Tagged: President Obama

SED Dean Reacts to Midterm Election Results

November 12th, 2010 in Education Issues 0 comments

Tagged , , , ,

Big picture view on midterm elections

November 3rd, 2010 in Politics 0 comments

Political science department chair Graham Wilson offers his view on the midterm elections and what’s next for President Obama. Professor Wilson is the author of “Only in America? American Politics in Comparative Perspective.”

“A stunning blow for the Democrats. The question now is whether Obama can play the game of wrong footing for the Republican House as adroitly as did Bill Clinton in the ’90s.”

Contact Graham Wilson, 617-353-2540, gkwilson@bu.edu

Tagged , , , ,

Obama will not sign foreclosure bill

October 7th, 2010 in Politics 0 comments

The White House announced that President Obama will use a “pocket veto” on a bill that would make it easier for banks and other lenders to foreclose on homeowners. Political science department chair Graham Wilson offers the following view:

“Vetoing a measure speeding up foreclosures must feel like taking a stand for apple pie and motherhood.”

Contact Graham Wilson, 617-353-2540, gkwilson@bu.edu

Tagged , , ,

Financial regulatory bill agreed on

June 25th, 2010 in Law 0 comments

buy & sell keysHouse and Senate conferees finally worked out a compromise bill aimed at reshaping financial regulations to avoid another Crash of ’08, with a final vote set for next week and President Obama expected to sign it by July 4th.  As expected: many winners and losers.  One controversial provision gives the SEC authority to require stockbrokers to protect their clients’ interest when recommending investments, potentially subjecting brokers to the same fiduciary duty as financial advisers.  Law Professor Tamar Frankel, author of “Trust and Honesty: America’s Business Culture at a Crossroad” and authority on securities law, says it’s about time.

“It offers a chance and a challenge for the SEC to become the leader that it used to be from the 1940s until about 1980.  It is a chance to bring about a far more reliable financial system and to refocus on productivity rather than betting.”

Contact Tamar Frankel, 617-353-3773, tfrankel@bu.edu

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The general and the president

June 23rd, 2010 in International Relations 0 comments

Obama & McChrystalGeneral Stanley McChrystal met privately with President Obama over contemptuous remarks the general and his staff made about top administration officials in a magazine article.  Shortly thereafter, Obama relieved the McChrystal of his command as head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.  International relations Professor Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army officer and authority on U.S. military and diplomatic history, says in a New York Daily News commentary that Obama should have pocketed any McChrystal resignation and tell him to get back to work pending the planned December formal assessment of the Afghan situation.

“But if by December the outlook for Afghanistan remains bleak, a change of command in Kabul will be very much in order – not for insubordination but for incompetence.”

Contact Andrew Bacevich, 617-358-0194, bacevich@bu.edu

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Financial regulatory reform showdown

June 21st, 2010 in Banks 0 comments

stock market boardHouse and Senate conferees hope to wrap up this week the final version of financial regulatory reform legislation to send to President Obama, with chairmen Barney Frank and Chris Dodd delicately trying to compromises without losing votes for the overall package.  What do about the trading of derivatives – the complex financial packages which helped sink the economy – remains up in the air.  Law Professor Cornelius Hurley, director of the Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law and a former counsel to the Fed Board of Governors, says the proposal currently in the Senate version but objected to by both the House negotiators and the White House, wouldn’t be the best for taxpayers fearing another bailout but would be better than nothing.

“If derivatives trading is such a socially useful and profitable activity ($23 billion in revenue among the five banks that dominate the market) why can’t it exist outside of bank holding companies? The answer to the question is that it could exist in a different, nonbank setting, but, without the backing of the taxpayers, the activity would have to shed its casino-like features.”

Contact  Cornelius Hurley, 617-353-5427, ckhurley@bu.edu

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Israel eases Gaza blockade

June 17th, 2010 in International Relations 0 comments

Gaza strip mapIsrael announced a relaxation of the 3-year-old blockade of Gaza, promising to ease the importation of some goods by land but not offering to lift its navel embargo.  The move came weeks after Israeli commandos killed nine people on an aid flotilla trying to breach the blockade.  International relations Professor Augustus Richard Norton, author of “Hezbollah: A Short History” and authority on Middle East politics, says if Israel was serious about improving the living conditions in Gaza, it would stop preventing the exports of agricultural goods and allow the strip’s simple manufacturing sector to resume making and selling everyday essentials.

“This latest decision is an arrogant in-your-face to the U.S. and other concerned members of the international community.  Watch the U.S. government spokespersons’ reaction.  If they commend Israel, then you may heavily discount Obama’s commitment to Middle East peacemaking.”

Contact Agustus Richard Norton, 617-353-7808, arn@bu.edu

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BP faces Congress

June 15th, 2010 in Uncategorized 0 comments

BP logo with spillIt’s all BP all the time in Washington this week.  After President Obama addresses the nation Wednesday on the BP oil spill situation, company executives on Thursday face a Congressional hearing on the matter.  Visiting law Professor Elizabeth Nowicki, both a former SEC and Wall Street attorney, says BP CEO Tony Hayward would be well-served to remember what empirical research shows about the economic value of apologies.

“My advice to Hayward is to remember what behavioral research has shown:  Corporations with senior management who willing and sincerely apologize are (a) less likely to get sued and (b) more likely to settle inevitable lawsuits more cheaply.”

Meantime, political science Prof. Graham Wilson, author of “Business and Politics,” wonders when other companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster and its aftermath will be put in the spotlight that thus far has swamped BP.

“It will be interesting to see if the American companies involved, such as Transocean and Haliburton, are also asked to set aside funds [for clean-up].  Only eight of the people on the rig when the well failed were employed by BP.”

Contact Elizabeth Nowicki, 518-867-5355, enowicki@bu.edu; or Graham Wilson, 617-353-2540, gkwilson@bu.edu

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama under political fire

June 4th, 2010 in Politics 0 comments

Obama looking upFrom the handling of the Gulf oil spill to internal Democratic primary politics, President Obama is under intense political fire and the White House is getting defensive.  Political science Professor Graham Wilson, author of “Only in America? American Politics in Comparative Perspective,” says some of the criticisms are ironic.

“One irony is that when the health care bill was being blocked by the Republicans, many questioned whether Obama was capable of horse trading and cracking a few heads politically.  ‘Too cerebral, insufficiently political’ was the criticism.  Now he is being criticized for trying to cut deals.”

Contact Graham Wilson, 617-353-2540, gkwilson@bu.edu

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Congress close to financial reg reform

May 21st, 2010 in Banks 0 comments

bankrollThe most extensive overhaul of financial regulations since the 1930s has cleared its big hurdle in the U.S. Senate and how can head to President Obama for a signature after a conference committee works out remaining differences between the House and Senate versions.  But former Federal Reserve Bank examiner Mark Williams, who teaches finance in the School of Management and is author of “Uncontrolled Risk” about the fall of Lehman Brothers, cautions that only four of the world’s 30 global financial giants that could take down the world’s economy are covered under this reform bill — yet the problems are globally systemic.

“The U.S. is now in the position to lead again but will need to encourage other nations to follow.  Until global uniformity is reached, high systemic risk will remain.”

Contact Mark Williams, 617-358-2789, williams@bu.edu

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,