Eric A. Posner Quotes
“This arrangement, in which users take advantage of services and the company gains all the upside of the data they generate, may sound novel, but it is actually very old. Prior to the rise of capitalism, feudal labor arrangements worked similarly. Lords insulated their serfs from fluctuations in markets and guaranteed them safety and traditional rights to use the land and to keep enough of their crop to survive. In exchange, lords took all the upside of the market return on serfs’ agricultural output. Similarly, today, siren servers provide useful and enjoyable information services, while taking the market value of the data we produce in exchange. We thus refer to this contemporary system as “technofeudalism.”
“It is not realistic to put legal constraints on war powers. Law works through general prospective rules that apply to a range of factual situations. International relations and national security are too fluid and unpredictable to be governed by a set of legal propositions that command general assent secured in advance. Laws governing war make us feel more secure but they don’t actually make us more secure”
“The fact that large, solvent, heavily regulated banks would not lend to each other—or would lend to each other only at historically unprecedented interest rate premiums—and not lend to each other even overnight, was persuasive evidence, universally accepted by policymakers, that the crisis was essentially one of illiquidity.”
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.24”
“Once it is recognized that the role of the state in a market economy is not only to enforce property and contract rights, but to ensure liquidity, then the bailout, properly understood, is no different from the enforcement of property rights. A host of legal consequences follow from this observation. This book gives an accounting of them.”
“Neural nets are nothing new. Researchers have been interested in them on and off at least since the late 1950s. However, until about a decade ago, neural nets were widely viewed as useless: in 1995 one of the founders of ML, Vladimir Vapnik, bet an extravagant dinner that by 2005 “no one in his right mind will use neural nets.”
“By contrast, in a liquidity crisis only one creditor can save the debtor: the government. There is no competitive market that offers emergency loans during a liquidity crisis. This means that the government can dictate terms. It can also neglect the interests of other stakeholders or discriminate among them for political reasons. The risk of abuse is far higher than it is in a normal bankruptcy.”
Eric A. Posner
- Description: Eric Posner is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at The University of Chicago.
His books include Law and Social Norms (Harvard 2000); Chicago Lectures in Law and Economics (Foundation 2000) (editor); Cost-Benefit Analysis: Legal, Economic, and Philosophical Perspectives (University of Chicago 2001) (editor, with Matthew Adler); The Limits of International Law (Oxford 2005) (with Jack Goldsmith); New Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis (Harvard 2006) (with Matthew Adler); and Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts (Oxford 2007) (with Adrian Vermeule). He is also an editor of the Journal of Legal Studies. He has published articles on bankruptcy law, contract law, international law, cost-benefit analysis, constitutional law, and administrative law, and has taught courses on international law, foreign relations law, contracts, employment law, bankruptcy law, secured transactions, and game theory and the law. His current research focuses on international law, immigration law, and foreign relations law. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.