Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame ReSources
July 20-24, 1998

p. The following Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news:
p. Secret Service : Attorney General Janet Reno is seriously mistaken in her attempt to establish a novel Secret Service privilege, says Douglas Kmiec , professor of law at Notre Dame. “No one wants to see the president’s safety jeopardized,” he says. “However, the attorney general must realize that existing privileges ? most notably the president’s executive privilege ? can be asserted to protect the confidentiality of discussions the president has about national security, law enforcement, policy formation or other direct executive duties. If Secret Service agents are present for such discussion, they are clearly within the scope of executive privilege. What executive privilege doesn’t cover ? and what no fictional Secret Service privilege should be invented to cover ? is the personal misdeeds of any public officeholder, including the president.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;

  • p. Fast track : The Senate’s decision to revive fast-track trade legislation is “great news for the nation,” according to a Notre Dame economist who is teaching on international trade issues this summer in Brazil. “As Free Trade Areas ? such as Mercusor in South America ? continue to expand, the United States could be left behind without fast-track authority,” says Jeffrey Bergstrand , associate professor of finance and business economics. “It’s notable that Mexico, one of our largest trading partners, is already in talks to investigate the possibility of a free trade agreement with the European Union. The U.S. could foster positive development under fast track by expanding in two directions: pushing for expansion of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA), and for a North Atlantic Free Trade Area. My guess is that, given the summer stall on Capitol Hill, this fall would be a promising time to push for more free trade agreements under fast-track authority.” (Professor Bergstrand will return July 28 from S?o Paulo, Brazil.) *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Business forecasting : The third edition of “Business Forecasting,” coauthored by Notre Dame economist Barry Keating , recently became the first book on the subject to include a CD-ROM, making it possible to access all of the book’s text and data sets without ever turning a page. Published by Irwin/McGraw-Hill and also available in Spanish, “Business Forecasting” is the best selling book in the field. It is both a trade and academic title, written for students as well as business professionals involved in market research, investments, auditing and sales. In addition to teaching forecasting methods, Keating and coauthor J. Holton Wilson from Central Michigan University provide comments from practitioners on issues and problems and actual “dirty” data with typographical errors, missing observations and other real mistakes that occur in any company. *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. IRS reform : A key provision in the new legislation that reforms the Internal Revenue Service will shift the burden of proof from taxpayers to the IRS, which “sounds like a great victory for taxpayers until you read the fine print and think about the likely consequences,” says Matthew Barrett , associate professor of law at Notre Dame. “To qualify for the ‘benefits’ of this shift, a taxpayer must cooperate with reasonable requests for meetings, interviews, witnesses, information and documents and also must provide access to and allow inspection of witnesses, information and documents within his control. Do most taxpayers want the IRS interviewing their children, neighbors and business associates? Would they feel better about giving the IRS a peek at their bank accounts, credit card statements and investments? The legislation will likely lead to both stricter record-keeping requirements and more burdensome, but nevertheless legitimate, requests for information from the IRS. The provision will not create a kinder, gentler IRS.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Invading species : Food needed to sustain the invading Eurasian ruffe (pronounced “rough”), a perch-related fish now inhabiting western Lake Superior and moving east, is abundant throughout the Great Lakes, according to Notre Dame aquatic ecologists in an article in the next issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research. The finding could have dire consequences for native fish species. Ever since the appearance of this invading species in Lake Superior almost a decade ago, researchers have worried that the ruffe will outcompete yellow perch, a popular sport fish whose populations already are in decline in Lake Michigan, says Gary Lamberti , associate professor of biological sciences and one of the project’s principal investigators. “The fear is that the ruffe might put the death nail into perch as they invade into Lake Michigan,” he says. *Contact: Cynthia Day, 219-631-7367;
  • p. German elections : German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is facing a difficult fight in his bid for a fifth term, but Notre Dame political scientist A. James McAdams says it’s too early to count him out. “Kohl may lose the election, but if he does, it will be by a much closer margin than the polls currently suggest,” says McAdams, who was honored last year as the leading U.S. scholar of German politics. “Since becoming chancellor in 1982, and even earlier as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Kohl has made a living out of having others underestimate him. German voters typically have been critical of the chancellor and his party in off years because of pronounced shortcomings in the economy ? in particular, high levels of unemployment ? and the CDU’s supposed dearth in political imagination. However, at federal election time, the voters’ conservative instincts repeatedly have led them to support Kohn and his party.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *

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