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Author: The Modern Money Network (Columbia Chapter)

Between the (Balance) Sheets: Why Lawyers Need to Get Intimate with Accounting

Illustrated by Minji Reem When you stop to think about it, it’s obvious that every financial transaction involves at least two parties: for every buyer, there must be a seller; for every borrower, a lender. Taking this insight to its logical conclusion, it becomes clear that finance is, at its heart, a relational system. If everyone recorded every good, service, loan, investment, and transaction and tallied them up, all the numbers would net precisely to zero. Given how simple this point is, why is it, then, that whenever we discuss the merits of big, bold, public initiatives—like, say, tackling...

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(Long-Term) Greed is Good

Photo Illustration by Nelson Hua (Long-Term) Greed is Good: Old Goldman Sachs and the new Greek government have something in common Economic justice advocates might have a few things to learn from investment bankers. A generation ago, Goldman Sachs believed in being “long-term greedy.” Executives encouraged employees to seek out the most profitable deals, but never at the expense of the client (and thus the next deal). For decades, this approach, long-since abandoned in favor of short-term opportunism, made Goldman the envy of Wall Street: a ruthless yet reliable company that cared about its clients above all. Oddly enough, Goldman’s...

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10 Ways Austerity is Awful for Law Students

  Illustrated by Vicken Antounian Austerity is terrible for almost everyone, but when federal spending is cut and taxes are raised, some sacrifice more, and some sacrifice less. So, in response to the deficit hawks’ claim that the budget must be balanced, the justice-minded should always reply: “On whose back?” Although law students aren’t the most financially burdened group in society, austerity undoubtedly makes things much worse for us. Here are ten ways in which the austerity paradigm—a worldview based on an irrational phobia of budget deficits—crushes law students at Columbia and across the country. #1. Insane Debt Interest rates...

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Free Culture? Free Finance.

“The great moral question of the twenty-first century is this: if all knowledge, all culture, all art, all useful information can be costlessly given to everyone at the same price that it is given to anyone; if everyone can have everything, everywhere, all the time, why is it ever moral to exclude anyone?” –Eben Moglen In the early days of the European Enlightenment, the mass production of cultural artifacts required scarce and expensive printing machinery. For printing press owners, the critical economic question was not whether to print, but rather what to print. Governments, concerned that printers were devoting...

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Gravity’s Rainbow: A Remembrance of Jackson Alberts, CLS ‘15

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