What is the Difference Between Investing, Speculating, and Gambling?

Lecture Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

Stuart Banner

Stuart Banner

For centuries, there has been a consensus that investing is useful and ought to be encouraged. There has been a consensus that gambling is dangerous and ought to be discouraged or even outlawed. But what about speculation, which lies somewhere between the two? Throughout American history, speculation has presented a puzzle to the legal system. To figure out how to treat speculation, we have always needed to distinguish between two kinds of risky commerce, a good kind the law should promote and a bad kind the law should deter. Drawing that line has never been easy, and it is no easier today. The difference between gambling and investing has always been a matter of controversy, from the crash of 1792 up through the recent financial crisis.

Biography

Stuart Banner is the Norman Abrams Professor of Law at UCLA.  He is the author of nine books: Speculation: A History of the Fine Line Between Gambling and Investing (Oxford University Press, 2017); The Baseball Trust: A History of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption (Oxford University Press, 2013); American Property: A History of How, Why, and What We Own (Harvard University Press, 2011); Who Owns the Sky? The Struggle to Control Airspace from the Wright Brothers On (Harvard University Press, 2008); Possessing the Pacific: Land, Settlers, and Indigenous People from Australia to Alaska (Harvard University Press, 2007); How the Indians Lost Their Land: Law and Power on the Frontier (Harvard University Press, 2005); The Death Penalty: An American History (Harvard University Press, 2002); Legal Systems in Conflict: Property and Sovereignty in Missouri, 1750-1860 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2000); and Anglo-American Securities Regulation: Cultural and Political Roots, 1690-1860 (Cambridge University Press, 1998). Before teaching, Banner was a law clerk to the Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Hon. Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and he practiced law at Davis Polk & Wardwell and the Office of the Appellate Defender.

Address

WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103

Assigned Reading

Stuart Banner, Speculation: A History of the Fine Line Between Gambling and Investing (Oxford University Press, 2017)

Reception

5 p.m. at the UNE Art Gallery (Portland Campus)

Contact

cgh@une.edu

Stuart Banner Event Poster
Mar262018
6:00 PM
WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion

Portland Campus

Free and open to the public