Archive for December, 2008

Financial Crisis: And so the economists agree…

Posted in Discussion Papers and Commentary with tags , , , on December 5, 2008 by jeremyleong

A group of economics Nobel Laureates met in Trieste yesterday at the Nobel Colloquia. Their finding on the financial crisis:-


(A) new regulatory framework, setting out the principles for future governance of the banking system, would require broad global agreement. It may also need to include restrictions on the activities of commercial banks to discourage them from excessive indulgence in financial innovation.”


So the view from the economics academy is pretty resounding. It is interesting to note that their reason for why global agreement is necessary rests on a very familiar concept to international lawyers: Regulatory competition. Robert Solow opined, “international co-operation on future regulation was essential to prevent regulatory arbitrage, whereby banks can exploit differing approaches to regulation in different jurisdictions.”


That still does not resolve the question of how to achieve this cooperation. Dennis Snower suggested starting with building international consensus within the G-20 and the G-7’s FSF. This is not new. See Dani Rodrik’s and Daniel Drezner’s views linked on a previous post. (See


However, the economist’s work is not in vain. At least, we have a pretty credible and cogent view from one sector of the academy. Can it mobilize political will? Maybe it does at the margins. But how about beyond the margins? What’s missing?


The FT’s report from the Nobel Colloquia can be found at   

Discussion Paper: “Terrorism and International Criminal Justice” by Pierre d’Argent

Posted in Discussion Papers and Commentary with tags , , , on December 1, 2008 by jeremyleong

As promised, we are hosting papers from the Fletcher School’s recent symposium on international criminal justice. (See and


Accordingly, we just posted a discussion paper entitled “Terrorism and International Criminal Justice” by Pierre d’Argent. D’Argent argues that terrorism should not be brought into the fold of international criminal justice. In particular, he distinguishes between the symbolic value of international criminal justice for war crimes etc and the symbolic value of international criminal justice for terrorism. He believes that using international criminal justice against terrorism actually “deprive(s) the State victim of the possibility of re-affirming the difference in legitimacy between its own violence and the violence of terrorists.”


The paper can be found at


Please feel free to comment or respond.