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The State and Fate of Community Banking

February 26, 2015 Comments off

The State and Fate of Community Banking
Source: Harvard Kennedy School, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government

This working paper focuses on the plight of community banks in the United States. It begins by examining different definitions of what constitutes a community bank, and goes on to review what makes these institutions unique and distinguishes them from larger regional or national peers. Our assessment of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation data finds that community banks service a disproportionately large amount of key segments of the U.S. commercial bank lending market – specifically, agricultural, residential mortgage, and small business loans. However, community banks’ share of U.S. banking assets and lending markets has fallen from over 40 percent in 1994 to around 20 percent today. Interestingly, we find that community banks emerged from the financial crisis with a market share 6 percent lower, but since the second quarter of 2010 – around the time of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act – their share of U.S. commercial banking assets has declined at a rate almost double that between the second quarters of 2006 and 2010. Particularly troubling is community banks’ declining market share in several key lending markets, their decline in small business lending volume, and the disproportionate losses being realized by particularly small community banks. We review studies on the impact of regulation, consumer trends and other factors on community banks, and examine the consequences of consolidation on U.S. lending markets. We conclude with a discussion of policies that could promote a more competitive and robust banking sector.

UK — Copyright and creation: a case for promoting inclusive online sharing

February 25, 2015 Comments off

Copyright and creation: a case for promoting inclusive online sharing
Source: London School of Economics

The creative industries are innovating to adapt to a changing digital culture and evidence does not support claims about overall patterns of revenue reduction due to individual copyright infringement. The experiences of other countries that have implemented punitive measures against individual online copyright infringers indicate that the approach does not have the impacts claimed by some in the creative industries. A review of the UK Digital Economy Act 2010 is needed based on independent analysis of the social, cultural and political impacts of punitive copyright infringement measures against citizens, and the overall experience of the creative industries.

The Emergence of Cybersecurity Law

February 23, 2015 Comments off

The Emergence of Cybersecurity Law (PDF)
Source: Indiana University Maurer School of Law

This paper examines cyberlaw as a growing field of legal practice and the roles that lawyers play in helping companies respond to cybersecurity threats. Drawing on interviews with lawyers, consultants, and academics knowledgeable in the intersection of law and cybersecurity, as well as a survey of lawyers working in general counsel’s offices, this study examines the broader context of cybersecurity, the current legal framework for data security and related issues, and the ways in which lawyers learn about and involve themselves in cybersecurity issues. These discussions are presented across the paper’s three sections:

  • Cybersecurity and the Law explores the context in which cyberlaw is developing, examining the importance of cybersecurity to companies and corporations and how inside and outside counsel are responding.
  • Legal Developments in Cyberlaw provides an overview of the current state of the legislation, regulations, and other sources of law and policy influencing cybersecurity.
  • How Lawyers Help Meet Cyberthreats examines lawyers’ roles cybersecurity in more detail, including both the tasks they should perform and the tasks they do perform. This section also examines how lawyers are improving their knowledge of cybersecurity.

“She said yes!” – Liminality and Engagement Announcements on Twitter

February 19, 2015 Comments off

“She said yes!” – Liminality and Engagement Announcements on Twitter (PDF)
Source: Georgia Institute of Technology

Social media sites enable people to share milestones in their lives, but relatively little is understood about how and why they are used in the context of major life changes. We utilize social media as a lens to explore the behavior of individuals undergoing a major life transition – those who use Twitter to announce that they are engaged to be married. Inspired by the anthropological concept “liminality”, we identify behavior manifested in Twitter that characterize this transitional phase. A large-scale quantitative study of Twitter postings of engaged individuals spanning two years shows that this phase marks notable changes in behavior that can be gleaned from social media. A follow-up survey provides qualitative explanations for the statistical analysis. Our findings reveal how individuals may be utilizing social media in the context of a major milestone in life, and bear implications for social media design and applications.

Hat tip: http://researchbuzz.me/

Legal Implications of Student-Based Relationships in Higher Education

February 17, 2015 Comments off

Legal Implications of Student-Based Relationships in Higher Education (PDF)
Source: Western Kentucky University

Many business entities have faced no liability in regards to customer-based crimes. However, colleges and universities are faced with the constant concern of liability in regards to “customer-based relationships” (its students). One would assume that the student themselves may be held liable for any personal damages they cause, but depending on the actions taken by the college or university, the university as a whole and its officials may be faced with tort liability. With this being said, university officials must be ever cognizant of the expectations of compliance within state and federal mandates. The Federal and State governments do grant immunity from liability when procedures are properly followed; however, the law does state that misunderstandings and absence of knowledge of protocol do not fall under the immunity from liability. With these standards for immunity, it is important that all university officials and employees be aware of compliance guidelines for various facets of student-based relationships in order to prevent liability.

ISAF 2014 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary

February 12, 2015 Comments off

ISAF 2014 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary
Source: Florida Museum of Natural History (University of Florida)

The International Shark Attack File investigated 130 incidents of alleged shark-human interaction occurring worldwide in 2014. Upon review, 72 of these incidents represented confirmed cases of unprovoked shark attacks on humans. “Unprovoked attacks” are defined as incidents where an attack on a live human by a shark occurs in its natural habitat without human provocation of the shark. Incidents involving sharks and divers in public aquaria or research holding-pens, shark-inflicted scavenge damage to already dead humans (most often drowning victims), attacks on boats, and other incidents involving provocation by humans occurring in or out of the water are not considered unprovoked attacks. “Provoked attacks” usually occur when a human initiates physical contact with a shark, e.g. a diver bitten after grabbing a shark, attacks on spearfishers and those feeding sharks, bites occurring while unhooking or removing a shark from a fishing net, etc. The 58 incidents not accorded unprovoked status in 2014 included 33 provoked attacks, nine interactions involving a shark biting a motorized or non-motorized vessel (“boat attack”), four incidents regarded as not involving a shark (“doubtful”), one case involving sinking ships or downed aircraft (“air-sea disaster”), two incidents involving post-mortem bites (“scavenge”), and nine cases in which data is unavailable to determine if an unprovoked shark attack occurred (“insufficient evidence”).

Public funding of private media

February 11, 2015 Comments off

Public funding of private media
Source: London School of Economics

As advertising revenues shift to non-journalistic platforms, news organizations face financial difficulties. To safeguard pluralism and editorial competition, alternative funding sources should be considered. Policymakers can support private media organizations with mechanisms such as tax relief or even direct subsidies to specific media companies. Such support need not compromise media independence if safeguards such as statutory eligibility criteria are in place. Given convergence, support for private media should also be extended to online media.

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