Weekly Top 5 Papers – February 26, 2018

1. Algorithmic Entities by Lynn M. LoPucki (University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) – School of Law)

That artificial intelligence poses an existential threat to humanity is nothing new.  What is new in this paper is how corporate law magnifies the threat. A malicious artificial intelligence the controls a corporate entity has both (1) a government-verified identity in which it can transact business and accumulate wealth and (2) legal rights—including the rights to privacy, counsel, due process, free speech, and to make political contributions.

Governments can’t protect us from algorithmic entities because the government can’t distinguish algorithmic entities from human-controlled entities.  Despite international efforts—through the Financial Action Task Force—to fix the acknowledged problem with corporate law, most of the governments that charter entities—including Delaware—don’t require the entities they charter to identify the humans who control them. Nor can they.  Corporate law’s unique conflict-of-laws rule puts governments in competition to sell corporate charters and a large proportion of the customers want anonymity.  Only a fundamental, worldwide change in corporate law can eliminate the threat algorithmic entities pose.

One of the scariest parts of this project is that the flurry of SSRN downloads that put this manuscript at the top last week apparently came through the SSRN Combating Terrorism eJournal. That the experts on combating terrorism are interested in my manuscript seems to me to warrant concern. – Lynn M. LoPucki

2. Can We Stabilize the Price of a Cryptocurrency?: Understanding the Design of Bitcoin and Its Potential to Compete with Central Bank Money by Mitsuru Iwamura (Waseda University – Graduate School of Commerce) and Yukinobu Kitamura (Hitotsubashi University – Institute of Economic Research) and Tsutomu Matsumoto (Yokohama National University, Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences) and Kenji Saito (Keio Research Institute at SFC, Keio University)

3. Do Alpha Males Deliver Alpha? Testosterone and Hedge Funds by Yan Lu (University of Central Florida-Department of Finance) and Melvyn Teo (Singapore Management University – Lee Kong Chian School of Business)

4. Comisión RESI para el Tribunal Supremo (RESI Committee for the Supreme Court) by Pablo Fernandez (University of Navarra – IESE Business School)

5. What is Program Evaluation? A Beginners Guide (Presentation Slides) by Gene Shackman (The Global Social Change Research Project)

I am hoping this guide may be useful to anyone who wants to know about the very basic ideas and methods of evaluation. Evaluation can be useful, but only if people understand it. I am hoping this will help clients, potential clients, funders, stakeholders, and the public better understand evaluation and a little of how it works. That way, people can have a realistic idea of how it can be used, and how it cannot be used. – Gene Shackman