Wharton Business Radio

Knowledge@Wharton: April 8, 2019

Today on Knowledge@Wharton … The United States has seen consistent economic growth in decade since the recession –in fact we’re just months away from enjoying the longest economic expansion on record. This has many experts anxiously looking for signs of another recession with the expectation is that we are well overdue for a “downturn.” But a New York Times article asks, “What the Rest of the World Can Learn from the Australian Economic Miracle.” The story looks at how Australia has gone almost 28 years without a  recession … and yet this does not bring out the sense of triumph in the country that one might think it would.  In fact, as our next guest tells us, there appears to be a sense of uneasiness about it. NEIL IRWIN is a Senior Economics Correspondent for the New York Times, writing for the paper’s “The UpShot,” and is also the author of the upcoming book How To Win In A Winner-Take-All World.


Then, The New York Times has been one of the targets of President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called the media “the enemy of the people” and accused them of being “fake news.” Media organizations have always had to defend themselves from various accusations of “libel” for as long as we’ve had a free press. My next guest has fought many of these more recent battles for The New York Times. DAVID MCCRAW is their Deputy General Counsel who has worked for the paper since 2002 to, among other things, provide legal counsel to reporters, fight for freedom of information, and yes….defend it from libel suits. McCraw has just published a new book about some of the most important legal issues he’s work on in Truth In Our Times: Inside The Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts.


Next, British Prime Minister Theresa May is racing against the clock … again. She is facing an April 12th, deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, which is just days from now. However, she still hasn’t gotten her agreement passed through the House of Commons for that to happen, and at the same time lawmakers have rejected a no deal Brexit. So now Mrs. May is asking the E.U. for an extension to June 30th to put all of their affairs in order. And European Council President Donald Tusk is reportedly looking at options to give the U.K. a 12-month extension. Adding to these complications is that European parliament elections are taking place at the end of May. If the U.K. is still in the bloc, it has to participate in them. EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Wednesday to consider the extension request. If they reject it, the UK will have a choice, either go through with a hard Brexit on Friday or perhaps revoke the departure, known as article 50. With their analysis, we are joined in studio by BRENDAN O’LEARY, Political Science Professor here at the University of Pennsylvania, and ERIK JONES, Professor of European Studies and International Political Economy, and Director of European and Eurasian Studies at Johns Hopkins University.


Finally, Boeing announced last week that it would cut production of its best seller 737 Max 8 aircraft, as it continues to work on a software update for the jet. CEO Dennis Muilenburg acknowledged the faulty sensor reading in the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was linked to the crash of an Ethiopian Air plane in March and a Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October. Boeing says it’s putting together a special committee to look at company policies and procedures in the development of new planes, so that these types of events don’t happen in the future. But with its stock down and its reputation tarnished, what else should the company as well as the Federal Aviation Administration be looking to do?  Both are now facing lawsuits by the families of some of those killed in the two crashes. With more, we are joined by ROGER W. CLARK, Founding Member and Managing Partner at The Clark Law Group as well as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Rutgers University Law School, and KENNETH BUTTON, a Public Policy Professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

Air Date: Monday, April 8, 2019 on SiriusXM 132

Hosted By

Neil Irwin

Air Time: 10:00 am
Featuring: Neil Irwin

David McCraw

Air Time: 10:30 am
Featuring: David McCraw

Roger W. Clark and Kenneth Button

Air Time: 11:30 am
Featuring: Kenneth Button, Roger Clark

Featured Guests

Neil Irwin

Senior Economic Correspondent, The New York Times


Neil Irwin is senior economic correspondent at The New York Times and author of How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World and The Alchemists. Irwin writes frequently about the global economic trends; the changing nature of work and employment; financial markets and monetary policy; and how these big-picture shifts affect everyone who is trying to make their way in the modern economy.

Irwin was a founding staff member of The Upshot, the Times’s site for analytical and explanatory journalism. He was previously a reporter and columnist at The Washington Post, where he led coverage of the global financial crisis.

He often analyzes economic trends on television and radio, including appearances on the PBS Newshour, CBS This Morning, BBC America, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, and public radio’s Marketplace.

Irwin has an M.B.A. from Columbia University, where he was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism. He has served on the fellowship’s advisory board since 2017. His undergraduate studies were at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he served on the Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2013.
Full Profile

David McCraw

Deputy General Counse, New York Times


David McCraw has spent the last 16 years at The New York Times Company, where he serves as the newspaper’s top newsroom lawyer. In that role he has been The Times’s principal legal advisor on the Wikileaks and Snowden disclosures and a range of Pulitzer Prize-winning stories, covering such diverse topics as the dangerous working conditions at a Texas foundry, the lethal aftermath of Hurricane Katrina at a New Orleans hospital, and the secret fortunes of China’s political elites. He also served for more than a decade as the lawyer to the Boston Globe’s highly regarded investigative reporting team, which was later made famous by the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight.”

Mr. McCraw is the lead litigation attorney for freedom-of-information lawsuits brought by The Times and its journalists. Over the past decade, The Times has brought more FOIA cases against the federal government than any other news organization in the country. The suits have led to the disclosure of thousands of documents, including previously secret records about the chemical weapons found in Iraq, the government’s legal justification for drone killings abroad, and the identities of companies and individuals allowed to trade with sanctioned nations.

His duties at The Times include acting as the company’s crisis response manager when journalists are kidnapped or detained overseas. He has worked closely with nonprofit journalism organizations on initiatives designed to enhance the safety of journalists, including free-lance reporters and photographers, working in conflict zones.

Mr. McCraw has been actively involved in pro bono work around the world in the area of press freedom and access to information. He has worked on pro bono projects in Yemen, Montenegro, Kuwait, Russia, and Cameroon and conducted workshops on freedom of information in South America, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe. In 2010, he was given the Cyrus Vance Award for international pro bono by the New York City Bar.

He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Cornell University, and Albany Law School. Mr. McCraw is an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Law. He previously worked as a litigation associate at Clifford Chance, clerked for the Honorable Richard D. Simons at the New York Court of Appeals, and was deputy general counsel at the New York Daily News
Full Profile

Kenneth Button

Professor of Public Policy, George Mason School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs


Kenneth Button is a Professor of Public Policy at the George Mason School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs and a world-renowned expert on transportation policy. He has published, or has in press, some 80 books and over 400 academic papers in the field of transport economics, transport planning, environmental analysis and industrial organization. Some of his recent books include: Airline Deregulation: An International Perspective (David Fulton Publishing), Flying into the Future: Air Transport Policy in the European Union, Edward Elgar Publishing), Handbook of Transport Modelling, (Pergamon Press); Transport, the Environment and Sustainable Development (E & FN Spon publishing); Meta-analysis in Environmental Economics (Kluwer); Air Transport Networks (Edward Elgar Publishing).

Before coming to the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, Professor Button was an advisor to the Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development where he headed up the OECD work on International Aviation (which produced The Future of International Air Transport Policy: Responding to Global Change).

Professor Button has previously held visiting academic posts at the University of British Columbia and the University of California at Berkeley. In the two years prior to his secondment to the OECD he completed consultancy work for the ICAO in Brazil as well as studies for the European Union, Transport Canada, the European Conference of Ministers of Transport, the UN-DDSMS and the World Bank. He was a director of the transport consultancy firm Pearce, Sharp and Associates which specialized in work on transport. He was The Special Advisor to the UK House of Common Transport Committee between 1993 and 1994. In 1990 he had been seconded to the OECD to assist in the preparation of documentation for its five yearly meeting of Ministers of Environment.

Since 1996 he has contributed invited presentations to international conferences in the UK, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Australia, Cyprus, Belgium, Japan, Taiwan, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Chile, Italy, South Africa and Korea as well as in the US. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on air transport issues. He is editor of the leading international academic journals Transportation Research D: Transport and the Environment and of the Journal of Air Transport Management and is on the editorial boards of nine other journals. He is on the scientific committee of the World Conference on Transport Research and the Advisory Board of the Air Transport Research Group.
Full Profile

Roger Clark

Founding Member and Managing Partner; Visiting Professor, The Clark Law Group; Rutgers Law School Camden


ROGER W. CLARK is the founding member and managing partner of The Clark Law Group, a firm with offices in California and Florida. Roger has practiced in aviation for approximately 32 years. He is a visiting Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School where he teaches Aviation Law, and is a past Instructor of Business Law at Florida International University.

Rutgers Law School honored Roger as Adjunct Professor of the Year for 2009 and honored him again in 2012 with the Armitage Distinguished Alumni Award which is awarded annually upon a single individual for outstanding achievement. The Armitage Award is the highest award Rutgers Law School can bestow.

He is the founder and president of The Iraida Foundation, a federally registered public charity that supports impoverished children in Africa, and children of active duty American military. Roger is the immediate past Chairman of the New Majority Los Angeles, and is on the Board of Directors of New Majority California, an organization that is dedicated to political reform in California. He served as a Trustee of Viewpoint Educational Foundation in Calabasas, California from 2000 – 2009 and is currently a Trustee Emeritus.

Roger earned his pilot certificate in 1982. He is licensed in California and Florida and in federal courts in these and other states. He has been listed in Martindale Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers every year since 1986. Roger is a Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and was appointed to the Board of Examiners for the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is Board Certified in Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy by the National Board of Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy.

Roger is a graduate of the Master Advocate’s Program of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and a Graduate of the Advanced Teacher Training Program of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He is a past Judge Pro Tempore in Los Angeles, California. Roger is a “Fellow” of the Litigation Counsel of America, a National Trial Lawyers Honorary Society.

Roger W. Clark is the recipient of the Litigation Counsel of America’s inaugural 2013 Peter Perlman Service Award. He has also been named “Super Lawyer” every year from 2006 through 2015 by the publishers of Law and Politics Magazine. He has also been annually recognized as one of the “Top Attorneys in Southern California” as published in Los Angeles Magazine. He has served as an expert on pilot certification actions before the FAA. He is the author of Is Lessor More?, appearing in the SMU Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Volume 75, Winter 2010, Number 1. Over his career he has instructed and presented at numerous events, including the Renaissance Symposium at the Harvard Club, in New York, in 2011 and 2014, the CEO Effectiveness Group, in Orange County, the CEB program Advanced Negotiation and Settlement Techniques held in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the American Conference Institute’s Aviation Litigation Conference held in Boston, the Embry Riddle Air Law Symposium and SMU Air Law Symposium in Dallas, Texas.

Roger was the Co-Host of KTLA’s Law Business Insider radio program, a syndicated radio program airing nationwide on ABC radio from 2005 – 2011. He has been a contributing author to the Los Angeles Lawyer’s Magazine and has been featured on KTLK Radio’s Meet America’s Best Lawyers and Forbes Radio Channel America’s Best Lawyers. He is a periodic guest legal expert on Serious XM 111, where he has offered comments on the Germanwings Disaster and the efforts of Congress to privatize the air traffic control function of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Full Profile

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