David A. Moss

Paul Whiton Cherington Professor of Business Administration

David Moss is the Paul Whiton Cherington Professor at Harvard Business School, where he teaches in the Business, Government, and the International Economy (BGIE) unit. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from Yale.  In 1992-1993, he served as a senior economist at Abt Associates. He joined the Harvard Business School faculty in July 1993.

Professor Moss’s early research focused on economic policy and especially the government’s role as a risk manager. He has published three books on these subjects: Socializing Security: Progressive-Era Economists and the Origins of American Social Policy (Harvard University Press, 1996), which traces the intellectual and institutional origins of the American welfare state; When All Else Fails: Government as the Ultimate Risk Manager (Harvard University Press, 2002), which explores the government’s pivotal role as a risk manager in policies ranging from limited liability law to federal disaster relief; and A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics: What Managers, Executives, and Students Need to Know (Harvard Business School Press, 2007), a primer on macroeconomics and macroeconomic policy. In addition to these books, he has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and case studies, mainly in the fields of institutional and policy history, financial history, political economy, and regulation.

More recently, Professor Moss has devoted increasing attention to questions pertaining to government regulation, economic inequality, and democratic governance. One notable article from 2009, “An Ounce of Prevention: Financial Regulation, Moral Hazard, and the End of ‘Too Big to Fail’” (Harvard Magazine, Sept-Oct 2009), grew out of his research on financial regulation for the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel. He has also co-edited three volumes on economic regulation since 2009, including most recently Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence and How to Limit It, co-edited with Daniel Carpenter (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Professor Moss has created both a financial history course in the second year of the Harvard MBA program (“Creating the Modern Financial System”) and a newer course on democratic governance ("History of American Democracy") for Harvard undergraduates and MBA students.

Professor Moss is the founder of the Tobin Project, a nonprofit research organization that has received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. He is also a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Honors include the Robert F. Greenhill Award, the Editors’ Prize from the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, the Student Association Faculty Award for outstanding teaching at the Harvard Business School (eight times), and the American Risk and Insurance Association’s Annual Kulp-Wright Book Award for the “most influential text published on the economics of risk management and insurance.”

April 2016

Featured Work

Publications

Books

  1. Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation

    Edward J. Balleisen and David A. Moss

    After two generations of emphasis on governmental inefficiency and the need for deregulation, we now see growing interest in the possibility of constructive governance, alongside public calls for new, smarter regulation. Yet there is a real danger that regulatory reforms will be rooted in outdated ideas. As the financial crisis has shown, neither traditional market-failure models nor public-choice theory, by themselves, sufficiently inform or explain our current regulatory challenges. Regulatory studies, long neglected in an atmosphere focused on deregulatory work, is in critical need of new models and theories that can guide effective policy-making. This interdisciplinary volume points the way toward the modernization of regulatory theory. Its essays by leading scholars move past predominant approaches, integrating the latest research about the interplay between human behavior, societal needs, and regulatory institutions. The book concludes by setting out a potential research agenda for the social sciences.

    Keywords: Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Government and Politics; Markets; Business and Government Relations; Research;

    Citation:

    Balleisen, Edward J., and David A. Moss, eds. Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. View Details
  2. A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics: What Managers, Executives, and Students Need to Know

    David A. Moss

    Now more than ever before, executives and managers need to understand their larger economic context. In The Concise Guide to Macroeconomics, David Moss leverages his many years of teaching experience at Harvard Business School to lay out important macroeconomic concepts in engaging, clear, and concise terms. In a simple and intuitive way, he breaks down the ideas into "output," "money," and "expectations." In addition, Moss introduces powerful tools for interpreting the big-picture economic developments that shape events in the contemporary business arena. Detailed examples are also drawn from history to illuminate important concepts. This book is destined to become a staple in MBA courses--as well as the go-to resource for executives and managers at all levels seeking to brush up on their knowledge of macroeconomic dynamics.

    Keywords: Macroeconomics; Money; Investment; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics: What Managers, Executives, and Students Need to Know. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2007. View Details
  3. When All Else Fails: Government as the Ultimate Risk Manager

    David A. Moss

    Keywords: Business and Government Relations; Risk Management;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. When All Else Fails: Government as the Ultimate Risk Manager. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002. (

    ​Winner of Kulp-Wright Book Award For the book considered to be the most influential text published on the economics of risk management and insurance presented by American Risk and Insurance Association

    .) View Details

Journal Articles

  1. Media versus Special Interests

    Alexander Dyck, David Moss and Luigi Zingales

    We argue that profit-maximizing media help to overcome the rational ignorance problem highlighted by Anthony Downs. By collecting news and combining it with entertainment, media are able to inform passive voters about regulation and other public policy issues, acting as a (partial) counterbalance to small but well-organized groups. To show the impact this information has on regulation, we document the effect muckraking magazines had on the voting patterns of U.S. representatives and senators on regulatory issues in the early part of the twentieth century. We also discuss the conditions under which media can serve to counterbalance special interests.

    Keywords: Media; Profit; Government and Politics;

    Citation:

    Dyck, Alexander, David Moss, and Luigi Zingales. "Media versus Special Interests." Journal of Law & Economics 56, no. 3 (August 2013): 521–553. View Details
  2. Fixing What's Wrong with U. S. Politics

    David A. Moss

    In America today there's a growing sense that the political system is broken and that its ineffectiveness is a major threat to U.S. competitiveness. Why do so many think the political system is not working? Research shows that in Congress, Republicans and Democrats are more polarized than ever. They seem pulled apart by two starkly different conceptions of government: one viewing the government as inefficient, invasive, and easily corrupted, and another seeing it as a vehicle for solving people's problems. Yet the ideological divide may not be the true source of the breakdown. A look at U.S. history shows it's not new. Moreover, sharp ideological battles have often proved highly productive in policy terms, delivering the best ideas from both sides. In the 1840s, for instance, state politicians who were deeply skeptical of government pushed hard for balanced budget amendments while politicians at the other end of the spectrum demanded free public schools for all. In the end many states adopted both policies—-a combination that proved enormously powerful. The problem today is that too many have come to view politics as war, where victory is paramount and "compromise" is a dirty word. This take-no-prisoners approach, which came into sharp relief during the debt-ceiling debate, threatens to cripple the best-of-both dynamic. Revitalizing America's culture of democracy—where the health of the nation comes first, above economic interest, party, and ideology—is essential. Business leaders must play a large role in this effort, because the implications for the economy are so great.

    Keywords: Government and Politics; System; Conflict Management; Performance Productivity; Policy; Public Administration Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. "Fixing What's Wrong with U. S. Politics." Harvard Business Review 90, no. 3 (March 2012). View Details
  3. The Rise of Consumer Bankruptcy: Evolution, Revolution, or Both

    David A. Moss and Gibbs A. Johnson

    Keywords: Insolvency and Bankruptcy;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Gibbs A. Johnson. "The Rise of Consumer Bankruptcy: Evolution, Revolution, or Both." American Bankruptcy Law Journal 73 (spring 1999): 311–351. (

    Winner of American Bankruptcy Law Journal Editors' Prize Given annually for the best article to appear in the journal​

    .) View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Capturing History: The Case of the Federal Radio Commission in 1927

    David Moss and Jonathan Lackow

    In the study of regulation (and political economy more generally), there is a danger that historical inferences from theory may infect historical tests of theory. It is imperative, therefore, that historical tests always involve a vigorous search not only for confirming evidence, but for disconfirming evidence as well. We undertake such a search in the context of a single well-known case: the Federal Radio Commission's (FRC) 1927 decision not to expand the broadcast radio band. The standard account of this decision holds that incumbent broadcasters opposed expansion (to avoid increased competition) and succeeded in capturing the FRC. Although successful broadcaster opposition may be taken as confirming evidence for this interpretation, our review of the record reveals even stronger disconfirming evidence. In particular, we find that every major interest group, not just radio broadcasters, publicly opposed expansion of the band in 1927, and that the broadcasters themselves were divided at the FRC's hearings.

    Keywords: Capture; History by Inference; Economic Theory of Regulation; Federal Radio Commission; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Jonathan Lackow. "Capturing History: The Case of the Federal Radio Commission in 1927." Chap. 8 in Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence and How to Limit It, edited by Daniel Carpenter and David Moss. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. View Details
  2. Lessons for the Financial Sector from 'Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence, and How to Limit It'

    Daniel Carpenter, David Moss and Melanie Wachtell Stinnett

    Citation:

    Carpenter, Daniel, David Moss, and Melanie Wachtell Stinnett. "Lessons for the Financial Sector from 'Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence, and How to Limit It'." Chap. 3 in The Making of Good Financial Regulation: Towards a Policy Response to Regulatory Capture, by Stefano Pagliari, 70–84. Guilford Press, 2012. View Details
  3. A Brief History of Risk Management Policy

    David Moss

    Keywords: History; Risk Management; Policy;

    Citation:

    Moss, David. "A Brief History of Risk Management Policy." Chap. 2 in Shared Responsibility, Shared Risk: Government, Markets and Social Policy in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Jacob Hacker and Ann O'Leary, 22–38. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. View Details
  4. Reversing the Null: Regulation, Deregulation, and the Power of Ideas

    David Moss

    Keywords: Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Innovation and Invention; Government and Politics;

    Citation:

    Moss, David. "Reversing the Null: Regulation, Deregulation, and the Power of Ideas." Chap. 4 in Challenges to Business in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Gerald Rosenfeld, Jay W. Lorsch, and Rakesh Khurana, 35–49. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2011. View Details
  5. The Paranoid Style in the Study of American Politics

    David Moss and Mary Oey

    What drives policy making in a democracy? The conventional view is that political actors, like economic actors, pursue their self interest, and that special interest groups dominate the policy making process by satisfying policy makers' need for money and other forms of political support. Indeed, many scholars regard this economic theory of regulation as a general theory of politics. George Stigler himself claimed that "temporary accidents aside," exceptions "simply will not arise: our extensive experience with the general theory in economics gives us the confidence that this is so." In this chapter, we suggest that exceptions—including major ones—may in fact arise. We focus on three historical cases in which special interests apparently gave way to the general interest in the policy making process: the enactment of Medicare in 1965, in which the powerful doctors' lobby failed in its bid to stop the legislation; the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which passed overwhelmingly despite the absence of any economically powerful interest group behind it; and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund), which became law over the strenuous objections of the powerful chemical industry lobby. In all three of these cases (and especially in the latter two), the proposed legislation became unstoppable in the aftermath of a relevant horror story—e.g., Love Canal, in the case of Superfund—that received extensive coverage in the press. Although one could argue that we focus only on high-profile cases, and that capture theory applies more cleanly to policies that slip under the public's radar screen, we have never seen the economic theory of regulation advertised as "a theory of minor legislative events." Ultimately, the challenge for scholars will be to identify the conditions under which special interests dominate (or capture) public policy and the conditions under which they do not. Although such a task lies far beyond the scope of this chapter, the three cases surveyed here suggest at least one potentially important dynamic: that in the presence of a free press, real-life horror stories with bearing on policy issues may serve to blunt the power of special interests by informing and catalyzing public opinion.

    Keywords: Policy; Government Legislation; Media; Interests; Power and Influence; Public Opinion; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Mary Oey. "The Paranoid Style in the Study of American Politics." In Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation, edited by Edward J. Balleisen and David A. Moss. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. View Details
  6. The Peculiar Politics of American Disaster Policy: How Television Has Changed Federal Relief

    David Moss

    Particularly since the 1960s, the federal government has played a significant role in financing disaster losses in the United States. The federal government may thus be thought of as providing an implicit form of public disaster insurance. However, unlike many long-standing public insurance programs, federal disaster "insurance" collects no premiums other than for flood risk. Why is public disaster relief financed differently from other forms of public insurance, such as unemployment insurance and deposit insurance? Although there are many possible explanations for this puzzle, one that deserves particular attention relates to the peculiar politics of disaster policy at the federal level and the special role that the news media appear to play in driving policy outcomes. As is well known, media coverage surges upward in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, throwing a bright spotlight on the victims, and then quickly dissipates. As a result, although the accumulated costs of disaster relief are quite high, the politics are typically played out one disaster at a time, in line with the media coverage. This dynamic appears to focus public attention more on the immediate benefits of emergency disaster assistance than on the long-term costs. Unless and until the public discussion can be reframed to look across disasters, rather than focusing on one disaster at a time, insurance-based policy reform may remain exceedingly difficult to achieve.

    Keywords: Insurance; Policy; Government and Politics; Media; Natural Disasters; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David. "The Peculiar Politics of American Disaster Policy: How Television Has Changed Federal Relief." Chap. 18 in The Irrational Economist: Making Decisions in a Dangerous World, edited by Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Paul Slovic, 151–160. New York: PublicAffairs Books, 2010. View Details
  7. Government as Risk Manager

    Tom Baker and David Moss

    We explain the four basic ways to manage risk: prevention, risk shifting, risk spreading, and loss control. We set out five principles of effective government risk management gleaned from extensive historical study: (1) link responsibility and control, (2) manage moral hazard, (3) pool risk in sound institutions, (4) adopt market conforming approaches to the extent possible, and (5) structure markets to promote safe products. Finally, we describe some promising new government risk management ideas that incorporate these principles.

    Keywords: Government and Politics; Risk Management; Risk and Uncertainty; Safety;

    Citation:

    Baker, Tom, and David Moss. "Government as Risk Manager." Chap. 4 in New Perspectives on Regulation, edited by David Moss and John Cisternino, 87–109. Cambridge, MA: Tobin Project, 2009. View Details

Working Papers

  1. Inequality and Decision Making: Imagining a New Line of Inquiry

    David Moss, Anant Thaker and Howard Rudnick

    The substantial increase in inequality in the United States over the past three decades has provoked considerable debate, with some analysts characterizing rising inequality as among the greatest threats facing the nation and others dismissing it as little more than a hiccup – or even celebrating it as a favorable development – in the progress of American capitalism. Despite numerous claims in popular venues that high inequality has slowed growth, precipitated financial instability, and profoundly distorted the nation's political system, our review of the literature finds no academic consensus on the consequences of inequality for the health of the economy or the democracy, or for nearly any other macro-level outcome. With the academic community reaching inconclusive and conflicting findings, we suggest that careful empirical study of possible mechanisms by which income inequality may exert macro-level effects is warranted. We suggest further that that one potential mechanism that may be especially worthy of investigation relates to possible effects of high or rising inequality on individual decision making. Drawing on nascent research, we examine a handful of pathways through which inequality may plausibly influence individual decisions. Finally, we propose ways that these and other pathways might be productively explored and assessed through behavioral experiments. By bringing together what are today two separate areas of research – decision making and inequality (or social disparity) – this new line of inquiry could help to break the stalemate that has, until now, characterized the study of inequality and its consequences.

    Keywords: Equality and Inequality; Income; Decision Making; Government and Politics; Economics; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, Anant Thaker, and Howard Rudnick. "Inequality and Decision Making: Imagining a New Line of Inquiry." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 13-099, June 2013. View Details
  2. Reversing the Null: Regulation, Deregulation, and the Power of Ideas

    David Moss

    It has been said that deregulation was an important source of the recent financial crisis. It may be more accurate, however, to say that a deregulatory mindset was an important source of the crisis—a mindset that, to a very significant extent, grew out of profound changes in academic thinking about the role of government. As scholars of political economy quietly shifted their focus from market failure to government failure over the second half of the twentieth century, they set the stage for a revolution in both government and markets, the full ramifications of which are still only beginning to be understood. This intellectual sea-change generated some positive effects, but also some negative ones, including (it seems) an excessively negative impression of the capacity of government to address problems in the marketplace. Today, as we consider the need for new regulation, particularly in the wake of the financial crisis, another fundamental shift in academic thinking about the role of government may be required-involving nothing less than a reversal of the prevailing null hypothesis in the study of political economy.

    Keywords: Financial Crisis; Financial Markets; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Government and Politics; Failure; Business and Government Relations; Financial Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David. "Reversing the Null: Regulation, Deregulation, and the Power of Ideas." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 10-080, October 2010. View Details
  3. An Ounce of Prevention: The Power of Public Risk Management in Stabilizing the Financial System

    David A. Moss

    The magnitude of the current financial crisis reflects the failure of an economic and regulatory philosophy that had proved increasingly influential in policy circles over the past three decades.

    This paper suggests (1) that contrary to the prevailing wisdom, New Deal policies (including federal deposit insurance and bank supervision) worked to stabilize the financial system; (2) that the financial catastrophe of 2007-2009 was not an accident, but rather a mistake, driven by a deregulatory mindset that took 50 years of post-New Deal financial stability for granted; and (3) that the dramatic federal response to the current financial crisis has created a new reality, in which virtually all systemically significant financial institutions now enjoy an implicit guarantee from the federal government that will continue to exist (and continue to generate moral hazard) long after the immediate crisis passes.

    Based on this analysis, one major step that is necessary now to help ensure financial stability in the future is to identify and regulate "systemically significant" institutions on an ongoing basis, rather than simply in the heat of a crisis. To guard against moral hazard (in the face of large implicit guarantees) and to ensure the safety of the broader financial system, these institutions must face significant prudential regulation, they should be required to pay premiums for the federal insurance they already enjoy, and they should be subject to an FDIC-style receivership process in the event of failure.

    Keywords: Financial Crisis; Financial Institutions; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Risk Management; Business and Government Relations; Balance and Stability;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. "An Ounce of Prevention: The Power of Public Risk Management in Stabilizing the Financial System." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 09-087, January 2009. View Details
  4. Media versus Special Interests

    Alexander Dyck, David A. Moss and Luigi Zingales

    We argue that profit-maximizing media helps overcome the problem of "rational ignorance" highlighted by Downs (1957) and in so doing makes elected representatives more sensitive to the interests of general voters. By collecting news and combining it with entertainment, media are able to inform passive voters on politically relevant issues. To show the impact this information has on legislative outcomes, we document the effect "muckraking" magazines had on the voting patterns of U.S. representatives and senators in the early part of the 20th century. We also show under what conditions profit-maximizing media will cater to general (less affluent) voters in their coverage, providing a counterbalance to special interests.

    Keywords: Voting; Government Legislation; Media; Interests; Power and Influence; United States;

    Citation:

    Dyck, Alexander, David A. Moss, and Luigi Zingales. "Media versus Special Interests." NBER Working Paper Series, No. 14360, September 2008. View Details
  5. Rethinking the Role of History in Law & Economics: The Case of the Federal Radio Commission in 1927

    David A. Moss and Jonathan B. Lackow

    In the study of law and economics, there is a danger that historical inferences from theory may infect historical tests of theory.  It is imperative, therefore, that historical tests always involve a vigorous search not only for confirming evidence, but for disconfirming evidence as well. We undertake such a search in the context of a single well-known case: the Federal Radio Commission's (FRC's) 1927 decision not to expand the broadcast radio band. The standard account of this decision holds that incumbent broadcasters opposed expansion (to avoid increased competition) and succeeded in capturing the FRC. Although successful broadcaster opposition may be taken as confirming evidence for this interpretation, our review of the record reveals even stronger disconfirming evidence. In particular, we find that every major interest group, not just radio broadcasters, publicly opposed expansion of the band in 1927, and that broadcasters themselves were divided at the FRC's hearings.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Government Legislation; Economic History; Law; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Jonathan B. Lackow. "Rethinking the Role of History in Law & Economics: The Case of the Federal Radio Commission in 1927." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 09-008, August 2008. View Details
  6. Macro for Managers

    David A. Moss

    This note attempts to provide a conceptual overview of macroeconomics. Designed for managers and students of management, it emphasizes fundamental ideas and relationships, rather than mathematical models and formulas. The note identifies—and is structured around—three essential pillars of macroeconomics: output, money, and expectations.

    Keywords: Macroeconomics; Money; Relationships; Performance Expectations;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. "Macro for Managers." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 05-042, January 2005. View Details
  7. Regulation and Reaction: The Other Side of Free Banking in Antebellum New York

    David A. Moss and Sarah Brennan

    Free banking, which first appeared in the United States in the late 1830s, comprised two essential features: general incorporation for banks and rigorous security requirements for note issue. Because the general incorporation feature is what allowed free entry, it has typically been heralded as the centerpiece of the institution, leading some scholars to characterize free banking as laissez faire banking. Far from allowing free bankers complete freedom of action, however, free banking laws actually prohibited the most common form of intermediation of the time. By requiring that bank notes be fully backed with high-grade securities, these laws prevented banks from intermediating between liquid notes on the one hand and illiquid loans on the other. The purpose for this paper, therefore, is to explore the other side of free banking—the regulatory side which banned the use of notes as a source of funds for non-marketable lending. After tracing the intellectual and legislative history of free banking in New York State (the first state to adopt an enduring free banking statute), we show that New York's 1838 law placed significant constraints on note issue, which ultimately helped to transform the nature of bank money throughout the state. We find, in particular, that these constraints led to a significant reduction in the issue of bank notes and a concomitant increase in the relative importance of demand deposits. This effect is visible not only by comparing note-to-deposit ratios in free versus chartered banks, but also by tracking changes in this ratio among a sample of chartered banks that were forced to convert to free banks when their charters expired (at scattered moments throughout the 1840s and 1850s). We conclude that the rise of free banking not only enhanced competition in the market for banking services (as a result of free entry) but fundamentally transformed bank balance sheets as well (as a result of the strict security requirement for note issue).

    Keywords: History; Law; Competition; Financial Liquidity; Money; Market Entry and Exit; Financing and Loans; Banks and Banking; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Sarah Brennan. "Regulation and Reaction: The Other Side of Free Banking in Antebellum New York." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 04-038, April 2004. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Direct Democracy or Directed Democracy? The Battle over the Initiative and Referendum in Massachusetts (1918)

    David Moss and Dean Grodzins

    On Election Day in 1918, Massachusetts voters would have to decide not only on their preferred candidates for governor and U.S. Senator, but also whether or not to approve 19 proposed amendments to the state constitution. By far the most controversial of these would establish a state process of initiative and referendum. The initiative would empower private citizens to write both laws and constitutional amendments, and pass them, even over the opposition of a majority of the state legislature. The referendum would allow voters to rescind laws that the legislature had passed. Behind this proposed amendment lay nearly three decades of agitation, both in the state and nationally, for “direct democracy” in America.
    The initiative and referendum—or “I&R” for short—had become a key demand of progressivism, the diverse movement for economic, social, and political reform that swept the nation for nearly two decades after 1900. By 1918, 19 states, mostly in the West, and hundreds of counties and municipalities, including a number of cities in Massachusetts, had adopted some form of I&R. Opposition to a statewide I&R provision in Massachusetts, however, remained fierce. Opponents claimed it would threaten the rights of minorities, give undue influence to small but well organized interest groups, and place needless burdens on voters. Proponents urged the people to empower themselves and take back control of the state from the “invisible government” of party bosses and corporate lobbyists. Now, with the election approaching, Massachusetts voters would have to decide.

    Keywords: Rights; Government Legislation; Political Elections; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Dean Grodzins. "Direct Democracy or Directed Democracy? The Battle over the Initiative and Referendum in Massachusetts (1918)." Harvard Business School Case 716-044, February 2016. View Details
  2. An Australian Ballot for California?

    David Moss, Marc Campasano and Dean Grodzins

    In early 1891, California lawmakers were considering a plan to reform the state's elections through the introduction of an “Australian” ballot. Under this new system, candidates from all qualifying parties would appear on official ballots, which would be printed by county and municipal governments and which voters would ultimately fill out in secret. This would mark a substantial departure from the existing way in which votes were cast in California, or for that matter in most of the United States. Traditionally, political groups prepared and distributed party-line ballots, called “tickets,” for voters to submit at the polls. Because each party ticket was visually distinctive (in most cases, distinguished by a particular color), it was easy for observers to determine how individual citizens had voted as they handed in their ballots. Closely monitoring the ballot boxes, representatives of the party “political machines” frequently paid supporters who voted for the machine ticket and sought to punish those who did not. Supporters of the Australian ballot promised it would end these abuses, bring greater secrecy and honesty to California's elections, and loosen the grip of party machines on the state and municipal governments.
    Despite some opposition in Republican circles, the Republican-dominated Assembly and Senate both passed the ballot bill by large margins in early March and sent it on to the Republican governor, Henry Markham, for his signature. If Markham signed the bill into law, California would join a growing roster of U.S. states using the new, secret ballot, and reformers would claim another victory in their battle against political machines.

    Keywords: Voting; Ethics; Political Elections; Laws and Statutes; Change; California;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, Marc Campasano, and Dean Grodzins. "An Australian Ballot for California?" Harvard Business School Case 716-054, February 2016. View Details
  3. James Madison, the 'Federal Negative,' and the Making of the U.S. Constitution

    David Moss and Marc Campasano

    On June 8th, 1787, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, delegates from across the United States began discussing a curious proposal to expand federal power over the states. James Madison of Virginia had suggested that the new constitution include a “federal negative,” which would give Congress the authority to veto any law passed by a state legislature. He viewed this as a critical safeguard against unchecked power at the state level. In late May, Madison's Virginia delegation had presented a plan for the constitution that included a watered-down version of the negative. Now, in June, Charles Pinckney of South Carolina revived the original version, calling it “the corner stone of an efficient national Government.” Not everyone agreed with Pinckney's assessment, however. Opponents charged that Madison's federal negative would allow Congress to “enslave the states” and let “large States crush the small ones.” Indeed, the question of how much power—and what types of power—to vest in the federal government went to the very heart of the debate that unfolded that summer. Whether Madison could persuade his fellow delegates at the Constitutional Convention was far from clear, but there could be little doubt how much was at stake as the new nation struggled to find its footing in Philadelphia.

    Keywords: Governance; Law; Government and Politics; South Carolina; Philadelphia;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Marc Campasano. "James Madison, the 'Federal Negative,' and the Making of the U.S. Constitution." Harvard Business School Case 716-053, February 2016. View Details
  4. Battle Over a Bank: Defining the Limits of Federal Power Under a New Constitution

    David Moss and Marc Campasano

    In late February, 1791, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton submitted a report to President Washington defending his recent proposal for a national bank, which he hoped would bolster the American economy and assist the federal government in managing its finances. Congress had approved the plan, but some of the President's advisers warned that the federal government lacked the authority to establish a bank because the Constitution did not grant it the power to charter corporations. In his rebuttal, Hamilton argued that Congress had “implied powers,” not specifically listed in the Constitution, which lawmakers could use when necessary to achieve legitimate goals. Because the proposed bank would assist Congress in executing its fiscal responsibilities, Hamilton believed that incorporating the bank fell well within Congress's constitutional authority.
    As President Washington considered these arguments, he knew that his decision to sign or veto Hamilton's bank bill would extend far beyond the issue of the bank itself. If he approved, his assent would potentially encourage the broad exercise of implied powers in the future. A veto, on the other hand, would send the message that Congress had no authority beyond the powers explicitly listed in the Constitution. Either way, President Washington would be lending his considerable weight and prestige to one side of this seminal constitutional debate, and he was well aware that much was riding on his decision.

    Keywords: Governance; Central Banking; Laws and Statutes; Government and Politics; Public Administration Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Marc Campasano. "Battle Over a Bank: Defining the Limits of Federal Power Under a New Constitution." Harvard Business School Case 716-052, February 2016. View Details
  5. Democracy, Sovereignty, and the Struggle over Cherokee Removal

    David Moss, Marc Campasano and Dean Grodzins

    By the mid-1830s, the U.S. Government and the State of Georgia had for years been pushing the Cherokees to turn all of their territory over to white settlers and move west, yet it appeared that most Cherokees wanted to keep their ancestral homeland. In October 1835, the Cherokee General Council had named a committee of leaders to work out a mutually agreeable solution with the federal government in Washington. At about the same time, however, U.S. Indian Commissioner John Schermerhorn had called a meeting at New Echota, Georgia with a separate committee of Cherokees who he believed would be more willing to “remove” the entire tribe to the West. This separate committee ultimately agreed to the Treaty of New Echota on December 29, 1835. Under the treaty, the Cherokees would cede all of their eastern territory in exchange for $4.5 million, land in the West, and other sundry benefits.
    U.S. President Andrew Jackson, who had battled Native American tribes during much of his former military career, was eager to oust the Cherokees from the eastern states. However, several members of the Senate criticized the Treaty of New Echota as a “phantom treaty,” claiming that it was signed by an illegitimate council without the consent of the Cherokee people. Approving the treaty, they insisted, would be a grave wrong against the Cherokee Nation and its official government, which the United States had long recognized.
    On May 18, 1836, the U.S. Senate finally put the Treaty of New Echota to a vote. If ratified, the treaty would bind all Cherokees to the decisions of the committee at New Echota, and the Cherokee Nation would have to leave its native land.

    Keywords: Governance; Nationality; Ethics; Government and Politics;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, Marc Campasano, and Dean Grodzins. "Democracy, Sovereignty, and the Struggle over Cherokee Removal." Harvard Business School Case 716-051, February 2016. View Details
  6. Banking and Politics in Antebellum New York

    David Moss and Colin Donovan

    After a long period of solid Democratic control, Whigs secured a majority of seats in the New York State Assembly in 1837, the same year that a major financial panic had crippled the banking system and shaken public confidence in the state's governance. The next year, Whigs proposed a radical new system of “free banking,” in which special charters would no longer need to be obtained from the legislature for a bank to commence operations. Critics of the old chartering system, which required legislative approval of every new bank, charged that it was an inefficient and crooked process that delivered banking monopolies to the powerful and rewarded politicians with kickbacks. This view, shared by many voters, was supported by widespread corruption allegations, the occasional fraud trials, and the connection of the chartering system with the Democratic bloc known as the Albany Regency.
    Skeptics, including Governor Marcy, a member of the crumbling Albany Regency, had reservations about displacing the chartering mechanism. Marcy's Democrats had long relied on their capacity to grant special bank charters as a bulwark of party strength and discipline. From a policy standpoint, the governor had long stated his belief that all banks that created money by issuing banknotes should be required to obtain government charters, and he had expressed apprehension about chartering any new banks during the financial chaos of the late 1830s. A rush of new banks was likely to be unleashed if the free banking bill became law. Would this stabilize or further destabilize the state's banking system? The decision facing Governor Marcy was not easy: he could quell public ire by signing the Whigs' bill into law, or he could veto the legislation and seek a less extreme response to the crisis.

    Keywords: Governance; Central Banking; Ethics; Laws and Statutes; Business and Government Relations;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Colin Donovan. "Banking and Politics in Antebellum New York." Harvard Business School Case 716-050, February 2016. View Details
  7. Debt and Democracy: The New York Constitutional Convention of 1846

    David Moss and Dean Grodzins

    On September 23, 1846, delegates to New York State's constitutional convention prepared to vote on a proposal that its principal proponent, Michael Hoffman, conceded would be “a serious change in our form of government.” The proposal would place tight restrictions on state debt, which had increased sharply over the previous eight years. Anti-debt reformers had long agitated for such an amendment. The version presented to the convention in 1846 would place a cap on state debt of one million dollars, which could only be exceeded for two reasons: if lawmakers faced an extraordinary emergency, such as an invasion or insurrection, or—alternatively—if they (1) contracted the additional debt for a specific purpose, (2) enacted an associated tax sufficient to pay off the additional debt within 18 years, and (3) obtained approval for the tax from a majority of voters in a state-wide referendum. Critics denounced the idea of a debt-restriction amendment as unnecessary, unworkable, and subversive of republican government; they also objected that it would reverse three decades of state policy regarding “public improvements,” dating back to 1817, when New York undertook the celebrated Erie Canal. Yet popular support for a constitutional restriction on state borrowing appeared to be rising. Now, at last, the convention was about to vote on the proposal.

    Keywords: Sovereign Finance; Governance; Laws and Statutes; Government and Politics;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Dean Grodzins. "Debt and Democracy: The New York Constitutional Convention of 1846." Harvard Business School Case 716-049, February 2016. View Details
  8. A Nation Divided: The United States and the Challenge of Secession

    David Moss, Colin Donovan and Marc Campasano

    Americans elected Abraham Lincoln as the nation's first Republican president in November of 1860. Northern political leaders had formed the Republican Party only a few years before, in large measure to combat the spread of slavery. Southerners had long been wary of Northern hostility toward their “peculiar institution,” and Lincoln's 1860 victory proved to be the last straw in this sectional rivalry that had deeply influenced American culture and politics since the earliest days of the republic.
    By the time of Lincoln's inauguration five months later, in March 1861, seven Southern states had announced their decision to secede from the Union. Lincoln rejected secession as unlawful and pledged that his government would continue to exercise its authority, as best it could, in the rebellious states. A crisis in South Carolina, the first state to secede, tested Lincoln's mettle in the opening days of his presidency. Federal troops still held Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, but their supplies were running low. Lincoln would either have to evacuate the fort or risk war by sending provisions. The new president understood the weight of the choice he faced: nothing less than the survival of the Union was at stake.

    Keywords: Governance; War; Government and Politics; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, Colin Donovan, and Marc Campasano. "A Nation Divided: The United States and the Challenge of Secession." Harvard Business School Case 716-048, February 2016. View Details
  9. Race, Justice, and the Jury System in Postbellum Virginia

    David Moss and Dean Grodzins

    In December 1877, an all-white grand jury in Patrick County, Virginia, indicted two black teenagers, Lee and Burwell Reynolds, for killing a white man. After a series of trials, an all-white trial jury convicted Lee of second-degree murder and sentenced him to prison. A separate all-white jury could not reach a verdict on Burwell, and he was returned to jail to await another trial. During the proceedings, the defendants' attorneys had protested to the county judge that their clients could not get fair trials from all-white juries. They also complained that although black men were allowed on juries by Virginia law, no blacks were even in the jury pools. The lawyers asked that special jury pools be created for their clients, but the judge denied their request. Finally, the lawyers petitioned a federal judge in the area, Alexander Rives, to move the trials to his court.
    In December 1878, Judge Rives agreed to the petition and had the Reynolds brothers removed from state to federal custody. Not long afterward, he charged two federal grand juries, both interracial, to investigate whether Virginia state courts had excluded blacks from juries. This, he argued, would be a violation of both the 14th Amendment to the Constitution (1868) and the federal Civil Rights Act of 1875. In February and March 1879, the grand juries indicted 14 Virginia county judges, among them the judge in the Reynolds trials, for keeping the jury pools they supervised all white.
    These cases provoked intense national debate. Much of it concerned the problem of federal power over the states and the interpretation of the Constitution and recent civil rights laws. But beneath these concerns lay questions, debated for centuries, about what constituted a fair trial before a jury of “peers,” and how both the right and responsibility to serve on a jury intersected with citizenship, especially in a democracy. Both cases were ultimately heard by the United States Supreme Court in October 1879. It was now up to the nine justices to decide.

    Keywords: Rights; Courts and Trials; Fairness; Race; Government and Politics; Virginia;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Dean Grodzins. "Race, Justice, and the Jury System in Postbellum Virginia." Harvard Business School Case 716-047, February 2016. View Details
  10. Labor, Capital, and Government: The Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902

    David Moss and Marc Campasano

    In late October 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt felt relieved after months of anxiety and uncertainty. Workers in Pennsylvania's anthracite coal industry had been on strike for five months, threatening to leave eastern cities in the cold without enough heating fuel for the winter. Anthracite workers and business owners had finally reached an agreement after months of stalemate, and anthracite production resumed on October 23. The agreement—the first of its kind—put decision-making power in the hands of a federal commission, appointed by the president and empowered to determine terms of employment and various operational questions in the anthracite region. After a week-long investigation in the mines, the commission began hearing testimony from hundreds of representatives of the workers and their employers, the mine operators. The hearings finally closed in February 1903, after which the commission began formulating its final judgments. Members of the commission knew that their work would set an important precedent for industrial governance in the years ahead. Past U.S. presidents had helped put down strikes that threatened federal property or public safety, but the anthracite strike of 1902 marked the first time the government acted to resolve a strike both without force and without such a clear legal justification. The decisions of the commission would therefore have important ramifications not only for the anthracite industry, but potentially for American business–labor relations more generally. With copious amounts of data, testimony, and research to inform them, the commission members began the process of deciding how an American industry should, and would, operate.

    Keywords: Governance; Agreements and Arrangements; Labor; Mining; Mining Industry; Pennsylvania;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Marc Campasano. "Labor, Capital, and Government: The Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902." Harvard Business School Case 716-046, February 2016. View Details
  11. The Jungle and the Debate over Federal Meat Inspection in 1906

    David Moss and Marc Campasano

    In early June 1906, the House Committee on Agriculture heard testimony from two investigators appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to verify allegations of unsanitary conditions at Chicago slaughterhouses that had appeared in Upton Sinclair's recent novel, The Jungle. Although the investigators confirmed many of Sinclair's assertions, members of the Agriculture Committee proved skeptical, challenging the investigators on numerous details. The hearing was part of a two-month congressional debate over possible meat inspection legislation, brought about by an unusual alliance between Roosevelt and Sinclair.
    After extensive and often heated communications between the House, Senate, and White House, a new meat inspection bill, not yet passed by either the House or the Senate, arrived on the president's desk for his preliminary review on June 18, 1906. It was a compromise of sorts—a mixture of ideas from all sides that had grown out of a series of proposals and counterproposals through May and June. The bill, crafted by members of the House Agriculture Committee, satisfied the president in some respects. In particular, it mandated inspection of meat products transported across state lines. Yet it also lacked provisions that Roosevelt favored, including dating of canned meats and fees on meatpackers to fund the inspections. Although the bill was hardly ideal from Roosevelt's perspective, he very much wanted to secure a statute before Congress adjourned only twelve days later. If he insisted on further negotiations, the momentum for a law spurred by The Jungle might dissipate, derailing the entire effort. However, if he endorsed the compromise bill, he would have to sell it to reformers in the Senate who were insisting on stricter legislation. With the congressional session rapidly winding down, Roosevelt had to decide whether to send the bill back to Capitol Hill with his blessing, or reject it and hope for something better.

    Keywords: Safety; Animal-Based Agribusiness; Governance Compliance; Laws and Statutes; Business and Government Relations; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Marc Campasano. "The Jungle and the Debate over Federal Meat Inspection in 1906." Harvard Business School Case 716-045, February 2016. View Details
  12. Regulating Radio in the Age of Broadcasting

    David Moss, Colin Donovan and Marc Campasano

    When the Titanic tragically sank on April 15, 1912, potentially life-saving help was delayed as a result of failures in radio communication. In part as a result, Congress moved swiftly to regulate radio, passing the Radio Act of 1912 four months later. Although at this stage radio was still used principally for point-to-point, Morse code communications, the radio scene changed drastically in the early 1920s with the rise of broadcasting, as new private stations began to deliver music and voice programs to a listening public. By 1927, more than 700 stations were battling over 96 available frequencies. This crowding of the broadcast spectrum substantially diminished the quality of radio listening. In fact, the airwaves were so full of interference that many citizens complained that it was often impossible to tune into any station clearly.
    In January 1926, both houses of Congress began considering sweeping bills to tackle the problem of interference and the question of how to allocate frequencies for broadcasting. Lawmakers vigorously debated a broad set of issues, ranging from questions of ownership and regulatory authority to the protection of free speech and the prevention of monopoly. A bill endorsed by both the House and Senate emerged a little over a year later, after the interference problem was said to have grown worse, and it finally arrived on the desk of President Calvin Coolidge on February 23, 1927. The bill would create a Federal Radio Commission with the power to license radio stations for two years at a time. President Coolidge had endorsed radio reform in his most recent annual message to Congress but had requested that all regulatory power be granted to the Secretary of Commerce, not to a commission. Now, with Congress having opted for a commission, he had to decide if the bill before him charted an acceptable path for American radio regulation.

    Keywords: Communication Technology; Government Legislation; Media and Broadcasting Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, Colin Donovan, and Marc Campasano. "Regulating Radio in the Age of Broadcasting." Harvard Business School Case 716-043, February 2016. View Details
  13. Martin Luther King and the Struggle for Black Voting Rights

    David Moss and Dean Grodzins

    In January 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the most prominent leader of the civil rights movement in the United States, launched a campaign of civil disobedience in Selma, Alabama, to bring national attention to disenfranchisement of black voters in the South. On Sunday, March 7, as part of this campaign, 400 mostly black protesters, not including King, tried to march across the Pettus Bridge, just outside Selma, only to be stopped by state troopers and local lawmen, who attacked them with tear gas and clubs. That night, all three national television networks broadcast film of the assault. The broadcasts sparked outrage against the attackers and sympathy protests across the country. King announced that he would lead a renewed march over the bridge on Tuesday, March 9.
    By early Tuesday morning, however, King had learned that President Lyndon Johnson, whose help he needed to win federal voting rights legislation, did not want him to march, and that a federal judge had issued a restraining order against the march until a hearing could be held. King thought his supporters' passions were so strong that he might not be able to cancel the march even if he wanted to, yet the modern civil rights movement had never before defied a federal court order. President Johnson's representatives told King that he might avoid violating the judge's order if he marched to the bridge and then turned around before crossing it. King did not say what he would do, however, and few of his supporters knew about the turnaround possibility.
    Several hours later, with television cameras recording the unfolding events, King led 2000 marchers to the bridge, where state troopers and lawmen waited. Should he try to turn the march around, which his followers might not accept, or try to cross the bridge, contrary to the president's wishes and a federal restraining order?

    Keywords: Rights; Voting; Race; Government and Politics; Conflict and Resolution; Alabama;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Dean Grodzins. "Martin Luther King and the Struggle for Black Voting Rights." Harvard Business School Case 716-042, February 2016. View Details
  14. Democracy and Women's Rights in America: The Fight over the ERA

    David Moss, Amy Smekar, Dean Grodzins, Rachel Wilf and Marc Campasano

    On the afternoon of June 21, 1982, the Florida Senate prepared to vote on whether to ratify the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution, which stated that “Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Supporters believed the ERA was essential to winning equal rights for women. Opponents claimed that the proposed amendment would dangerously expand federal power over the states, remove needed protections for women, and undermine the American family.
    When Congress had sent the ERA to the states for ratification, in March 1972, it had done so through a joint resolution stipulating that state legislatures had to ratify it within seven years. As the deadline neared, however, only 35 of the requisite 38 states had voted to ratify the amendment, four of which later voted to rescind ratification, though ERA supporters questioned the constitutionality of rescission. In October 1978, Congress extended the ratification deadline to June 30, 1982, a move that ERA opponents denounced as unconstitutional. Over the next several years, one more state voted to rescind, and no new states ratified.
    In 1982, ERA supporters made a final push for ratification. That June, the governor of Florida, an ERA supporter, called the state legislature into special session to consider, among other issues, approval of the ERA. If Florida ratified, supporters hoped that Illinois and either Oklahoma or North Carolina would quickly follow. On June 21, thousands of demonstrators, both for and against the amendment, converged on the state capitol in Tallahassee. That morning, the Florida House voted in favor of the ERA, 60 to 58. Now it was up to the Florida Senate to decide whether to ratify the amendment or to kill it.

    Keywords: Rights; Government Legislation; Gender; Public Administration Industry; Florida;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, Amy Smekar, Dean Grodzins, Rachel Wilf, and Marc Campasano. "Democracy and Women's Rights in America: The Fight over the ERA." Harvard Business School Case 716-041, February 2016. View Details
  15. Leadership and Independence at the Federal Reserve

    David Moss and Marc Campasano

    “From the Great Depression, to the stagflation of the seventies, to the current economic crisis caused by the housing bubble, every economic downturn suffered by this country over the past century can be traced to Federal Reserve policy.” Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, offered this damning diagnosis on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 3, 2009, as he introduced a bill to abolish the Federal Reserve (also known as the “Fed”). Paul had opposed the Fed for decades and had offered several bills to dismantle it, dating back to 1983. As with all of his previous attempts, the 2009 bill died in committee.
    Although few members of Congress shared Paul's desire to eliminate the Fed, the central bank's unprecedented interventions during the 2007-2009 financial crisis provoked new sources of resistance. At a minimum, many more Americans were curious about the inner workings of the Fed, whose activities and decisions were frequently wrapped in secrecy. From its earliest days, the Fed's supporters had insisted that monetary policy had to be separated from electoral politics to prevent the manipulation of the money supply and interest rates for short-term political gain. Increasingly, however, critics questioned whether the costs of Federal Reserve independence and secrecy might outweigh the benefits. By late 2009, mounting concerns in Congress had breathed new life into one of Representative Paul's milder proposals for containing the Fed. Though his ultimate goal was to “end the Fed,” Paul had also repeatedly proposed a full audit of the institution. By November 19, 2009, his latest audit bill had attracted 313 cosponsors, a record level of support, and the House Financial Services Committee was scheduled to vote that very day on whether to append a version of the proposal to a major financial reform bill that was then taking shape in Congress. If the audit provision became law, it would represent a notable change in policy, providing an unprecedented window on Fed activities and raising significant new questions about the nature of central bank independence in America.

    Keywords: Government Legislation; Central Banking; Policy; Financial Crisis; Business and Government Relations; Banking Industry; Public Administration Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Marc Campasano. "Leadership and Independence at the Federal Reserve." Harvard Business School Case 716-040, February 2016. View Details
  16. Citizens United and Corporate Speech

    David Moss and Marc Campasano

    The story of Citizens United began in late 2007, as leading members of the Republican and Democratic parties were preparing for the 2008 presidential primaries. Democrats expected a three-way contest in their party between Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, Senator (and former first lady) Hillary Clinton of New York, and former senator John Edwards of North Carolina. In anticipation of the primary season, a nonprofit corporation named Citizens United made a film, Hillary: The Movie, which attacked Senator Clinton's character, activities in Washington, and fitness for the presidency. People interviewed in the film described Clinton as "steeped in controversy [and] steeped in sleaze," "deceitful," "ruthless," "vindictive," "venal," "sneaky," and "intolerant."
    Citizens United released Hillary: The Movie in cinemas and on DVD, but also wished to show the film via on-demand video. Although the group sought to promote the on-demand release with television commercials, it worried that both the on-demand release and the associated advertisements could be deemed illegal—a violation of federal election law that banned corporations and labor unions from using internal treasury funds to assist with the election or defeat of candidates for certain federal offices.
    Citizens United pled in District Court that the laws restricting corporate speech violated the constitution. Although the District Court disagreed, the U.S. Supreme Court soon took up the case and, on January 21, 2010, ruled decisively in Citizen United's favor. In a 5-4 decision, the Court declared that limiting corporations' independent expenditures on election speech was unconstitutional. By doing so, the Court overturned two of its own precedents: Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990) and part of McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003). The majority opinion in Citizens United, penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy, announced that corporations had First Amendment rights, and that existing federal law improperly infringed on these rights. The four justices in the minority joined in a spirited dissent, written by Justice John Paul Stevens, which expressed deep concern over the influence of corporate spending on elections.

    Keywords: Rights; Internet; Political Elections; Lawsuits and Litigation; Business and Government Relations;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Marc Campasano. "Citizens United and Corporate Speech." Harvard Business School Case 716-039, January 2016. (Revised February 2016.) View Details
  17. Steering Monetary Policy Through Unprecedented Crises

    David Moss and Cole Bolton

    In early April 2008, economic conditions in Europe appeared to be deteriorating on almost all fronts: sales figures were falling, business and consumer confidence were slumping, forecasts for European growth were being revised downward, and inflation was rising. In fact, figures for the month of March revealed that inflation had reached an annualized rate of 3.5%, Europe's highest level since 1992. On top of these broad economic problems, the European financial sector–indeed, the financial sector worldwide–was in turmoil. By April 2008, global financial institutions had written down the value of their mortgage-related investments and other assets by at least $230 billion, and businesses around the world were complaining that it was ever more difficult to secure credit. In America, meanwhile, consumer confidence was falling, consumer spending had slowed to a near halt, and inflation had crept above 4%. In reaction to these dismal economic conditions, the Federal Reserve had steadily cut interest rates over a seven-month period, most recently lowering its key rate to 2.25% on March18. In sharp contrast to the Fed, the European Central Bank (ECB) had long held its key rate at 4%, where it stood when the ECB's Governing Council reconvened on April 10, 2008. Given both the market turmoil and the evident inflationary pressure, members of the ECB's Governing Council would have to weigh the available data extremely carefully as they decided whether to raise, lower, or maintain their benchmark interest rate. The significance of this decision could hardly be overstated, since it had the potential to send a strong signal about the nature of European monetary policy and the priorities of the ECB going forward.

    Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction; Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Financial Crisis; Inflation and Deflation; Financial Institutions; Interest Rates; Policy;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Cole Bolton. "Steering Monetary Policy Through Unprecedented Crises." Harvard Business School Case 711-048, June 2011. View Details
  18. Fighting a Dangerous Financial Fire: The Federal Response to the Crisis of 2007-2009

    David Moss and Cole Bolton

    By the summer of 2009, many observers concluded that a catastrophic financial collapse- which seemed all but imminent the previous fall and winter - had been averted. Although the recession had still yet to be declared over and the economy's footing remained far from solid, many believed that the worst of the crisis was over. With the global financial system no longer spiraling into an abyss, government officials, business leaders, and American taxpayers could now take stock of where they had been and where they should be headed. In particular, many wondered how the disaster had happened in the first place: what exactly had caused the brutal financial crisis of 2007-2009?

    Keywords: Business Cycles; Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Financial Crisis; Financial Institutions; Financial Markets; Financial Strategy; Policy; Knowledge Acquisition;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Cole Bolton. "Fighting a Dangerous Financial Fire: The Federal Response to the Crisis of 2007-2009." Harvard Business School Case 711-104, June 2011. View Details
  19. Inequality and Globalization

    David A. Moss, Anna Harrington and Jonathan Schlefer

    Inequality represented a major issue at the dawn of the 21st century. By many measures, inequality had increased over the previous several decades, within both developed and developing countries. Whether global inequality (measured across countries or among the people of the world) increased remained controversial. Even in those cases where experts agreed that inequality had risen, there was little consensus about the causes. Some blamed globalization for the growing gulf between rich and poor, whereas others pointed to technology, government policies, and even social norms. Experts also disagreed over whether rising inequality was even a problem, particularly in those places where the poverty rate was low or falling.

    Keywords: Equality and Inequality; Wealth and Poverty; Income; Globalization;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Anna Harrington, and Jonathan Schlefer. "Inequality and Globalization." Harvard Business School Background Note 705-040, May 2005. (Revised May 2011.) View Details
  20. Danatbank

    David A. Moss, Cole Bolton and Andrew Novo

    In the summer of 1931, Germany was struggling with a deepening economic crisis. Production had fallen, unemployment was high, and bank deposits and gold were being withdrawn from the country at a rapid pace, threatening the value of the German mark. The country's third largest bank, the Danatbank, was especially hard hit by the flagging economy and the flight of capital. By July, the Danatbank was on the verge of collapse, and the bank's charismatic and controversial senior partner, Jakob Goldschmidt, appealed personally to the government, the central bank, and his private banking rivals for a lifeline.

    Keywords: History; Risk Management; Business History; Capital Markets; Financial Crisis; Banks and Banking; Business and Government Relations; Banking Industry; Germany;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Cole Bolton, and Andrew Novo. "Danatbank." Harvard Business School Case 710-059, March 2010. (Revised December 2010.) View Details
  21. The Pecora Hearings

    David A. Moss, Cole Bolton and Eugene Kintgen

    In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, the Senate Banking Committee began a much-publicized investigation of the nation's financial sector. The hearings, which came to be known as the Pecora hearings after the Banking Committee's lead counsel Ferdinand Pecora, revealed how the country's most respected financial institutions knowingly misled investors as to the desirability of certain securities, engaged in irresponsible investment behavior, and offered privileges to insiders not afforded to ordinary investors. During the famous “Hundred Day” congressional session that began his presidency, Roosevelt signed two bills meant to prevent some of these abuses, but he also believed that the government should play a more active role in the financial system by regulating national securities exchanges. In February 1934, the president urged Congress to enact such legislation, prompting the introduction of a bill entitled the Securities Exchange Act, which would force all securities exchanges to register with the Federal Trade Commission, would curtail the size of loans that could be advanced to securities investors, and would ban a number of practices (such as short-selling) that were thought to facilitate stock manipulation. Additionally, the legislation would require that all companies with exchange-listed securities publish detailed business reports as frequently as the FTC desired. Wall Street, represented in particular by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) President Richard Whitney, took a strong position against the Securities Exchange Act. Whitney was ultimately summoned to testify during the congressional hearings on the Securities Exchange Act in late February 1934. Would he be able to convince lawmakers to take a different course, or would his arguments fail to win over those who believed that strict regulations were exactly what financial markets required following the Great Crash?

    Keywords: Financial Crisis; Fairness; Borrowing and Debt; Financial Institutions; Debt Securities; Stocks; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Government Legislation; Financial Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Cole Bolton, and Eugene Kintgen. "The Pecora Hearings." Harvard Business School Case 711-046, December 2010. View Details
  22. Financing Higher Education in Australia

    David A. Moss and Stephanie Lo

    Even before Australian lawmakers abolished university tuition in 1973, students in Australia had long benefited from low tuition and large government subsidies. By the early 1980s, however, the nation's universities faced growing budget challenges and an apparent shortage of capacity as demand for higher education surged. Policymakers, cognizant of a growing budget deficit as well as a hard-hitting recession, hesitated to provide increased funding to higher education. The debate over how best to finance Australian higher education finally came to a head in the late 1980s, following publication of the Report of the Committee on Higher Education Funding (commonly known as the Wran Report). Although the Wran Committee had considered several potential funding schemes, it ultimately proposed a radical system in which students would pay tuition financed through income-contingent loans provided by the government. The Wran Report proved to be of particular interest to the Australian Prime Minister, Robert Hawke. The government's fiscal position seemed to demand that educational financing be overhauled, but there was no consensus on how best to do this. Could the Prime Minister convince his Australian Labor Party to abandon the free-education plank in its platform? And even if he could, how could he be sure that the Wran Committee's strategy was the right one and that its recommendations were workable? Would following an American model of full tuition for higher education and government-guaranteed student loans make more sense? These were just a few of the questions that the Prime Minister confronted as he contemplated new approaches for financing higher education in Australia.

    Keywords: Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Higher Education; Borrowing and Debt; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Education Industry; Australia;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Stephanie Lo. "Financing Higher Education in Australia." Harvard Business School Case 711-047, December 2010. View Details
  23. The Dojima Rice Market and the Origins of Futures Trading

    David A. Moss and Eugene Kintgen

    In 1730, Japanese merchants petitioned shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune to officially authorize trade in rice futures at the Dojima Exchange, the world's first organized (but unsanctioned) futures market. For many years, the Japanese government had prohibited the trade of futures bills because it was widely regarded as a form of gambling that caused rice prices to rise. However, when the price of rice fell to record lows in the late 1720s, the samurai (whose income was tied to the value of rice) saw their economic position fall relative to the merchant class, whose growing economic power worried the nation's elites. The shogun responded by easing restrictions on futures trading, but without officially sanctioning a futures market at Dojima. The question now was whether he should heed the merchants' petition and take the next step.

    Keywords: Futures and Commodity Futures; Price; Food; Business History; Market Transactions; Business and Government Relations; Japan;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Eugene Kintgen. "The Dojima Rice Market and the Origins of Futures Trading." Harvard Business School Case 709-044, January 2009. (Revised November 2010.) View Details
  24. Wall Street's First Panic (A)

    David A. Moss and Cole Bolton

    In the early 1790s, a flood of newly issued public and private securities sparked an investment boom in the nascent United States. In New York, the bustling commercial district along Wall Street emerged as the center of the city's securities trade. One of the many Americans drawn into the frenetic and largely unregulated securities market was William Duer, who ultimately became a major player on the Street. As it turned out, however, Duer's financial dealings proved unsustainable, and his financial collapse helped to bring the securities boom to a halt. Shocked by the widespread devastation wrought by Wall Street's first panic, the New York legislature acted quickly to ban outdoor securities auctions and a popular class of financial instruments known as "time bargains," both of which were thought to have contributed to the boom and bust on Wall Street. Facing public outrage along with the new legal restrictions, New York's top brokers had to decide whether a new system for securities trading was needed and, if so, what it should look like.

    Keywords: History; Financial Instruments; Auctions; Financial Crisis; Business and Government Relations; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Cole Bolton. "Wall Street's First Panic (A)." Harvard Business School Case 708-002, December 2007. (Revised September 2009.) View Details
  25. Financing American Housing Construction in the Aftermath of War

    David Moss and Cole Bolton

    At the start of WWI, the United States faced a significant housing shortage. Public officials feared the spread of disease-and even communism-in the nation's cramped urban centers where vacancy rates held near zero and families often "doubled up" in single-housing units. Hoping to spark a burst of new construction, New York Senator William Calder called for the creation of eleven regional Federal Building Loan Banks that would serve as a new source of funds for mortgage lenders. The proposal was controversial, however. Opponents disliked the fact that the Federal Building Loan Banks would have the authority to issue tax-free, mortgage-backed bonds, and many claimed that the private market would solve the housing shortage on its own. Proponents of the bill, meanwhile, believed that it was necessary to stave off a potentially disastrous and protracted housing shortage, and they cited the long-successful mortgage bond markets in France and Germany as evidence that their plan could succeed. Federal lawmakers had to assess the arguments on both sides and render a decision.

    Keywords: Central Banking; Bonds; Mortgages; Government Legislation; Business History; Housing; Banking Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Cole Bolton. "Financing American Housing Construction in the Aftermath of War." Harvard Business School Case 708-032, January 2008. (Revised September 2009.) View Details
  26. Fannie Mae: Public or Private?

    David A. Moss and Cole Bolton

    In 1987, President Ronald Reagan established the President's Commission on Privatization to identify federal government functions that could be shifted to the private sector. One agency that the Commission considered was the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae was a Depression-era creation that was charged with establishing a secondary market for home loans. By purchasing qualifying residential mortgages from individual home loan issuers, Fannie Mae provided these institutions with funds for the continued issuance of mortgages, thereby promoting the government's goal of increased homeownership. Although lawmakers had already partially privatized Fannie Mae in 1954 and again in 1968, the agency in 1987 still retained close links to the federal government, including an emergency line of credit from the U.S. Treasury. After its deliberations, the President's Commission recommended Fannie Mae be restructured into a fully private firm. Now it was up to Congress and the President to decide whether to accept and implement the Commission's findings.

    Keywords: Restructuring; Financial Institutions; Mortgages; Government and Politics; Business History; Privatization; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Cole Bolton. "Fannie Mae: Public or Private?" Harvard Business School Case 709-025, February 2009. View Details
  27. The Federal Reserve and the Banking Crisis of 1931

    David A. Moss and Cole Bolton

    In early October 1931, in the midst of a global economic depression, the U.S. banking system was in crisis—with bank suspensions running at near record levels. At the same time, the broader economy was sputtering, and U.S. gold reserves had come under severe pressure after Britain abandoned its gold standard in mid-September. As pressure continued to mount, the leaders of the Federal Reserve faced several critical decisions. Should they adjust interest rates? Was abandoning the gold standard an acceptable option? Should they lend more freely to the nation's commercial banks? Or would this only ensure the sorts of financial excess that had gotten the country into trouble in the first place? Was it time to give in to the mounting pressure, or to hold firm?

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Financial Crisis; Central Banking; Business History; Crisis Management; Banking Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Cole Bolton. "The Federal Reserve and the Banking Crisis of 1931." Harvard Business School Case 709-040, January 2009. View Details
  28. The Armstrong Investigation

    David Moss and Eugene Kintgen

    In the early 20th century, public outrage at certain life insurance practices led to an investigation in New York State that threatened to curtail growth in the industry. Charles Evans Hughes guided the four-month-long Armstrong Investigation, which made startling revelations, and offered a number of controversial recommendations, several of which would forbid the most popular form of life insurance (tontine insurance), limit the growth of life insurers (which included several of the nation's largest financial institutions at the time), and prevent insurance firms from owning the stock of other companies. The New York State legislature approved all of the recommended measures, and sent the bill to the Governor for his signature. The life insurance industry objected, however, claiming that some of the new rules would reduce consumer choice and unnecessarily lower returns on company investments.

    Keywords: Crime and Corruption; Annuities; Insurance; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Insurance Industry; New York (state, US);

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Eugene Kintgen. "The Armstrong Investigation." Harvard Business School Case 708-034, January 2008. (Revised January 2009.) View Details
  29. The South Sea Company (A)

    David A. Moss, Eugene Kintgen and Agnieszka Rafalska

    In early 1720, the South Sea Company and the Bank of England were cometing for the right to issue new shares and to exchange those shares for government bons that were then in the hands of the public. The British government had already executed two such debt conversion with the South Sea Company. Most individuals who had converted bonds for shares in 1711 and 1719 had seen their South Sea shares appreciate in the meantime, and the government had lowered its debt servicing costs as a result of these two conversions. The conversion under consideration in 1720, however, would be ona much larger scale. In time, the South Sea Company won the bidding war, and the House of Commons approved its debt conversion plan. Now it was up to the House of Lords to approve or reject the deal.

    Keywords: Borrowing and Debt; Debt Securities; Stock Shares; Financial Strategy; Bids and Bidding; Business and Government Relations; Banking Industry; Financial Services Industry; Great Britain;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Eugene Kintgen, and Agnieszka Rafalska. "The South Sea Company (A)." Harvard Business School Case 708-005, December 2007. (Revised December 2008.) View Details
  30. The Deutsche Bank (A)

    David A. Moss

    Founded in 1870 to help finance surging German exports and imports, the Deutsche Bank soon moved into domestic banking. In fact, its founders aimed to create both a commercial bank and an investment bank under one roof—that is, a "universal bank." By the end of the nineteenth century, the Deutsche Bank was not only the largest bank in Germany, but also a strategic actor in the broader European market and, indeed, in the world economy. Over the first half of the twentieth century, however, the bank faced a series of national crises: defeat in WWI (1914-1918), revolution in 1919, hyperinflation in 1923, economic depression in the early 1930s, the rise of Hitler in 1933, another world war in 1939, and then total defeat in 1945. At the end of WWII, the Soviets closed the Berlin headquarters of the Deutsche Bank as part of their denazification effort. Meanwhile, the United States, Britain, and France, occupying the western portion of Germany, attempted to implement a policy of economic decentralization and broke what remained of the bank into small pieces. By 1950, facing a proposal from leading German bankers to allow the big banks to begin reconstituting themselves, the Allied powers and the new German legislature had to decide whether to accept this proposal or reject it.

    Keywords: History; Investment Banking; Commercial Banking; Banking Industry; Germany;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. "The Deutsche Bank (A)." Harvard Business School Case 708-044, January 2008. View Details
  31. Ruling the Modern Corporation: The Debate over Limited Liability in Massachusetts

    David A. Moss and Eugene Kintgen

    In 1830, Governor Levi Lincoln, Jr. urged the Massachusetts state legislature to introduce a limited liability regime for manufacturing corporations similar to that adopted in neighboring states. At least since 1809, shareholders in the state's manufacturing corporations had faced unlimited liability, which held shareholders personally liable for corporate debts. While unlimited liability was meant to ensure financial prudence, Lincoln and others worried that this policy was doing more harm than good and driving capital from the state. With the governor pushing for action, it was up to the state legislature to decide how to proceed.

    Keywords: Capital; Debt Securities; Legal Liability; Production; Business and Shareholder Relations; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Eugene Kintgen. "Ruling the Modern Corporation: The Debate over Limited Liability in Massachusetts." Harvard Business School Case 708-016, December 2007. View Details
  32. Envisioning "Free Banking" in Antebellum New York (A)

    David A. Moss and Cole Bolton

    Banks throughout New York State suspended specie payments (i.e., payments in gold and silver) in May 1837 following the collapse of several state banks and the onset of a nationwide financial panic. Amid the chaos, the upstart Whigs were able to depose the longstanding Republican majority in the state legislature. Responding to citizen anger, as well as perennial calls for more banking capital, the Whigs drafted a novel "free banking" bill, which would override the established bank chartering mechanism and allow any association with sufficient capital the opportunity to open a bank and issue bank notes (a widely accepted form of paper money at the time). The bill also required that every note issued by a New York bank be fully backed by bonds or mortgages. If enacted, the bill seemed likely to encourage the establishment of many new banks. There was no telling what the economic impact of the bill's special bank note provisions would be. Once the bill passed the legislature, Governor Marcy had to decide whether to sign this radical proposal into law.

    Keywords: History; Government Legislation; Capital; Financial Crisis; Banks and Banking; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Cole Bolton. Envisioning "Free Banking" in Antebellum New York (A). Harvard Business School Case 708-038, December 2007. View Details
  33. The Campaign for Bank Insurance in Antebellum New York

    David A. Moss and Cole Bolton

    The New York State Legislature had come to a standstill in 1829 as lawmakers refused to charter any new banks or recharter any existing banks. Four of New York's forty banks had failed since 1825, and many legislatures believed that a significant change in the banking regime was needed to shore up the state's financial systems. Others, however, feared that a major change in the law was too risky, especially since over three-quarters of the state's banks held charters that were slated to expire over the next four years. On the table was a completely untested proposal to create a mandatory public insurance fund that would back the banknotes and deposits of every state bank. As bank charters throughout New York State rapidly approached expiration, lawmakers faced a tough decision: should they pass the bill and gamble with the untried insurance fund, or should they go seek a more traditional solution to the state's banking woes?

    Keywords: History; Risk Management; Government Legislation; Insurance; Decision Choices and Conditions; Banks and Banking; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Cole Bolton. "The Campaign for Bank Insurance in Antebellum New York." Harvard Business School Case 708-037, December 2007. View Details
  34. Managing Failure: American Bankruptcy Law at a Crossroads

    David A. Moss, Mary Oey and Jonathan Lackow

    Introduces the core principles and challenges of bankruptcy law (both individual and corporate) against the backdrop of the early 1970s, when the U.S. bankruptcy system appeared to be failing. With personal bankruptcy filings at record levels and successful corporate reorganizations relatively rare, policymakers had to decide whether the time had come to overhaul the nation's bankruptcy law and, if so, how to structure the new system.

    Keywords: Change; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Policy; Government Legislation; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Mary Oey, and Jonathan Lackow. "Managing Failure: American Bankruptcy Law at a Crossroads." Harvard Business School Case 705-024, January 2005. View Details
  35. Basic Statistics from the World Bank's World Development Indicators, 2004

    David A. Moss, Sarah A. Brennan and Peter Epstein

    Provides basic economic and social indicators for 145 countries, drawn from the World Bank's World Development Indicators (2004). The data include: population, land area, GNP per capita, real GDP growth, life expectancy, adult illiteracy, fertility rate, access to sanitation, and income inequality. Reports data from 2000 whenever possible and is largely based on Basic Statistics from World Bank's World Development Report 2002 (9-703-030).

    Keywords: Equality and Inequality; Wealth and Poverty; Standards; Economics; Society;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Sarah A. Brennan, and Peter Epstein. "Basic Statistics from the World Bank's World Development Indicators, 2004." Harvard Business School Supplement 705-022, December 2004. View Details
  36. American System, The

    David A. Moss, Tiffany Morris and Sarah A. Brennan

    Traces the economic development of the United States from 1790 to 1857, focusing especially on the struggle between free traders and protectionists over federal tariff policy. Devotes considerable attention to the nation's political system, its evolving common law, basic factors of production (land, labor, and capital), and key sectors (agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, etc.).

    Keywords: Business History; Economic Growth; Government and Politics; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Tiffany Morris, and Sarah A. Brennan. "American System, The." Harvard Business School Case 704-036, February 2004. View Details
  37. Macroeconomic Policy and the State of the U.S. Economy, 2003

    David A. Moss

    Based on excerpts from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on July 16, 2003, as well as economic data that were available to Chairman Greenspan at the time. Taken together, the text and data provide a survey of the U.S. economy and the major challenges that U.S. economic policymakers faced in 2003.

    Keywords: Macroeconomics; Banks and Banking; Policy; Housing; Data and Data Sets; Problems and Challenges; Urban Development; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. "Macroeconomic Policy and the State of the U.S. Economy, 2003." Harvard Business School Case 704-030, January 2004. View Details
  38. Insurer of Last Resort? The Federal Financial Response to September 11

    David A. Moss and Sarah A. Brennan

    Examines the federal financial response to September 11, 2001: the airline bailout, the victim compensation fund, emergency aid to New York and Washington, and terrorism reinsurance. Less than two weeks after the attacks, the government had committed almost $40 billion to relieving the victims and safeguarding the economy. A little over a year later, these measures were joined by the creation of a federal terrorism reinsurance program, originally proposed by the White House in October 2001. On the surface, the federal financial response to September 11 was puzzling. Did the enormity of the attacks weaken the country's commitment to laissez-faire principles? Or is the traditional attitude toward government economic intervention in the United States more complicated than the phrase "laissez-faire" (or "free market") implies? Explores the appropriate role of government in managing risk and responding to disasters and then asks students to consider whether each of the various initiatives--and indeed the program as a whole--was a success or a failure.

    Keywords: Business and Government Relations; Insurance; Risk Management; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Sarah A. Brennan. "Insurer of Last Resort? The Federal Financial Response to September 11." Harvard Business School Case 703-041, March 2003. View Details
  39. National Economic Accounting: Past, Present, and Future

    David A. Moss and Sarah A. Brennan

    Presents the fundamentals of GDP accounting (including definitions, etc.), examines the history of national accounting, and surveys the international debate over "Green GDP." The first section explains the basic rules and definitions of national economic accounting and the meaning of GDP versus NDP. The second section provides historical context for the development of national income estimates, 1886 to 1940, culminating in the creation of GNP by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the 1940s. The third and final section discusses the standard imputations currently made to reflect nonprice economic activity (e.g., for owner-occupied housing and government services) and explores the debate over imputations for natural resources and environmental quality.

    Keywords: History; Natural Environment; Quality; Accounting; Forecasting and Prediction; Environmental Sustainability; Economy; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Sarah A. Brennan. "National Economic Accounting: Past, Present, and Future." Harvard Business School Case 703-026, December 2002. View Details
  40. Basic Statistics from the World Bank's World Development Indicators, 2002

    David A. Moss and Sarah A. Brennan

    Supplements National Economic Accounting: Past, Present, and Future.

    Keywords: Non-Governmental Organizations; Data and Data Sets;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Sarah A. Brennan. "Basic Statistics from the World Bank's World Development Indicators, 2002." Harvard Business School Supplement 703-030, December 2002. View Details
  41. World Trade Organization, The

    David A. Moss and Nick Bartlett

    Explores the origins and workings of the World Trade Organization (WTO), focusing particular attention on the special challenges of trade liberalization at the dawn of the 21st century.

    Keywords: Trade; Business History; Problems and Challenges;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Nick Bartlett. "World Trade Organization, The." Harvard Business School Case 703-015, September 2002. View Details
  42. Note on WTO Disputes: Five Major Cases

    David A. Moss and Nick Bartlett

    Summarizes five major trade disputes before the World Trade Organization (WTO): (1) the Brazil-Canada aircraft dispute, (2) the European Union/United States foreign sales corporation dispute, (3) the Asian/United States shrimp and sea turtle dispute, (4) the United States/European Union beef hormones dispute, and (5) the U.S. steel tariff dispute.

    Keywords: Trade; Conflict Management; Negotiation; Brazil; Canada; European Union; Asia; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Nick Bartlett. "Note on WTO Disputes: Five Major Cases." Harvard Business School Background Note 703-016, September 2002. View Details
  43. Free Trade vs. Protectionism: The Great Corn-Laws Debate (Abridged)

    David A. Moss

    Examines the extended conflict between free traders and protectionists in 19th century Britain. It culminates with Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel's decision at the end of 1845 about whether to repeal the Corn Laws, a series of acts that had protected British agriculture for almost 200 years. With landowners and industrialists battling fiercely over the issues, nearly everyone agreed that the decision would be momentous.

    Keywords: Plant-Based Agribusiness; Change Management; Trade; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Government Legislation; Market Entry and Exit; Conflict of Interests; Competitive Advantage; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Great Britain;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. "Free Trade vs. Protectionism: The Great Corn-Laws Debate (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 701-140, May 2001. View Details
  44. Free Trade vs. Protectionism: The Great Corn-Laws Debate

    David A. Moss, Kevin P. Brennan, Matthew B. Gorin and Marian Lee

    Examines the extended conflict between free traders and protectionists in nineteenth-century Britain. It culminates with Prime Minister Robert Peel's decision at the end of 1845 about whether to repeal the Corn Laws, a series of acts that had protected British agriculture for almost 200 years. With landowners and industrialists battling fiercely over the issues, nearly everyone agreed that the decision would be momentous.

    Keywords: Conflict of Interests; Trade; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Government Legislation; Change Management; Competitive Advantage; Plant-Based Agribusiness; Market Entry and Exit; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Great Britain;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Kevin P. Brennan, Matthew B. Gorin, and Marian Lee. "Free Trade vs. Protectionism: The Great Corn-Laws Debate." Harvard Business School Case 701-080, February 2001. View Details
  45. German Hyperinflation of 1923, The

    David A. Moss and Julio J. Rotemberg

    Presents a compilation of primary and secondary sources as well as a set of data exhibits on the German hyperinflation of 1923. The hyperinflation represented a defining moment in German history and certainly one of the two or three most important economic events of the 20th century. Memories of it continue to shape economic policy in Germany to this day. Equally important, the story of the world's most spectacular hyperinflation is rich in lessons about the many interconnections between money, prices, production, and politics in a modern capitalist economy.

    Keywords: History; Price; Production; Money; Inflation and Deflation; Policy; Economy; Government and Politics; Germany;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Julio J. Rotemberg. "German Hyperinflation of 1923, The." Harvard Business School Case 798-048, January 1998. (Revised June 1999.) View Details
  46. French Pension System, The: On The Verge Of Retirement? (Abridged)

    David A. Moss

    Surveys the French pension system, its particular institutional characteristics, and some of the critical challenges and opportunities facing French reformers. Like almost every other industrialized country, France has a large pay-as-you-go public pension system that is beginning to run into serious financial trouble. Ever-increasing longevity, the impending retirement of the baby boomers, and intense public pressure for a lower retirement age are all placing great strain on the existing system. The case emphasizes that in contemplating proposals for reform, the French are being required to weigh two different social objectives that appear to be in conflict--economic growth and economic security. Their choices will end up exerting an enormous impact not only on their welfare state but also on the structure of French labor and capital markets.

    Keywords: Retirement; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Economic Growth; Economics; Capital Markets; Wages; Public Administration Industry; France;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. "French Pension System, The: On The Verge Of Retirement? (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 799-143, April 1999. View Details
  47. Explaining the Great Depression

    David A. Moss and Joseph P Gownder

    Although the Great Depression stands as the most punishing economic event of the 20th century, there is still remarkably little consensus about its causes. This case presents a number of prominent explanations including those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, and Anna Jacobson Schwartz. Four additional theories are presented in the appendix.

    Keywords: History; Financial Crisis; Theory; Economics;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Joseph P Gownder. "Explaining the Great Depression." Harvard Business School Compilation 799-067, December 1998. (Revised January 1999.) View Details
  48. Origins of National Income Accounting

    David A. Moss and Joseph P Gownder

    Set in the Great Depression, this case explores the origins of national income accounting in the United States. Highlights Senator La Follette's 1932 proposal for the federal government to begin collecting national income statistics.

    Keywords: Accounting; Financial Crisis; Data and Data Sets; Mathematical Methods; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Joseph P Gownder. "Origins of National Income Accounting." Harvard Business School Case 799-080, December 1998. View Details
  49. Creating the International Trade Organization

    David A. Moss, George R. Appling and Andrew D Archer

    In the late 1940s, officials at the U.S. State Department began campaigning for the creation of an International Trade Organization (ITO). This new organization would oversee global negotiations on trade liberalization, foreign direct investment, cartels, and commodity agreements; and it would complement the IMF and the World Bank, both of which were founded at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 to address international financial flows. Together, the IMF, the World Bank, and the ITO would comprise a comprehensive system for the management of international economic affairs. As it turned out, however, the proposed ITO proved extremely controversial both within the United States and around the world. When President Truman finally sent the ITO Charter to Congress in 1949, lawmakers there had to decide whether to endorse this product of three years of intense international negotiations or simply to let it die an unceremonious death in Washington, D.C.

    Keywords: Mission and Purpose; Trade; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Globalized Economies and Regions; Agreements and Arrangements; Foreign Direct Investment; Economic Systems; International Relations;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., George R. Appling, and Andrew D Archer. "Creating the International Trade Organization." Harvard Business School Case 798-057, February 1998. View Details
  50. French Pension System, The: On the Verge of Retirement?

    David A. Moss, Anne Dias and Bertrand O. Stephann

    Surveys the French pension system, its particular institutional characteristics, and some of the critical challenges and opportunities facing French reformers. Like almost every other industrialized country, France has a large pay-as-you-go public pension system that is beginning to run into serious financial trouble. Ever-increasing longevity, the impending retirement of the baby boomers, and intense public pressure for a lower retirement age are all placing great strain on the existing system. The case emphasizes that in contemplating proposals for reform, the French are being required to weigh two different social objectives that appear to be in conflict--economic growth and economic security. Their choices will end up exerting an enormous impact not only on their welfare state but also on the structure of French labor and capital markets.

    Keywords: Retirement; Compensation and Benefits; Capital Markets; Economic Growth; Labor; Problems and Challenges; Opportunities; Welfare or Wellbeing; Investment; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Public Administration Industry; France;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Anne Dias, and Bertrand O. Stephann. "French Pension System, The: On the Verge of Retirement?" Harvard Business School Case 798-032, September 1997. (Revised October 1997.) View Details
  51. Crisis at the Federal Reserve: Arthur Burns and the Stagflation of 1973-75

    David A. Moss and Wyatt C. Wells

    Briefly examines the history of the Federal Reserve System up through 1970 and then delves into how the central bank, under the leadership of Arthur F. Burns, responded to the "stagflation" of the early 1970s. It culminates with the Federal Reserve's response to the severe 1974-1975 recession.

    Keywords: Central Banking; Inflation and Deflation; Government Administration; Financial Crisis; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Wyatt C. Wells. "Crisis at the Federal Reserve: Arthur Burns and the Stagflation of 1973-75." Harvard Business School Case 797-079, January 1997. (Revised March 1997.) View Details
  52. Note on Money and Monetary Policy

    David A. Moss and Wyatt C. Wells

    Offers a brief overview of economic thinking about the nature of money and about how the central bank can affect the economy through monetary policy.

    Keywords: Sovereign Finance; Government Administration; Policy; Central Banking; Money; Inflation and Deflation; Financial Crisis;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., and Wyatt C. Wells. "Note on Money and Monetary Policy." Harvard Business School Background Note 797-094, January 1997. (Revised March 1997.) View Details
  53. Confronting the Third Industrial Revolution

    David A. Moss

    Comprises three pieces. The first piece, which forms the body of the case, is adapted from a speech delivered by the author before the Harvard Business School Political Forum in early 1995. Originally entitled "The Economic Foundations of American Social Policy: Yesterday and Today," the speech attempts to place current discussions about a Third Industrial Revolution in historical perspective. The second piece, presented in the appendices, includes excerpts from speeches by three major policy figures--Representative Newt Gingrich, presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan, and Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. Each of these speakers identifies profound changes in the U.S. economy and suggests specific public policy responses. The 11 data exhibits that form the final piece of the case offer an overview of U.S. economic performance from 1960 to 1994. The primary theme linking these materials together is the notion that the United States is now in the midst of an economic transition. What remains uncertain, of course, is the precise nature of the transition. Is it really as profound or as far reaching as the various authors suggest?

    Keywords: Transition; Policy; Economy; Government and Politics; Society; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. "Confronting the Third Industrial Revolution." Harvard Business School Case 796-161, April 1996. View Details
  54. International Institutions

    David A. Moss, Louis T. Wells Jr. and Lakshmi Gopalan

    Describes the IMF, the World Bank Group, the regional development banks, the Bank of International Settlements, the OECD, and the Group of 7.

    Keywords: Financial Institutions; Banks and Banking; International Finance; Trade; International Relations; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A., Louis T. Wells Jr., and Lakshmi Gopalan. "International Institutions." Harvard Business School Background Note 796-116, February 1996. View Details
  55. Constructing a Nation: The United States and Their Constitution, 1763-1792

    David A. Moss

    Examines the founding of the United States of America during the second half of the eighteenth century. Focuses on: 1) the reasons why the American colonists rebelled against Britain (1763-1774); 2) the problems the new nation confronted during the War of Independence and under the Articles of Confederation (1775-1788); 3) the main issues taken up at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (1787); and 4) the enormous challenges facing Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury in the first Washington Administration (1789-1792). A complete version of the Constitution (including the first 10 amendments) is attached as an appendix.

    Keywords: History; Economic Systems; Laws and Statutes; Property; Government Administration; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. "Constructing a Nation: The United States and Their Constitution, 1763-1792." Harvard Business School Case 795-063, December 1994. (Revised January 1996.) View Details
  56. Unemployment in France: "Priority Number One"

    David A. Moss

    Explores the problem of French unemployment on the eve of the presidential elections of 1995. Traces the development of social and economic policies under President Mitterrand and surveys leading explanations for the nation's mounting unemployment crisis. One major theme concerns possible contradictions between France's commitment to European integration and its commitment to expansive social protection for French citizens. Another important theme relates to the apparent tradeoff between jobs and wages, which has characterized most of the developed economies since the mid-1970s.

    Keywords: Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Employment; Economics; Government and Politics; Political Elections; Social Issues; Wages; France;

    Citation:

    Moss, David A. Unemployment in France: "Priority Number One". Harvard Business School Case 795-064, April 1995. (Revised October 1995.) View Details

Other Publications and Materials

  1. Financing Higher Education in Australia

    David Moss and Stephanie Lo

    Even before Australian lawmakers abolished university tuition in 1973, students in Australia had long benefited from low tuition and large government subsidies. By the early 1980s, however, the nation's universities faced growing budget challenges and an apparent shortage of capacity as demand for higher education surged. Policymakers, cognizant of a growing budget deficit as well as a hard-hitting recession, hesitated to provide increased funding to higher education. The debate over how best to finance Australian higher education finally came to a head in the late 1980s, following publication of the Report of the Committee on Higher Education Funding (commonly known as the Wran Report). Although the Wran Committee had considered several potential funding schemes, it ultimately proposed a radical system in which students would pay tuition financed through income-contingent loans provided by the government. The Wran Report proved to be of particular interest to the Australian Prime Minister, Robert Hawke. The government's fiscal position seemed to demand that educational financing be overhauled, but there was no consensus on how best to do this. Could the Prime Minister convince his Australian Labor Party to abandon the free-education plank in its platform? And even if he could, how could he be sure that the Wran Committee's strategy was the right one and that its recommendations were workable? Would following an American model of full tuition for higher education and government-guaranteed student loans make more sense? These were just a few of the questions that the Prime Minister confronted as he contemplated new approaches for financing higher education in Australia.

    Keywords: Higher Education; Financing and Loans; Government and Politics; Australia;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Stephanie Lo. "Financing Higher Education in Australia." 2009. (Draft case.) View Details
  2. Steering Monetary Policy Through Unprecedented Crises

    David Moss and Cole Bolton

    In early April 2008, economic conditions in Europe appeared to be deteriorating on almost all fronts: sales figures were falling, business and consumer confidence were slumping, forecasts for European growth were being revised downward, and inflation was rising. In fact, figures for the month of March revealed that inflation had reached an annualized rate of 3.5%, Europe's highest level since 1992. On top of these broad economic problems, the European financial sector—indeed, the financial sector worldwide—was in turmoil. By April 2008, global financial institutions had written down the value of their mortgage-related investments and other assets by at least $230 billion, and businesses around the world were complaining that it was ever more difficult to secure credit. In America, meanwhile, consumer confidence was falling, consumer spending had slowed to a near halt, and inflation had crept above 4%. In reaction to these dismal economic conditions, the Federal Reserve had steadily cut interest rates over a seven-month period, most recently lowering its key rate to 2.25% on March 18. In sharp contrast to the Fed, the European Central Bank (ECB) had long held its key rate at 4%, where it stood when the ECB's Governing Council reconvened on April 10, 2008. Given both the market turmoil and the evident inflationary pressure, members of the ECB's Governing Council would have to weigh the available data extremely carefully as they decided whether to raise, lower, or maintain their benchmark interest rate. The significance of this decision could hardly be overstated, since it had the potential to send a strong signal about the nature of European monetary policy and the priorities of the ECB going forward.

    Keywords: Financial Crisis; Inflation and Deflation; Central Banking; Interest Rates; International Finance; Policy; Crisis Management; Europe;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Cole Bolton. "Steering Monetary Policy Through Unprecedented Crises." 2009. (Draft case.) View Details
  3. The Pecora Hearings

    David Moss, Cole Bolton and Eugene Kintgen

    In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, the Senate Banking Committee began a much-publicized investigation of the nation's financial sector. The hearings, which came to be known as the Pecora hearings after the Banking Committee's lead counsel Ferdinand Pecora, revealed how the country's most respected financial institutions knowingly misled investors as to the desirability of certain securities, engaged in irresponsible investment behavior, and offered privileges to insiders not afforded to ordinary investors.  During the famous "Hundred Day" congressional session that began his presidency, Roosevelt signed two bills meant to prevent some of these abuses. The first law required companies to register new securities with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and to publish prospectuses with detailed information on their business ventures before they could offer new securities to the public. The second law established insurance for bank deposits and forced financial institutions to choose between investment and commercial banking.

    Roosevelt also believed that the government should play a more active role in the financial system by regulating national securities exchanges. In February 1934, the president urged Congress to enact such legislation, prompting the introduction of a bill entitled the Securities Exchange Act. If enacted, this bill would force all securities exchanges to register with the Federal Trade Commission, would curtail the size of loans that could be advanced to securities investors, and would ban a number of practices (such as short-selling) that were thought to facilitate stock manipulation. Additionally, the legislation would require that all companies with exchange-listed securities publish detailed business reports as frequently as the FTC desired and would subject any company or exchange deemed to be in violation of the act's provisions to increased legal liability.

    Wall Street, represented in particular by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) President Richard Whitney, took a strong position against the Securities Exchange Act. Whitney was ultimately summoned to testify during the congressional hearings on the Securities Exchange Act in late February 1934. Would he be able to convince lawmakers that the Securities Exchange Act would impose overly burdensome regulations on exchanges and stifle American securities markets, or would his arguments fail to win over those who believed that strict regulations were exactly what financial markets required following the Great Crash?

    Keywords: Financial history; Financial Crisis; Financial Markets; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Government Legislation; Laws and Statutes; Business and Government Relations; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, Cole Bolton, and Eugene Kintgen. "The Pecora Hearings." 2009. (Draft case.) View Details
  4. Danatbank

    David Moss, Cole Bolton and Andrew Novo

    In the summer of 1931, Germany was struggling with a deepening economic crisis. Production had fallen, unemployment was high, and bank deposits and gold were being withdrawn from the country at a rapid pace, threatening the value of the German mark. The country's third largest bank, the Danatbank, was especially hard hit by the flagging economy and the flight of capital. By July, the Danatbank was on the verge of collapse, and the bank's charismatic and controversial senior partner, Jakob Goldschmidt, appealed personally to the government, the central bank, and his private banking rivals for a lifeline.

    Keywords: Financial history; Economy; Financial Crisis; Borrowing and Debt; Banks and Banking; Financing and Loans; Banking Industry; Germany;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, Cole Bolton, and Andrew Novo. "Danatbank." 2009. (Draft case.) View Details
  5. The Paranoid Style in the Study of American Politics

    David Moss and Mary Oey

    The conventional view is that political actors, like economic actors, pursue their self interest, and that special interest groups dominate the policy making process by satisfying policy makers' need for money and other forms of political support. Indeed, many scholars regard this economic theory of regulation as a general theory of politics. George Stigler himself claimed that "temporary accidents aside," exceptions "simply will not arise: our extensive experience with the general theory in economics gives us the confidence that this is so." In this paper, we suggest that exceptions—including major ones—may in fact arise. We focus on three historical cases in which special interests apparently gave way to the general interest in the policy making process: the enactment of Medicare in 1965, in which the powerful doctors' lobby failed in its bid to stop the legislation; the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which passed overwhelmingly despite the absence of any economically powerful interest group behind it; and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund), which became law over the strenuous objections of the powerful chemical industry lobby. In all three of these cases (and especially in the latter two), the proposed legislation became unstoppable in the aftermath of a relevant horror story—e.g., Love Canal, in the case of Superfund—that received extensive coverage in the press.

    Although one could argue that we focus only on high-profile cases, and that capture theory applies more cleanly to policies that slip under the public's radar screen, we have never seen the economic theory of regulation advertised as "a theory of minor legislative events."

    Ultimately, the challenge for scholars will be to identify the conditions under which public policy is dominated (or captured) by special interests and the conditions under which it is not. Although such a task lies far beyond the scope of this paper, the three cases surveyed here suggest at least one potentially important dynamic: that in the presence of a free press, real-life horror stories with bearing on policy issues may serve to blunt the power of special interests by informing and catalyzing public opinion.

    Keywords: Policy; Government Legislation; Media; Interests; Power and Influence; Public Opinion; United States;

    Citation:

    Moss, David, and Mary Oey. "The Paranoid Style in the Study of American Politics." 2008. View Details

    Research Summary

  1. Risk Management as a Function of Government

    by David A. Moss

    Professor Moss's academic work in this area explores how and why governments manage private-sector risks. Based on historical and institutional research, he argues that risk management constitutes a critical function of government with far-reaching implications. Some examples of risk management policy include limited liability law, bankruptcy discharge, deposit insurance, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, old-age insurance, federal disaster relief, disability insurance, workplace safety regulations, and product liability law. Although these policies serve an extremely wide variety of social objectives, the essential vehicle in each case is risk management. That is, all of these policies (and numerous others) achieve their objectives either by shifting, spreading, or directly reducing risk. In order to develop a better understanding of why governments manage risk and under what circumstances, Moss has begun charting the history of public risk management in the United States. He considers why the major risk management policies were enacted, what economic functions they were designed to serve, and, more broadly, how risk management policy has developed over time. At root, this line of research explores the fundamental role and evolution of government risk management in a modern capitalist economy.
  2. Democratic Governance and Decision Making

    by David A. Moss

    Under what conditions are public policies in a democracy determined by special interests or, alternatively, by the general interest?  A good deal of academic work, particularly associated with the economic theory of regulation, suggests that special interests nearly always dominate policy outcomes.  In this line of research, Professor Moss seeks to test that presumption against the historical record in the United States and to identify (and better understand) the historical circumstances under which either special interest or general interest has been relatively more influential in shaping legislative and regulatory outcomes.

    Teaching

  1. United States in the World 39 - History of American Democracy

    by David A. Moss

    For Harvard College undergraduates and MBA students

    Today we often hear that American democracy is broken - but what does a healthy democracy look like? How has American democratic governance functioned in the past, and how has it changed over time? This course approaches American history with these questions in mind. Based on the case method, each short reading will introduce students to a different critical episode in the development of American democracy, from drafting of the Constitution to contemporary fights over same-sex marriage. The discussion-based classes will encourage students to challenge each other's assumptions about democratic values and practices, and draw their own conclusions about what "democracy" means in America.

  2. Creating the Modern Financial System

    by David A. Moss

    Creating the Modern Financial System offers a vital perspective on finance and the financial system by exploring the historical development of key financial instruments and institutions worldwide. The premise of the course is that students will gain a richer and more intuitive understanding of modern financial markets and organizations by examining where these institutions came from and how they evolved. The course is ideal for anyone who wants to deepen his or her understanding of real-world finance.

    Course Organization and Objectives

    The course content covers seminal financial developments in a diverse set of countries - but with a special focus on the United States - from the 18th century to the present. Reaching across the chronological arc of the course are three broad topics: (1) financial markets and instruments, (2) financial intermediaries, and (3) financial behavior. Although nearly every case touches on all three topics, each case also has a primary focus. Whereas some cases highlight the introduction of new financial markets (such as the Dojima futures market in early modern Japan) or the creation of new instruments (such as mortgage-backed securities), others trace the emergence and maturation of critical financial institutions (including banks and insurance companies). Still others focus on the behavior of financial actors and groups, particularly in the context of financial bubbles and crashes. Because the course highlights the origins of financial markets and instruments as well as the fallout from numerous financial crises, government also looms large as an actor in many of the cases.

    Throughout the course, the goal is to provide students with the broadest possible grounding in real-world finance by exposing them to some of the greatest (and, at times, most devastating) moments in modern financial history. Although the past is unlikely to repeat itself exactly, business managers who have a strong background in financial history are likely to be better prepared for the full diversity of financial innovations, shocks, and crises that they'll face in the future.

    Course Administration

    Course grades will be based on class participation (50%) and a final paper (50%). Throughout the semester, Professor Moss will be available to meet with students by appointment.

  1. Received the HBS Student Association Faculty Teaching Award in 2014. Also received this award in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2013.

  2. Received the 2009 Charles M. Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching.

  3. Received the 2005-2006 The Robert F. Greenhill Award.

  4. Winner of the 2004 Kulp-Wright Book Award for When All Else Fails: Government as the Ultimate Risk Manager (Harvard University Press, 2002), presented by the American Risk and Insurance Association for the book considered to be the most influential text published on the economics of risk management and insurance.

  5. Winner of the Editors' Prize for the Best Article of 1999 from American Bankruptcy Law Journal for "The Rise of Consumer Bankruptcy: Evolution, Revolution, or Both" (with Gibbs A. Johnson, spring 1999).