Top of Mind

After a preliminary deal with Iran was announced earlier this month, Jessica T. Mathews, the former president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote in the New York Review of Books that any final agreement should be seen as only the beginning of a process for achieving a nonnuclear Iran.

“Those who worry that a deal with Iran will entail some risk should remember that preventing nuclear proliferation almost never happens in a single leap,” she wrote. “Countries change direction slowly. International rules and norms are built up brick by brick over years. Technical capacities to monitor and political expectations are gradually but steadily strengthened.”

A few weeks before the agreement was announced, Prof. Edieal Pinker examined the negotiations through a game theory lens.

4:26 PM - 15 Apr 15
Roberta Romano — Standardization. Harmonization. Coordination. They all sound like good ideas. But in a lecture at Yale SOM, Roberta Romano, the Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School, argued that the convergence of banking regulations brought about by the Basel Accords may have had the unintended effect of fueling the financial crisis. View Video
Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak — The April 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza, the worst in a string of deadly building collapses and fires that killed more than 1,100 garment factory workers in Bangladesh, prompted efforts to make factories safer and to protect worker rights. While the industry poses risks to workers and much improvement is still needed, a new study finds that garment factory work reshapes the lives of women in Bangladesh in positive ways. Read More
Edward H. Kaplan — Increasing the number of public toilets in South African townships may reduce sexual violence against women by nearly 30% and reduce the associated economic costs of sexual assault, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE by researchers at the Yale School of Management and the Yale School of Public Health. Read More
James Choi & Gerardo A. Guerra & Lori Lucas & Marc Mayer — The end of defined-benefit pensions and a volatile stock market have made many Americans skeptical that they can retire comfortably. Is a new model emerging for how we plan for retirement? A panel of experts and practitioners talks about policies to help us bolster our retirement savings. View Video
Stefan Wagner — One analysis estimated that a smartphone is covered by 250,000 patents. As technology grows increasingly complex, companies must navigate a web of intellectual property protections. Are innovation and competition suffering from the race to create enormous patent portfolios? Professor Stefan Wagner of the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), a member of the Global Network for Advanced Management, talked with Yale Insights about the consequences of “patent thickets.” Read More
Rajesh Subramaniam — The past four decades of globalization have been a “golden era of global trade,” according to Rajesh Subramaniam, head of marketing and communications at FedEx, and have seen enormous growth for shipping companies. But the growth of online commerce poses new and complex questions for the industry. View Video
Roger G. Ibbotson — The concept of high-risk, high-return is a bedrock belief in finance, confirmed by decades of empirical data. But when Prof. Roger Ibbotson dug deeper into the data, things started to look a little different. View Video
Tony Sheldon & Colleen Briggs & Sameera Fazili & Andrea Levere — Income and wealth inequality in the U.S. has become a topic of widespread concern and discussion. A recent panel of Yale SOM alumnae posited that action from the federal government is unlikely. But the panelists found reason for hope in examples of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors collaborating to address the nation’s wealth gap. View Video
Heather Gerken — Every Election Day, politicians sporting flag pins step into voting booths and come out proclaiming their pride in the democratic process. But take a step back and things don’t look so rosy. Between badly run elections and a new wave of “dark money” entering campaigns, reformers fear that the very nature of our democracy is at risk. View Video