Wednesday, 29 October 2008

More (on) Germans in the UK

A couple of months ago I posted a list of all Germans who work at UK law schools (here). Now, I have tried to update it. The new names are highlighted, whereas only one name was to be dropped (Christina Eckes, now Amsterdam). So, overall the number is rising.

Gero Dolezalek (Aberdeen), Florian Becker (Aberdeen), Gerald Schaefer (Aberystwyth), Anton Schütz (Birkbeck), Martin Borowski (Birmingham), Martin Kretschmer (Bournmouth), Nina Boeger (Bristol), Holger Sutschet (Brunel), Markus Gehring (Cambridge), Jens Scherpe (Cambridge), Katrin Mueller-Johnson (Cambridge), Friedrich Lösel (Cambridge), Beke Zwingmann (Cardiff), Judith Rauhofer (Central Lancashire), Michael Bohlander (Durham), Robert Schuetze (Durham), Thomas Wälde (Dundee), Mathias Siems (East Anglia), Burkhard Schäfer (Edinburgh), Daniel Augenstein (Edinburgh), Sabine Michalowski (Essex), Renate Gertz (Glasgow), Martina Künnecke (Hull), Michael Schillig (King’s London), Carsten Gerner-Beuerle (King’s, London), Alexander Türk (King’s, London), Oliver Gerstenberg (Leeds), Dagmar Schiek (Leeds), Christopher Bisping (Leicester), Sirko Harder (Leicester), Florian Hoffmann (LSE), Jan Kleinheisterkamp (LSE), Annette Nordhausen (Manchester), Ann Richter (Manchester), Simone Schnitzer (Northumbria), Thomas Krebs (Oxford), Stefan Vogenauer (Oxford), Katja Ziegler (Oxford), Wolf-Georg Ringe (Oxford), Kai Moller (Oxford), Stefan Talmon (Oxford), Bettina Lange (Oxford), Julia Hörnle (Queen Mary, London), Guido Westkamp (Queen Mary, London), Anne Thies (Reading), Regina Asariotis (Southhampton), Werner Menski (SOAS, London), Alexander Fischer (SOAS, London), Andreas Rühmkorf (Sheffield), Regina Rauxloh (Surrey), Yuri Borgmann-Prebil (Sussex), Volker Roeben (Swansea), Carsten Stahn (Swansea), Jörg Fedtke (UCL), Tobias Lock (UCL), Florian Wagner-von-Papp (UCL), Ralf Rogowski (Warwick), Maren Heidemann (Westminster), Stefan Echelmaier (York). And, as a footnote, a few Austrians: Dieter Pesendorfer (Queen’s, Belfast), Christoph Kletzer (King’s, London), Eva Micheler (LSE), Andreas Rahmatian (Leicester) and two German working in the Republic of Ireland Gernot Biehler (Trinity, Dublin), Ferdinand, Prince von Lippe (Trinity, Dublin).

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Foreign academic lawyers at UK law schools

A few days ago I wrote to a Finnish colleague that perhaps half of the academics at UK law schools were foreigners. Later on, I felt that I may have overstated this point. Therefore, I just looked at two universities (University of East Anglia and University of Oxford) and I tried to calculate the proportion of foreign academic lawyers. To clarify, I only considered full time staff and that I used the country of his or her first degree as the main proxy for the nationality of an academic.
Notes: The absolute figures are: UEA 16, 7, 3 and 1 and Oxford 45, 10, 19 and 3.
For German academic lawyers at UK law schools see already here.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

(Not really) Blogging about the financial crisis: a few questions

OK. Despite my previous post, I can’t resist it. However, I don’t dare to make any specific suggestions how we may respond (or should have responded) to the financial crisis. Rather, below just a list of questions related to the financial crisis that touch on my (and perhaps others) research interests:
  • Do we need deposit guarantee schemes that provide comprehensive and internationally uniform protection?
  • If we underestimated the risks of banking, do we need “Basel III”?
  • Instead of ad-hoc government bail outs, would it be better to re-draft bank insolvency law (ie provide general rules)?
  • Do we need a global banking supervisor? Or at least a European one (which may derive from CEBS)?
  • Have central banks done a good job? In a severe financial crisis, may their independence be restricted?
  • Why do credit rating agencies always get it wrong? (and what can we do about it?)
  • Do we need stricter rules on consumer credit and home loans? And, if yes, what should be their main aim – individual consumer protection or prevent bubbles?
  • Does it matter whether government rescue schemes are based on equity or debt participation? How should governments use their influence?
  • Do state aid rules still play any role? Or does the ECJ case law on “golden shares”?
  • Given the fact that even developed countries may now get close to insolvency (Iceland), do we now really need an international state insolvency law?
  • Would good corporate governance have prevented the financial crisis? (more shareholder power; lower executive pay?)
  • How do we ensure that the distortions to competition (state ownership; "too big to fail institutions") are only temporary?
  • Or, is it useful if government run saving banks (“Sparkassen”) keep most retail deposits?
  • And does the financial crisis show that government run pension schemes may be preferable?
  • Was short selling partly responsible for the crisis? Should it be regulated?
  • Do securitisation and “fancy financial instruments” need stricter regulation?
  • Which countries have suffered most? Is it related to distinctions between open and closed market economies (or different legal families)?
  • Has anyone benefited from the crisis - apart from academics who now have a bunch of topics to write about...?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Networking websites: the reluctant user

It started a few years ago when my brother asked me to join OpenBC (now Xing), and friends asked me to join Facebook and LinkedIn. Since I didn’t want to be impolite, I accepted the invitations. Later on, I came across Academici and more recently Academia, LegalOnRamp and Eldis – and, I thought, ok, let’s try it as well. So, now, I have accounts with Facebook, Xing, LinkedIn, Academia, Academici, Eldis, LegalOnRamp and Plaxo – but, honestly, I prefer networking “the old fashioned way”(mainly email). Perhaps, I am just getting old…

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The University of East Anglia (UEA) on Google Trends

I was interested in how the “google popularity” of my new institution has developed in the last few year, searching for both “UEA” and “University of East Anglia” with Google trends. Since UEA has a different meanings overseas (eg in Brazil there is another university called UEA), I restricted the search to the UK. The first picture, searching for UEA, looks quite positive:

But the second one, searching for “University of East Anglia”, shows a different trend:

Then, searching for both terms together (blue UEA; red University of East Anglia), it can be seen that UEA is by far more popular – thus, overall, we have a positive trend.

How can we interpret these results? The fact that less people search for the full name of the university is a general trend – I also searched for number of other universities and the pictures display similar downward trends. The likely reason is that just searching for the university name is usually not necessary any more because most people know how the main website can be found (“abbreviated name”.ac.uk). Thus, more often people may search for a specific department, academic etc, and here it is more convenient just to search for “UEA plus”. And the positive trend may also be evidence of the fact that the University of East Anglia openly uses its acronym (a few years ago I was at a university which had a popular acronym but the official policy was to use the full name only). Finally, Google trend shows that searching for UEA is most popular in East Anglia itself. So, many students and staff members appear to google for UEA – presumably because google is nowadays “too good”, eg if you want to find a particular administrative sub-unit (let’s say the careers centre) of the UEA. it’s easier just to google "UEA careers” then to learn the structure of the website.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Not blogging about the financial crisis

Is it feasible that a blogger who is interested in financial markets and their regulation does not blog about the current events? Actually, I already feel that there is an overflow of information in blogs, newspapers, radio, TV etc – so unless I find the way how the crisis can be solved I will remain rather silent…. Ok, but at least it is worth providing a link to the wonderful cartoons by Chappatte – in particular the one which links the crisis to the forthcoming Nobel Prize in Economics

Saturday, 4 October 2008

A Message from the Past

A few weeks ago I visited my father in Munich and discarded a lot of my belongings that I had still left in his house. In one of the boxes I found a piece of paper without any date or headline but that, presumably, I wrote about 15 years ago when I just finished high school (the same time the picture on the right hand side was taken). This piece of paper lists topics I was interested in – perhaps in order to make up my mind which subject I should study. Translating it into English, it states:
  • "unsolved mathematical problems
  • complex constructions
  • Foreign countries, in particular their religious, media-related and political structures; in particular the Orient, South Africa, East Asia, India
  • also extinct cultures: Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Aztecs, Incas à the process and development of civilisations (archaeology)
  • Mystical old-German poems – aphorisms – concise short stories – language theoretic and language evolving systems
  • Surrealistic paintings (ie with intentions), 1000 masterpieces
  • History = everything else
  • Rationalistic philosophy of the world religions
  • Law: foundations, criminal law, international law, legal history
  • Astronomy: in particular the „eternity“ and its consequences
  • Latin, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Ancient Greek
  • Politics
  • Computer: – graphics , – programming languages – visions, innovations, cyberspace – games/theoretical considerations – internals "

Since I don’t recall writing this list, I am slightly puzzled about a number of these items: some of them sound pretty cryptic and others pretty geeky (and the “beach boy picture” above is definitely misleading). Still, I am not unhappy with “my past I”: I had a broad range of interests. And I am also satisfied that I managed to return to some of these topics in recent years.