For this Friday meeting of the Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance (6.00-8.00pm, Room 501, 309 Regent St), I propose the following topic:
"The Philosophical Foundations of the US Securities Act of 1933 or How to Draft a Complaint Against Goldman Sachs for Securities Fraud on the Taxpayer".
I will give a brief talk on the background of the Securities Act, which is probably the single most important securities regulation in the world. To make it contemporary, we'll look at a recently filed (June 22, 2009) complaint by the SEC against Chais, see http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2009/lr21096.htm and see how its particular five counts of liability might be applied (or not) against recent activities of Goldman Sachs with regards to TARP funds. We might all be cheered to know that the US law specifically and literally recognizes the fundamental purpose of the Securities Act as philosophical and ethical. The Chais complaint is about the SEC finally waking up from the dead and trying to sue a Madoff feeder fund for fraud. I don't think the SEC will sue Goldman Sachs but as a philosophy class interested in the limits of legal action and just causes, we just might show how this may be done if only to initiate debate.
Before investigating this topic, the first part of the session (from 6 to 7pm) will be dedicated to the continuation of readings from Aristotle's Rhetoric, Book I: http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/rhetoric.1.i.html
As always, the discussion will continue at Vapiano ut libet cum vino.
Chiara & Joe (Laura is in Africa doing fieldwork and we will miss her contribution)