Strategic Studies Quarterly. Dr. Ku joins us from the University of Illinois College of Law, where she was a professor of law and assistant dean of graduate and international legal studies.
10. Glynn Lunney
Glynn Lunney is an expert in intellectual property law and also has a Ph.D. in economics. He specializes in patent, copyright and trademark law, unfair competition, and contracts. He has published in prestigious journals such as the Virginia Law Review and the Michigan Law Review. Professor Lunney has a special connection to Texas A&M as he attended the University as an undergraduate and received a degree in engineering. Professor Lunney formerly taught at Tulane University Law School.
11. William Magnuson
William Magnuson is a practicing attorney who focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and private equity. He joins us from the law firm of Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody in Austin, Texas, and he previously worked in the mergers and acquisitions group at Sullivan and Cromwell. He has represented public and private companies in various industries involving both U.S. and cross-border transactions. He served as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, and as a clerk to the Honorable Priscilla R. Owen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. While he was a student at Harvard Law School, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard International Law Journal and continues to present at the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.
12. Jack Manhire
Dr. John T. (“Jack”) Manhire, Jr., former Chief of Legal Analysis for the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility and National Program Chair, Executive Education for the U.S. Treasury Executive Institute, is the Director of Program Development at Texas A&M University School of Law. His prior positions include Director of Technical Analysis & Guidance (Policy and Procedure) for the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service, Attorney-Advisor (Tax) to the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate and Division Chief, Tax Law for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary National Office. Jack’s scholarly interests primarily involve issues relating to tax compliance. His articles and essays appear in journals such as the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Virginia Tax Review, the Iowa Law Review, and the Florida Tax Review, Journal on Policy and Complex Systems. Jack was a University Fellow (Ph.D. candidate) at Yale University where he was Editor of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities.
13. Fatma Marouf
Fatma Marouf, a top scholar in immigration law, refugee law and international human rights law, will create and direct our new Immigration Clinic. Her scholarship has examined issues such as the rights of mentally incompetent noncitizens, the use of restraints in removal proceedings, and the exclusion of DREAMers from the Affordable Care Act. She was also named a Bellow Scholar for her empirical research on the adjudication of immigration appeals in the federal courts. She has extensive experience representing immigrants at all levels of adjudication and has served as a consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Professor Marouf joins us from University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law, where she was co-director of the Immigration Clinic.
14. Thomas W. Mitchell
Thomas W. Mitchell is widely recognized as an expert in property law, land use, remedies and rural community development. He founded and directed the Program in Real Estate, Land Use, and Community Development, a multi-disciplinary program at the University of Wisconsin Law School where he was the Frederick W. and Vi Miller Chair in Law. He served as the primary drafter of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, which was promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (commonly known as the Uniform Law Commission), endorsed by the ABA and enacted into law thus far in eight states. The Act was also selected by the Council on State Governments for its 2013 Selected State Legislation publication which characterized it as comprehensive, innovative and a model statute.
15. Angela Morrison
Angela Morrison is an expert in employment and immigration law. She was previously the Legal Director of the Nevada Immigrant Resource Project, where she conducted outreach on immigration-related issues to community partners, governmental organizations, and immigrant communities. She also worked for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a trial attorney. Professor Morrison formerly taught at UNLV School of Law.
16. Srividhya Ragavan
Srividhya Ragavan is an intellectual property expert, who has published numerous books and articles in the field. Her scholarship focuses on the relationship between international trade law and intellectual property. Professor Ragavan’s work is internationally recognized, particularly in India. Professor Ragavan has been associated with the various departments of the Indian government such as the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Professor Ragavan formerly taught at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
17. Elizabeth Trujillo
Elizabeth Trujillo is a leading scholar in international economic law, specializing in the North American Free Trade Agreement, contracts, international trade, investment, and development. Her publications, which have appeared in law reviews, books, and peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of International Economic Law, examine the relationship between international trade and investment with domestic regulatory structures. She is currently writing a book on international trade and sustainable development with Cambridge University Press. At the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, she founded a J.D., LLB, L.E.D. tri-lateral degree program with universities in Mexico and Canada. Trujillo was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School and at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Germany and is an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow. She comes to us from Suffolk University Law School in Boston where she previously served as the director of the international law concentration and was named “Latina Trailblazer in the Law” by the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys.
18. Saurabh Vishnubhakat
Saurabh Vishnubhakat is an expert in intellectual property and patent law. He has published articles in journals such as the Florida Law Review and the Yale Journal of Law and Technology. He previously served in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, advising the agency’s chief economist and other leadership on patent policy. Profesor Vishnubhakat was also a faculty fellow at Duke Law School, where he taught patent law and researched bioinformatics innovation as well as economic and tort-theory aspects of patent litigation.
19. Michael K. Young
Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M University, previously served as President and tenured Professor of Law at the University of Washington and President and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Utah. He served as Dean and Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the George Washington University Law School, and he was a professor at Columbia University for more than 20 years. He also has been a visiting professor and scholar at three universities in Japan. A graduate of Harvard Law School, President Young served as a law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has held a number of government positions, including Deputy Under Secretary for Economic and Agricultural Affairs and Ambassador for Trade and Environmental Affairs in the Department of State during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.
20. Peter Yu
Peter Yu is a prolific scholar and an award-winning teacher. He is the author or editor of six books and more than 100 law review articles and book chapters. He has lectured and presented in more than 25 countries on six continents. He serves as the general editor ofThe WIPO Journal published by the World Intellectual Property Organization and chairs the Committee on International Intellectual Property of the American Branch of the International Law Association. Professor Yu formerly taught at Drake University Law School.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW seeks to expand its academic program and its strong commitment to scholarship by hiring multiple exceptional faculty candidates for contract, tenure-track, or tenured positions, with rank dependent on qualifications and experience.
Preference will be given to those with demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement and strong classroom teaching skills. Successful candidates will be expected to teach and engage in research and service. While the law school welcomes applications in all subject areas, it particularly invites applications from:
- Candidates who are interested in expanding and building on our innovative Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic (with concentrations in both trademarks and patents), or in one of our other acclaimed clinical areas, including Family Law and Benefits Clinic, Employment Mediation Clinic, Wills & Estates Clinic, Innocence Clinic, and Immigration Law Clinic; and
- Candidates with an oil and gas law and/or energy law background, either domestic U.S. or international, who are interested in interdisciplinary research, teaching, and programmatic activities.
While the law school is primarily interested in entry-level candidates for the above positions, more experienced candidates may be considered to the extent that their qualifications respond to the law school’s needs and interests.
In addition, the law school welcomes lateral and highly experienced professionals for the following positions:
- Candidates with experience in IP licensing and technology transfers, with relevant academic and/or professional science background, and who are interested in working and building synergies with the Texas A&M University’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
- Candidates in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution with a national or international reputation and stellar credentials in scholarship, teaching, and service, and with an interest in building our nationally ranked dispute resolution program;
- Candidates in any field with a national or international reputation and stellar credentials in scholarship, teaching, and service;
Texas A&M University is a tier one research institution and American Association of Universities member. The university consists of 16 colleges and schools that collectively rank among the top 20 higher education institutions nationwide in terms of research and development expenditures.
Over the past two years, Texas A&M University has embarked on a program of investment for its School of Law that increased its entering class credentials and financial aid budgets, while shrinking the class size; attracted 19 new faculty members, including 12 prominent lateral hires; and substantially increased its career services, admissions, and student services staff. The School of Law has also hired a senior U.S. Treasury expert. The Texas A&M Law faculty is highly published, already ranking #41 for article downloads among the top published 350 US and foreign law faculties (SSRN 2016).
Texas A&M School of Law is located in the heart of downtown Fort Worth, one of the largest and fastest growing cities in the country. The Fort Worth/Dallas area, with a total population in excess of six million people, offers a low cost of living, a strong economy, and access to world-class museums, restaurants, entertainment, and outdoor activities.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, Texas A&M welcomes applications from a broad spectrum of qualified individuals who will enhance the rich diversity of the university’s academic community. Applicants should email a résumé and cover letter indicating research and teaching interests to Professor Gabriel Eckstein, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, résumés can be mailed to Professor Eckstein at Texas A&M University School of Law, 1515 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6509.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
The Internal Revenue Service yesterday announced $385,678 in matching grants to nine additional recipients for development of qualified Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) in underserved areas around the country for the last six months of the 2016 grant year.
The LITC program is a federal grant program administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, led by National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. Although LITCs receive partial funding from the IRS, LITCs, their employees and their volunteers operate independently from the IRS.
The LITC program awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand, or continue low income taxpayer clinics. The LITC program funds organizations to represent low income taxpayers in controversies with the IRS and to educate individuals who speak English as a second language about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers. An LITC must provide services for free or for no more than a nominal fee.
The following is a list of additional organizations awarded a part-year grant:
2016 ADDITIONAL LOW INCOME TAXPAYER CLINICS
Name of Organization
Inland Counties Legal Services, Inc.
JCVision and Associates, Inc.
New Mexico Legal Aid
Touro Law Center
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.
South Texas College of Law
Texas A&M University
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
In February 2016, the IRS awarded $10.72 million in matching grants to 129 other organizations for operation throughout the year. For complete details of the previous release, see the news release IR-2016-32.
For more information about LITCs or to find a clinic near you, visit our Low Income Taxpayer Clinics page.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
On the eve of the announcement of Hillary Clinton's historical nomination as a presidential candidate of one of the two major parties (sorry my Libertarian and Green Party friends), CNN interviewed some of the most influential women voices in America to gain perspective, including Donna Brazile, Gloria Steinem, and Sahar Aziz, an associate professor at Texas A&M School of Law where she teaches national security and Middle East law.
Sahar opens her interview "What makes Hillary Clinton's presumptive nomination of historical significance is not simply that she is a woman, but that she is an overtly confident and ambitious woman." Read the CNN interviews of America's most influential commentators on gender issues here.
Friday, April 8, 2016
4) What English language journals are most important in your field?
5) How do you write letters to editors to make your work stand out?
7) If you have reviewed manuscripts or books from international authors in your field, what do you think are their major challenges?
My field is taxation, which is like saying my field is “law” or “business”. Taxation is a very broad field, with many intra-silo specialties. The specialty areas may be, nonexclusively, based on industry (e.g., oil & gas, pharmaceutical), on country/region (e.g., U.S., EU, South East Asia), on type of taxation (e.g., municipal, international, VAT, federal, estate), and topic areas (e.g., transfer pricing, M&A, corporate). My field specialty, at least what my graduate education and fellowship dissertation reflect, is “transfer pricing”. During my practice, I expanded into an international tax comparatist. As an international tax expert, with agility I research and analyze the tax laws of countries then categorize the laws with added value annotation for meaningful reference for tax advisors.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Monday, January 11, 2016
Tax Analysts is seeking papers for its annual student writing competition for 2016. This global competition enables students who win to publish a paper in Tax Notes, State Tax Notes, or Tax Notes International and receive a 12-month online subscription to all these weekly magazines after graduation.
Visit here for more information or to submit a paper.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Walch, Angela, The Bitcoin Blockchain as Financial Market Infrastructure: A Consideration of Operational Risk. Forthcoming in New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, Vol. 18, No. 4, 2015. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2579482
“Blockchain” is the word on the street these days, with every significant financial institution, from Goldman Sachs to Nasdaq, experimenting with this new technology. Many say that this remarkable innovation could radically transform our financial system, eliminating the costs and inefficiencies that plague our existing financial infrastructures, such as payment, settlement, and clearing systems. Venture capital investments are pouring into blockchain startups, which are scrambling to disrupt the “quadrillion” dollar markets represented by existing financial market infrastructures. A debate rages over whether public, “permissionless” blockchains (like Bitcoin’s) or private, “permissioned” blockchains (like those being designed at many large banks) are more desirable.
Amidst this flurry of innovation and investment, this paper inquires into the suitability of the Bitcoin blockchain to serve as the backbone of financial market infrastructure, and evaluates whether it is robust enough to serve as the foundation of major payment, settlement, clearing, or trading systems.
Positing a scenario in which the Bitcoin blockchain does serve as the technology enabling significant financial market infrastructures, this paper highlights the vital importance of functioning financial market infrastructure to global financial stability, and describes relevant principles that global financial regulators have adopted to help maintain this stability, focusing particularly on governance, risk management, and operational risk.
The paper then moves to explicate the operational risks generated by the most fundamental features of Bitcoin: its status as decentralized, open-source software. Illuminating the inevitable operational risks of software, such as its vulnerability to bugs and hacking (as well as Bitcoin’s unique 51% Attack vulnerability), uneven adoption of new releases, and its opaque nature to all except coders, the paper argues that these technology risks are exacerbated by the governance risks generated by Bitcoin’s ambiguous governance structure. The paper then teases out the operational risks spawned by decentralized, open-source governance, including that no one is responsible for resolving a crisis with the software; no one can legitimately serve as “the voice” of the software; code maintenance and repair may be delayed or imperfect because not enough time is devoted to the code by volunteer software developers (or, if the coders are paid by private companies, the code development may be influenced by conflicts of interest); consensus on important changes to the code may be difficult or impossible to achieve, leading to splits in the blockchain; and the software developers who “run” the Bitcoin blockchain seem to have backgrounds in software coding rather than in policy-making or risk-management for financial market infrastructure.
The paper concludes that these operational risks, generated by Bitcoin’s most fundamental, presumably inalterable, structures, significantly undermine the Bitcoin blockchain’s suitability to serve as financial market infrastructure.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Financial Law Prof Blogger William Byrnes took part in the 2nd International Economic Forum “In Search of the Missing Growth” held at the Russian Federation's Financial University in Moscow from November 24 - 26. Approximately 4,200 delegates attended from 40 countries. He submitted a fiscal policy paper about applying valuation methodologies for cross-border activities - intangibles within 'bundled services' arrangements and within 'platform contribution transactions'.
The conference featured many Russian government and industry leaders including by example,
Finance; Anton Siluanov, Minister of Finance; Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry & Trade; Sergei Glazyev, Aide to the President; Andrei Makarov, Chair, State Duma, Committee for Budget & Taxes, among numerous others. Speakers presented upon, and debated amongst themselves, macro approaches and their effects upon economic development and upon social contribution.
Renowned economists, practitioners and representatives of governmental bodies delivered presentations and papers including Dr. Alvin Elliot Roth, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics, who opened with a presentation on the design of market places. His presentation led to over an hour of audience questions.
Speaker networking included meals together and a guided tour of Moscow's highlights by the financial university students.
"In the U.S., 'global' discussion is often driven from only a myopic, U.S. centric perspective." William Byrnes stated. "It's refreshing to engage in policy discussions from a myriad of political economic positions. The Financial University's conference offers meaningful engagement with many policy makers and academics from many non Western European economies such as Russia, China, and Vietnam to name a few.
He added "I look forward to engaging with my Russian colleagues at Financial University's June (summer) 2016 global conference.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Tax Scholar James Puckett presented to Texas A&M University's Law faculty his recent scholarship examining equity issues relating to the distribution of wealth and income, and the impact of the tax system thereupon.
Prof. James Puckett (Penn State) opened his presentation with a Stephen Colbert quote: “I make serious coin. But I’m middle class. I just happen to be upper elite platinum plus middle class.”
In his working draft for the presentation, Prof. Puckett described a variety of approaches, some familiar and some novel, and some more administratively challenging than others.
Friday, September 18, 2015
The Writing Specialist is responsible for providing instruction, tutoring, and guidance to law students in the technical aspects of writing (grammar, punctuation, structure, style, etc.). The Writing Specialist will assist the Writing Center Director in planning, developing, and implementing programs to improve the students’ technical writing skills. The Writing Specialist also provides technical writing assistance to faculty members.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Prof. David Herzig (VALPO Law) in Huffington Post addresses the issue of "Can an individual refuse to obey a law if it conflicts with their personal interpretation of a religion?"
Recently, a county clerk in Kentucky, Kim Davis, claimed that her "conscience will not allow" her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because "God's moral law convicts me and conflicts with my duties." In late August, a Calgary a bus driver named Jesse Rau refused to drive the Calgary Transit's rainbow bus. Both individuals raised religious objections.
These are interesting normative positions. Can an individual refuse to obey a law if it conflicts with their personal interpretation of a religion? Does it matter if the individual is an elected official or a private citizen?
Read Prof. David Herzig's full article at Huffington Post
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Michele Pistone of Villanova University Law just rang ... as reported by the Tax Prof Blog of Prof. Paul Caron, legal academia has lost one of its very engaged law professors with the process of innovation of legal education, Dennis Greene of Dayton University Law.
And I've lost a friend and academy confidant.
By example of his academic innovation, Dennis Greene was instrumental in the founding of the Work Group of Distance Learning for Legal Education and in the discussions with Prof. Michele Pistone for her LegalEdWeb.
He lived a full, interesting and good life, from co-founding a popular 60s music group Sha Na Na, performing at Woodstock, a career in the entertainment business and law, and finally that of a law professor. But it was the late night banter about Catholic doctrine, 1960's music, and life, and his tremendous humor and good cheer that I will remember Dennis by.
dormit in pace
Monday, August 31, 2015
Howdy from the 2015 IFA Congress, IFA's 69th Annual Congress since 1938! 2,000 international tax senior leaders from 100+ countries to discuss pertinent international tax challenges impacting global trade and investment.
Today's primary comparative tax study of 80+ countries is Subject I: TAX INCENTIVES ON RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D), followed by the Academic Luncheon
Research and development (R&D) to encourage “innovation” is generally regarded as a key element of economic growth. Many countries have adopted policies to encourage research and innovation, and as a companion seminar, the “Patent Boxes” discussion will investigate how countries have sought to institutionalize an R&D focus in different ways.
Increasingly, countries employ general and targeted R&D tax incentives to encourage R&D expenditure (“input incentives”) or reduce effective taxation on income from R&D activity (“output incentives”).
The discussion panel will first explore the policy objectives underlying tax incentives for R&D, with a focus on how R&D is defined for this purpose and the challenges of targeting any such exclusively at R&D which requires an incentive.
The panel will compare and contrast the different approaches used by countries to provide incentives, including input and output incentives, their effectiveness in serving the policy objectives and their compatibility with obligations under treaties, other international agreements and emerging standards of harmful or inappropriate tax competition.
Attention will also be directed towards constraints under EU law. The panel will use examples from countries’ experiences to determine whether experience to date can offer guidance as to when incentives are successful or unsuccessful in relation to policy objectives and to evaluate which incentives may give rise to action or counter-measures under emerging international standards for harmful tax practices.
General reporter: Robert Danon (Switzerland)
Chair: Prof. Stephen Shay (Harvard, USA)
Monday, August 17, 2015
THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA COLLEGE OF LAW anticipates hiring several tenured/tenure track faculty members and clinical faculty members (including a director for field placement program) over the coming year. Our goal is to find outstanding scholars and teachers who can extend the law school’s traditional strengths and intellectual breadth. We are interested in all persons of high academic achievement and promise with outstanding credentials. Appointment and rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Candidates should send resumes, references, and descriptions of areas of interest to: Faculty Appointments Committee, College of Law, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1113.
THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.