We investigate two under-explored factors in mitigating the risk of corporate fraud and regulatory enforcement against fraud, namely institutional investors and political connections. The role of institutional investors in the effective monitoring of a firm’s management is well established in the literature. We further observe that firms that have a large proportion of their shares held by institutional investors have a lower incidence of enforcement actions against corporate fraud. The importance of political connections for enterprises, whether in a developed market (...) such as the United States or an emerging market such as China, has been established by previous studies. However, we find evidence of another positive effect of political connections: they may reduce the incidence of enforcement action against corporate fraud. We also find that political connections play a more significant role in reducing regulatory enforcement incidents against non-state-owned enterprises and firms in weaker legal environments, whereas institutional ownership plays a more important role in reducing regulatory enforcement incidents against state-owned enterprises. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine the information content of insider transactions in China and analyze how ownership structures shape market reaction to these transactions. We find that the cumulative abnormal return to insider purchases is a convex function of the percentage of shares owned by the largest shareholder. Further, the CAR to insider purchases is lower when the largest shareholder is government-related, or when the control rights of the largest shareholder exceed its cash flow rights. We also find that the (...) market reaction to insider purchases is more positive for firms audited by Big4 auditors. However, we do not find a significant relationship between an ownership structure and the market reaction to insider sales. Our results are remarkably robust to alternative model specifications, corporate insider identities, and recent corporate news releases on price-sensitive events. Finally, we show that market reaction to insider purchases is larger for firms with less severe expropriations, as captured by the use of other receivables. (shrink)
Astronomical observations of redshifts and the cosmic background radiation show that there is a local frame of reference relative to which the solar system has a well-defined velocity. Also, in cosmology the cosmological principle implies the existence of cosmic time and unique local reference frames at all spacetime points. On the other hand, in a fundamental postulate, the theory of special relativity excludes the possibility of the velocity of the Earth from entering into theories of local physics.The theory put forward (...) in this paper resolves this conflict between local physics and cosmology. The theory retains the essential ingredient of the mathematical structure of special relativity, namely covariance under the Lorentz symmetry group, but changes radically the interpretation of the physical significance of the Lorentz transformation. The theory is based on the postulate that in free space the fundamental interactions in physics are propagated with constant velocity with respect to the local rest frame. In Minkowski spacetime the local rest frame of reference defines a unique time axis and consequently a unique three-dimensional spatial hyperplane. One particularly important result of this is that the theory includes the classical notion of simultaneity. From the fundamental postulate it follows that the equations of local physics, when expressed in terms of the rest frame coordinate system, must be covariant under the Lorentz symmetry group. By the identification of the local rest frame with the (unique) cosmological local reference frame the two theories become mutually consistent.The effects of the motion of the Earth on laboratory experiments are discussed. It is pointed out that existing experimental data do not discriminate between the present theory and that of special relativity: a proposal for an experimental test is made. (shrink)
We analyze whether audit partners suffered damage to their professional reputations with the demise of Zhongtianqin, formerly the largest audit firm in China, after an audit failure enabled a major client, Yinguangxia, to fraudulently exaggerate its earnings in a high-profile scandal resembling the Andersen–Enron events in the US. This involves evaluating whether the reputational damage sustained by partners implicated in the scandal spreads to other partners in the same audit firm. We isolate whether impaired reputation impedes partners who were not (...) complicit in the ZTQ–YGX events from attracting new clients or keeping existing ones. Our evidence implies that the market shares of these partners fell after ZTQ’s collapse, supporting that guiltless partners’ reputations were tarnished. We also find that these partners are less likely to be employed by reputable audit firms. The clients of these partners tend to have lower earnings response coefficients, implying that investors downgrade the perceived quality of their audits. Moreover, compared to a matched sample, the former ZTQ partners tend to charge lower audit fees after the firm’s collapse. Finally, we exploit the unique structure of ZTQ to provide evidence consistent with the prediction that the former partners from the branch that handled the YGX audits experienced worse damage to their reputations. In a setting with minimal auditor discipline stemming from civil litigation, our results lend support to the intuition that partners’ reputation concerns motivate them to protect audit quality by closely monitoring other partners in the firm. (shrink)
This collection of essays provides a reassessment of the question of sexual difference, taking into account important shifts in feminist thought, post-humanist theories, and queer studies. The contributors offer new and refreshing insights into the complex question of sexual difference from a post-feminist perspective, and how it is reformulated in various related areas of study, such as ontology, epistemology, metaphysics, biology, technology, and mass-media.
Pioneering work in the 1940s and 1950s suggested that the concept of chunking might be important in many processes of perception, learning and cognition in humans and animals. We summarize here the major sources of evidence for chunking mechanisms, and consider how such mechanisms have been implemented in computational models of the learning process. We distinguish two forms of chunking: the first deliberate, under strategic control, and goal-oriented; the second automatic, continuous, and linked to perceptual processes. Recent work with discrimination-network (...) computational models of long- and short-term memory (EPAM/CHREST) has produced a diverse range of applications of perceptual chunking. We focus on recent successes in verbal learning, expert memory, language acquisition and learning multiple representations, to illustrate the implementation and use of chunking mechanisms within contemporary models of human learning. (shrink)
This important new book explores the contemporary refugee crisis and the untold realities and experiences of refugees themselves. A team of top scholars offer a critical and necessary diagnosis of the challenges, complexities, and contradictions impacting our philosophical approaches to the contemporary figure of the refugee.
In this retrospective for Ethics, I discuss H.M. Oliver’s “Established Expectations and American Economic Policies.” This article, by a then-modestly-famous economist, has been ignored (no citations) since its 1940 publication. Yet it bears directly on a normative problem at the intersection of ethics and economics that challenges today’s policymakers but has received comparatively little philosophical attention: how should we balance potentially desirable institutional change against the disruption of established expectations? -/- Oliver details how the principle of fulfilling established (...) expectations cuts across political lines. Conservatives, he observes, criticized inflation for disrupting expectations, and demanded the protection of established corporations. New Deal progressives achieved “the safeguarding of the economic positions of certain important sections of the American people” (104) via statutes designed to protect income and homeownership status. And labor leaders lobbied for the preservation of occupational status. Oliver criticizes these demands on two grounds. First, they are noncompossible: they can’t simultaneously be fulfilled. Second, they are economically inefficient. He concludes that “in a modern dynamic economy, the preservation of status is not and cannot be a feasible criterion of economic justice” (107). -/- I argue that Oliver accurately recognizes both the wide endorsement and the moral ill-foundedness of fulfilling expectations. However, I criticize Oliver’s belief in the noncompossibility of expectations. The established expectations of the wealthy, middle-class homeowners and retirees, and current workers can all be maintained, but at the price of constricting the opportunities of new graduates, immigrants, and the poor—all groups yet to develop settled expectations. This insight renders the protection of expectations not merely inefficient but also unjust. (shrink)
continent. 1.2 (2011): 70-75. cartography of ghosts . . . And as a way to talk . . . of temporality the topography of imagination, this body whose dirty entry into the articulation of history as rapturous becoming & unbecoming, greeted with violence, i take permission to extend this grace —Akilah Oliver from “An Arriving Guard of Angels Thusly Coming To Greet” Our disappearance is already here. —Jacques Derrida, 117 I wrestled with death as a threshold, an aporia, a (...) bandit, a part of life. —Akilah Oliver Moraine in geological lingo is that which is left behind. Moraine- a euphemism for the de-stabilizing referent of the writer-ly body as a “troubled and troubling landscape marked by cultural and historical signifiers, the body as flesh memory [...] the body as transitory” (Oliver, Author Statement). Moraine— a geological metaphor of the poet as a holder of memory, as an accumulation of rocks and debris carried along the edge, terminal, dropped at the foot of language (in language). “Flesh Memory” according to Akilah Oliver is "that which my body recalls [...] everything has to do with the task of remembrance and its narrative reinvention [...] I was always translating an idea of the world as it presented itself at any given time. To write was a choice about how to be seen, how to enter the world as translator, actor, participant, in the dialogues that apparently made the real 'real'" (Levitsky). Flesh. Memory. The stuff some poems are made from. The stuff that gets abandoned, gleaned, and picked up by more flesh and memory. "My body, my life has always felt like a kaleidoscopic rip in the dominant fabric [...] has always been a dialogue with the impossible and the apparent” (Levitsky). The impossible-body or poet's body anticipates and performs (through language) an irretrievable death. IN APORIA I realized everything I must have been doing must have been Death. It was Christmas or Labor Day—a holiday—and every time you turned on the radio they said something like ‘four million’ or ‘going to die’.” — Andy Warhol I’m trying on egos, [a justification for the planet’s continuance]. Oh hello transgressor, you’ve come to collect utilitarian debts, humbling narrative space. Give me condition and wheatgrass, I his body disintegrating. I his body is ossification. Death my habit radius, yeah yeah. I his body can’t refuse this summons. I can’t get out this fucking room. Tell me something different about torture dear Trickster. Tell me about the lightness my mother told me to pick the one i love the best how it signals everything I ever wish to believe true just holy on my ship. I jump all over this house. this is it [what I thought is thought only, nothing more deceptive than]: I his body keeps thinking someone will come along, touch me. As like human or lima bean. I’m cradling you to my breast, you are looking out. A little wooden lion you & Peter carve on Bluff Street is quieting across your cheekbone. Not at all like the kind of terror found in sleep, on trembling grounds. It is yesterday now. I have not had a chance to dance in this century. Tonight I shall kill someone, a condition to remember Sunday morning. To think of lives as repetitions [rather than singular serial incarnations]. To understand your death is as exacerbating as trying to figure out why as schoolchildren in mid-nineteen-sixties Southern California we performed reflexive motions: cutting out lace snowflakes, reading Dick and Jane search for their missing mittens, imagining snow. Disintegrat ing . The -ing gerund catapults from the non-finite verb into past, present, future. The -ing as a tail pinned to death, a dog spinning to bite and never fully reaching itself, always shy of the end, circumreferential; a double copulative: deathing. Possessively AO calls it “habit radius” (a virtual fetish attribute) or an inescapable death presence that “confronts us with the paradox of an unattainable object [...] through it’s being unattainable” (Agamben, 27). A flirtation or dialogue with an unknowable thing and aporia utilized as investigative instrument to engage (death) while (in Southern California) we “perform reflexive motions,” cut lace snowflakes, imagine snow, and pay rent like “yeah, yeah” what else is new. And this too, fiction. The book I wish to right. The restored fallen, heroic. Did you expect a different grace from the world? Or upon exit? I’m working on “tough.” They think I am already. All ready. Who is the dead person? Is "I'm sorry" real to a dead person? Browning grass. My hands on this table. A contentious century. A place to pay rent. Redemptive moments. Am I now the dead person? Dead person, dead person, will you partake in my persimmon feast? The body inside the body astounds, confesses sins of the funhouse. I too have admired the people of this planet. Their frilly, orderly intellects. The use they’ve made of cardamom, radiation as well. How they’ve pasteurized milk, loaned surnames to stars, captured tribes, diseases, streets, and ideas too. The living-body as archive: is it possible to experience the living-body as archive without a (kind of) death? Sifting the rubble, rummaging through hoarded debris, skin sheds, memory-napping, and re-awoken (in flesh and) on terrain. “An investigative poetics seeks to unravel staid communities of thought and grasp at what might always be just beyond reach; a poetics of inquiry that lies between language as meaning, and language as rapturous entry into the world of posited ideas and idealism”( Levitsky). Something snaps. Lights blow out prior to embarking upon an investigative poetics. It begins with a question (often a sexy aporia) that leads to openings. "Every politics of memory [...] implies an intervention of the state. It's a state that legislates and acts with regard to the nonfinite mass of materials to be stored, materials which must be collected, preserved” (Derrida & Stiegler, 62). It seems poetic investigation already contains the potentiality of an (invisible) archive if the writer is “always writing” especially when not. Here’s my stupid digital romantic inclination: the living-body (of a poet) is a self-sustaining archive of non-finite memories. But not even I really believe that. AO innovated and sculpted an investigative poetic praxis. In a conversation with poet Rachel Levitsky, poetic-voice is viewed not as a precious identifier, but as a means to think through/about form, concluding that form is linked to framing. While poetic-voice may have tendency to precede form, it also erupts as a result of framing techniques. “They are frames that hold the shape of thinking (which is also to say of imagining) [...].”7 This reminds me of my rabbit who symmetrically chewed the corners of his hutch, which makes me wonder if it’s an expression of the shape of some animal anxiety tick I won’t ever have access to. Beyond the form/frame, death is an unoriginal yet unique limit; death is a damn deathless thing. It functions as a source of poetic investigation; that thing always “just beyond reach.” And how is death not a fetish (in this case an obsessive reverence for something non-material)? “Insofar as it [death] is a presence, a fetish [...] it is in fact something concrete and tangible; but insofar as it is the presence of an absence, it is, at the same time, immaterial and intangible, because it alludes continuously beyond itself to something that can never really be possessed [...] The fetish is [...] a sign of an absence, it is not an unrepeatable unique object; on the contrary, it is something infinitely capable of substitution, without any successive incarnations ever succeeding in exhausting the nullity of which it is the symbol” (Agamben, 33). AO utilized absence (the absent body [catapulted by the death of a beloved]) as an apparatus to investigate. In the process of conversing with absence or that which is absent, the absent body is affectionately objectified, incessantly summonsed back to a place of recognition, of objects, a desire for the absent body to remain intact while exiting the structural limits of grammar and syntax by moving into chant forms “to say what cannot be said” (Levitsky). from AN ARRIVING GUARD OF ANGELS THUSLY COMING TO GREET dear oluchi- the light is blinking rapidly on the black boxy machine. your room seems bigger than before and i am still planning to read some of those robert jordan books of yours. yesterday at the used bookstore where i was browsing the mysteries to “stall reality” (they are really not mysteries at all, they just employ death as the plot mistress but are unable to grasp its mystery at all)—well the point is, things were calm down here for a while and the world was little. i want to be big like you. or i want you not vast, not dead, not gone, but human small and here. i am so selfish. that is what i really want. to see you again. to oil your scalp. to hear you walk in the door, say ma i’m home . give me a chance to say welcome home son. or when leaving, don’t forget your hat . what do you wear out there? i wish you could have taken your new shoes with you. i’m so proud of you. i’m sorry for the way you died. i miss you all the time. even before, i missed you. out there, one time, some different men said: “shake for me girl, i wanna be your backdoor man.” who dat you love. 5/18/03 A letter-poem in sixteen lines “dear oluchi-” is safe-housed in epistolary form. Poetic voice is rendered as internal thought meanderings, a not-so-much confession, private/(pillow?) talk in the desire to be heard/witnessed by the referent and reader with an intent to absolve. The diminutive “i” bears a relation to poet Fanny Howe’s “little g God” in that “One of the (many) things I like about little g God is that you can have a vodka tonic while you talk to little g God, sing along to Bowie’s “I’m Afraid Of Americans,” and hum Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” though maybe not all at the same time” (Oliver, 2009). Towards the middle of the poem AO is at a used bookstore and remarks on the funny employment of death as a ‘plot mistress’ that ‘they’ (the dubious employed mystery authors) are ‘unable to grasp’, thereby giving death a mouthpiece, a modeling job, something to do to pass the time. from THE VISIBLE UNSEEN When I first saw graffiti, I recognized in it an ugly aesthetic, a dialectics of violence, a distortion of limbs, a hieroglyph. It was only later when I read the names of the dead that I then saw the path of ghosts charted there; its narrative of loss for the visible unseen whose place in history has been fictionalized and rendered unseen under the totalizing glare of history. Inscriptions, traces, specters. Graffiti begs a public face just as ghosts require non-ghosts (humans) to sense them. The “visible unseen” is a game of hide-and-seek between public viewer and graffiti-inscriber, an ephemeral-violent aesthetic on an ephemeral-policed canvas. Graffiti-inscribers already submit to being forgotten, expect to be washed away; perhaps it’s a holy urban mandala created by gangster-type monks without Buddhism. [...] in its refusal to disappear it forces a discourse in the public imagination we are forced to see what we would rather not, to make sense of an encoded language that we cannot read on the level of meaning. it irritates, forces its agency on us, speaks outside and beyond semiotic reach. An epic font-size pervading the public’s imagination, illegible, I could just close my eyes, remain passive, drive past, abandon it beyond reach, push it further away beyond death walls. In Barcelona I watched a clean up crew wash walls with an awesome water hose but I was more intrigued by their bodies; not a distortion of limbs, not hieroglyph but also not entirely legible; the laboring body permanently erasing specters of the city, and of course they knew it was also an invitation for the ghosts to return. Graffiti is death’s little sister, is also an aporia. [...] Graffiti (fr GK -graph(os), something drawn or written, to diagram or chart) attempts to stage the impossible: to erase the essence of its own subjectivity. Graffiti is a cartography of ghosts, a mapping of elegiac rapture (the transporting of a person from one place to another, as in heaven) and rupture (the state of being broken open.) Dwelling is a fiction stasis. [...] The notion of the past as being something done with, a look-back event, inhibits the possibility of reading graffiti as rapture, as rupture. If graffiti posits history as always in the process of becoming undone. [...] Because what is the body, if not also a complex temple, an unstable site through which to negotiate subjects, materiality, economies, gods, and modes of representations? The site where we are all already belated. Graphein meaning “to write.” “Derrida says every archive makes a law, and the law of genre is its own rupture” (Bloch, 39). However, graffiti is an (non/anti)-archive of erasure due to (the politics of) washing out its subjectivity, which only adds onto (or is symptomatic of) its character. The inhibition of “reading graffiti as rapture, as rupture” is partly due to it being a “look-back” event in that it’s process involves scratching through layers to reveal previous specters underneath. Graffiti (as an ancient genre) has always been a thing of ‘becoming undone’, and therefore ‘belated and always in arrival’ (Levitsky). It’s a Dionysian activity done at night with it’s back turned toward us. "The specter [...] is of the visible, but of the invisible visible, it is the visibility of a body which is not present in flesh and blood [...] appearing for vision, to the brightness of day [...] something becomes almost visible which is visible only insofar as it is not visible in flesh and blood. It is a night visibility. As soon as there is a technology of the image, visibility brings night. It incarnates in a night body, it radiates in a night light" (Derrida & Stiegler, 115). (shrink)