Thursday, September 17, 2009

LawPundit Referred to at the Wall Street Journal Online in the Case of the Mighty Hu, the SEC and its New Division of Risk, Strategy and Finance

The Wall Street Journal online referred to the LawPundit posting on the case of the Mighty Hu at the SEC in its new division of risk, strategy and finance. We have scanned a portion of the page here and added the red circles and red line:

The Mighty Who ? Hu ! Texas Law School Prof to Head New SEC Office of Economic Analysis and Office of Risk Assessment

Hu Gadarn, the first king of the Britons, during whose time a series of great floods occurred (probably the formation of the English Channel) was "also known as Hu the Mighty ... was said to have brought the Welsh to Britain from Deffrobani (the Summer Country) ... he taught them to plough, and invented the medium of song to aid memory."

Hu's Oriental namesake, Henry Hu, Professor of Law at the University of Texas Law School, an expert in derivatives,


source of photograph: Bloomberg

has now been named the new "king" as it were to head a new SEC division in charge of risk assessment of financial products, with the goal of avoiding the kind of financial floods that have inundated the world economy in the past several years due in part to great failings by regulatory bodies.

The BLT (The Blog of Legal Times) as posted by quotes the Mighty Hu:
"The derivatives revolution, the rise of hedge funds and institutional investors, technological change, and other factors have transformed both capital markets and corporate governance,” Hu said in the SEC release announcing the new division. “I look forward to working with the Commission and to using an interdisciplinary approach that is informed by law and modern finance and economics, as well as developments in real world products and practices on Wall Street and Main Street."
Reuters (Reporting by Karey Wutkowski; editing by Tim Dobbyn) in SEC creating new division to police market risk (update 1) writes:
"The SEC is seeking increased authority over an array of financial products and sectors, such as the hedge fund industry, after the global financial crisis highlighted the mispricing of risk by investors and other market players."
According to Bloomberg in SEC Said to Pick Texas Professor Hu to Oversee Risk Analysis:
"Hu, who has researched how complex securities and credit derivates pose systemic risk, will lead SEC staff members who identify areas of potential abuse and analyze the costs and benefits of regulating them.... Hu will report to Chairman Mary Schapiro...."

( Joshua Gallu in Washington at jgallu@bloomberg.net; David Scheer in New York at dscheer@bloomberg.net; Jesse Westbrook in Washington at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net. )
We remain skeptical that government regulatory agencies will be able to reign in the most serious risks, simply because human greed is boundless and those seeking to take advantage of that weakness are a vast multitude. But of course we must try to do the best we can, so that this is most certainly a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, big money is seldom ruled, rather, big money rules. That is the major problem faced in governing the world economy.

Hat tip to Martha Neil at ABA Journal and her article Law Prof to Head New SEC Division Regulating Risky Financial Products.

Germany's Top PC Mag Computer Bild Tests the Browsers : Mozilla Firefox Wins, Google Chrome 2nd, Opera 3rd, Apple Safari 4th, Internet Explorer 5th

Computer Bild, Germany's most popular PC magazine with a biweekly circulation of close to 750,000, in its latest issue (20/2009, 14 September 2009) put the five top Internet browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Apple Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer) through 30 hours of performance tests and examined the programs from other parameters as well, coming up with the following test ratings, based upon a system in which 1 is the best score and 6 is the worst:
  • Mozilla Firefox Version 3.5.2 - Overall rating 1.87 "good" - Ranked Number 1 (Test Winner)
  • Google Chrome Version 2.0.172.39 - Overall rating 2.22 "good" - Ranked Number 2
  • Opera Version 10.00 - Overall rating 2.38 "good" - Ranked Number 3
  • Apple Safari 4.0.3 for Windows - Overall rating 2.50 "satisfactory" - Ranked Number 4
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0.6001 - Overall rating 3.17 "satisfactory" - Ranked Number 5
The amazing thing is that in spite of its being by far the worst browser of the five top browsers examined, nearly 2/3 of Internet users in Germany (65.1%) use Microsoft's Internet Explorer, while the clearly superior Mozilla Firefox browser is used by only 28.8% of all users.

We call this the 2/3 majority rule, i.e. if two-thirds of the general - and often uninformed - populace are in the majority on any given topic, they are - objectively measured - most likely in the wrong. That is one of democracy's greatest problems - the tyranny of uninformed majorities.

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