FROM David Callahan
How Much Money Do Universities Need? It’s graduation month. High school seniors are going off to college, and many parents are figuring out how they’re going to pay for an increasingly expensive education. The schools, on the other hand, aren’t all as cash-strapped. This week, USC got $25 million from trustee Rick Caruso to start a department of head and neck surgery. And Harvard, already the richest university in the world, received a $400 million donation from billionaire John Paulson. Where do big donations to already rich (and expensive) schools go?
Education Reform and the Power of Silicon Valley California's teacher-tenure laws are under fire in a Los Angeles court room. In Vergara v. California , nine students, backed by a millionaire from Silicon Valley, claim quality education is damaged because it's so hard to fire bad teachers and that poor and minority kids are disproportionately affected. If that's the verdict, it could radically change the way public education is conducted. It could also be a demonstration of how a single individual can amplify his or her own views by strategically spending big money.
Barclays, LIBOR and Banking Culture The latest global financial scandal may be the biggest of all, involving a benchmark used to set interest rates for contracts worldwide. It's the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR . As the world learns more about international banking, one public policy expert calls it a "cheating culture." We hear about the growing LIBOR scandal and what it might mean for $350 trillion in contracts -- from multi-national business and municipal government bonds down to mortgages and student loans. Photo: Bob Diamond, then-CEO of Barclay's UK, speaks at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2012.
The LIBOR and Why It Matters The London Interbank Offered Rate , or LIBOR, is what banks charge each other to borrow money, and it's not just for financial wonks and accountants. It's also used as a benchmark to set rates for $350 trillion in contracts: commercial loans, home loans, car loans and credit cards, including yours. Now it turns out that major banks may have manipulated the LIBOR for their own profit. Are they being run by a "cheating culture?" Would regulation of the latest global financial scandal help or should bankers be required to risk their own money, not everybody else's?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.