Why did the recent subprime mortgage meltdown undermine financial-market stability notwithstanding the protections provided by market norms and financial regulation? This Essay attempts to answer that question by identifying anomalies and obvious protections that failed by examining hypotheses that might explain the anomalies and failures. Although some of the anomalies and failures result from a type of tragedy of the commons (in which the benefits of exploiting finite capital resources accrue to individual market participants, whereas the costs of exploitation are distributed among an even wider class of persons), most result from three sources: conflicts, complacency, and complexity, all exacerbated by a possible fourth source known as cupidity. This framework of understanding provides critical insights into protecting financial markets.
Case Comment: Bhogaita v. Altamonte
EVERY DOG CAN HAVE HIS DAY IN COURT: THE USE OF ANIMALS AS DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS Kyle R. Kroll, Volume 100, Online Managing Editor In Bhogaita v. Altamonte, the Eleventh Circuit recently decided whether to allow a dog in the courtroom as a demonstrative exhibit. Although the case presented many serious [...]
Revisiting Water Bankruptcy
REVISITING WATER BANKRUPTCY IN CALIFORNIA’S FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT Olivia Moe, Volume 100, Managing Editor This spring, as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought stretched across most of California—indicating that a four-year streak of drought was not about to resolve itself—Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented order to reduce potable urban water [...]
Defying Auer Deference
DEFYING AUER DEFERENCE: SKIDMORE AS A SOLUTION TO CONSERVATIVE CONCERNS IN PEREZ v. MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION Nicholas R. Bednar, Volume 100, Lead Articles Editor* On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association. The Court overturned the D.C. [...]