Over the last century, scholars of international relations and international law gradually parted company. This mutual neglect is no longer tenable in a world where law and politics increasingly converge. Legal rules do in fact matter in world politics — even if they are not established or enforced in the same way as domestic law. International legal norms are important because states consent to and respect legal rules. For its part, international law is rooted in politics; legal scholars who forget this basic insight risk becoming irrelevant in the global arena. Not surprisingly, one author looks to the European Union to show how law transformed relations between states as the legal character of European institutions underpinned political integration. The author sees fundamental change under way, leading to a system of multiple and overlapping legal authorities in which individuals simultaneously owe loyalties to ethnic communities, regional organizations, and transnational groups.
As late as the 1980s, finance was an essential but limited element of the U.S. economy. The trade in equities (the stock market) was made up of individual investors, large or small, putting their own money in stocks of companies they believed to have good long-term prospects. Investment capital was also available from the major Wall Street investment banks and their foreign counterparts, which were private partnerships in which the partners’ own money was on the line. All of this began to change as larger pools of capital became available for investment and came to be deployed by professional money managers rather the owners of the capital themselves.
直到 20 世纪 80 年代，金融虽然在美国经济中不可或缺，但作用仍然十分有限。股票交易市场（股票市场）由大大小小的个人投资者组成，他们把自有资金投资于自己长期看好的公司发行的股票。大型美国华尔街投资银行和国外投资银行也提供了投资资本。这些银行为私人合伙企业，由合伙人自有资金承担风险。随着可用于投资的资本规模越来越大，同时管理人也由资本所有者本人变为职业理财经理，这一切开始有了变化。
One source of such new capital was pension funds. In the postwar decades, when major American industries emerged from World War II as oligopolies with limited competition and large, expanding markets at home and abroad, their profits and future prospects allowed them to offer employees defined-benefit pension plans, with the risks involved assumed by the companies themselves. From the 1970s on, however, as the U.S. economy became more competitive, corporate profits became more uncertain, and companies attempted to shift the risk by putting their pension funds into the hands of professional money managers, who were expected to generate significant profits. Retirement income for employees now depended not on the profits of their employers but on the fate of their pension funds.
新增资本的一个来源是养老基金。在第二次世界大战结束后的几十年时间里，美国各大行业从战争之中逐渐崛起为寡头，所遇到的竞争极为有限，庞大的国内外市场规模不断扩张。它们所获得的利润以及发展前景使其能够为员工提供固定收益的养老金计划，其中的风险由公司自行承担。不过，从 20 世纪 70 年代开始，美国经济领域的竞争日益激烈，公司盈利难以预测。为了转移风险，公司开始把养老金交由专业的理财经理来打理，希望理财经理能让养老金大幅增值。现在，决定员工退休收入水平的不是公司盈利状况，而是养老基金的命运。