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Full-Text Articles in Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics

Regulating Robo Advice Across The Financial Services Industry, Tom Baker, Benedict G. C. Dellaert Jan 2018

Regulating Robo Advice Across The Financial Services Industry, Tom Baker, Benedict G. C. Dellaert

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Automated financial product advisors – “robo advisors” – are emerging across the financial services industry, helping consumers choose investments, banking products, and insurance policies. Robo advisors have the potential to lower the cost and increase the quality and transparency of financial advice for consumers. But they also pose significant new challenges for regulators who are accustomed to assessing human intermediaries. A well-designed robo advisor will be honest and competent, and it will recommend only suitable products. Because humans design and implement robo advisors, however, honesty, competence, and suitability cannot simply be assumed. Moreover, robo advisors pose new scale risks that are different ...


Who Bleeds When The Wolves Bite? A Flesh-And-Blood Perspective On Hedge Fund Activism And Our Strange Corporate Governance System, Leo E. Strine Jr. Apr 2017

Who Bleeds When The Wolves Bite? A Flesh-And-Blood Perspective On Hedge Fund Activism And Our Strange Corporate Governance System, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper examines the effects of hedge fund activism and so-called wolf pack activity on the ordinary human beings—the human investors—who fund our capital markets but who, as indirect of owners of corporate equity, have only limited direct power to ensure that the capital they contribute is deployed to serve their welfare and in turn the broader social good.

Most human investors in fact depend much more on their labor than on their equity for their wealth and therefore care deeply about whether our corporate governance system creates incentives for corporations to create and sustain jobs for them ...


The New Synthesis Of Bank Regulation And Bankruptcy In The Dodd-Frank Era, David A. Skeel Jr. May 2015

The New Synthesis Of Bank Regulation And Bankruptcy In The Dodd-Frank Era, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, U.S. bank regulation and bankruptcy have become far more closely intertwined. In this Article, I ask whether the new synthesis of bank regulation and bankruptcy is coherent, and whether it is likely to prove effective.

I begin by exploring some of the basic differences between bank resolution, which is a highly administrative process in the U.S., and bankruptcy, which relies more on courts and the parties themselves. I then focus on a series of remarkable new innovations designed to facilitate the rapid recapitalization of systemically important financial institutions: convertible ...


The Mess At Morgan: Risk, Incentives And Shareholder Empowerment, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2015

The Mess At Morgan: Risk, Incentives And Shareholder Empowerment, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The financial crisis of 2008 focused increasing attention on corporate America and, in particular, the risk-taking behavior of large financial institutions. A growing appreciation of the “public” nature of the corporation resulted in a substantial number of high profile enforcement actions. In addition, demands for greater accountability led policymakers to attempt to harness the corporation’s internal decision-making structure, in the name of improved corporate governance, to further the interest of non-shareholder stakeholders. Dodd-Frank’s advisory vote on executive compensation is an example.

This essay argues that the effort to employ shareholders as agents of public values and, thereby, to ...


The Problem With Consenting To Insider Trading, Leo Katz Jan 2015

The Problem With Consenting To Insider Trading, Leo Katz

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Behaviorism In Finance And Securities Law, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2014

Behaviorism In Finance And Securities Law, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Essay, I take stock (as something of an outsider) of the behavioral economics movement, focusing in particular on its interaction with traditional cost-benefit analysis and its implications for agency structure. The usual strategy for such a project—a strategy that has been used by others with behavioral economics—is to marshal the existing evidence and critically assess its significance. My approach in this Essay is somewhat different. Although I describe behavioral economics and summarize the strongest criticisms of its use, the heart of the Essay is inductive, and focuses on a particular context: financial and securities regulation, as ...


Bankers And Chancellors, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter Jan 2014

Bankers And Chancellors, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Delaware Chancery Court recently squared off against the investment banking world with a series of rulings that tie Revlon violations to banker conflicts of interest. Critics charge the Court with slamming down fiduciary principles of self-abnegation in a business context where they have no place or, contrariwise, letting culpable banks off the hook with ineffectual slaps on the wrist. This Article addresses this controversy, offering a sustained look at the banker-client advisory relationship. We pose a clear answer to the questions raised: although this is nominally fiduciary territory, both banker-client relationships and the Chancery Court’s recent interventions are ...


Bankruptcy And Economic Recovery, Thomas H. Jackson, David A. Skeel Jr. Jul 2013

Bankruptcy And Economic Recovery, Thomas H. Jackson, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

To measure economic growth or recovery, one traditionally looks to metrics such as the unemployment rate and the growth in GDP. And in terms of figuring out institutional policies that will stimulate economic growth, the focus most often is on policies that encourage investment, entrepreneurial enterprises, and reward risk-taking with appropriate returns. Bankruptcy academics that we are, we tend to add our own area of expertise to this stable— with the firm belief that thinking critically about bankruptcy policy is an important element of any set of institutions designed to speed economic recovery. In this paper, written for a book ...


Adapting To The New Shareholder-Centric Reality, Edward B. Rock Jan 2013

Adapting To The New Shareholder-Centric Reality, Edward B. Rock

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

After more than eighty years of sustained attention, the master problem of U.S. corporate law—the separation of ownership and control—has mostly been brought under control. This resolution has occurred more through changes in market and corporate practices than through changes in the law. This Article explores how corporate law and practice are adapting to the new shareholder-centric reality that has emerged.

Because solving the shareholder–manager agency cost problem aggravates shareholder–creditor agency costs, I focus on implications for creditors. After considering how debt contracts, compensation arrangements, and governance structures can work together to limit shareholder–creditor ...


A Dialogue On The Costs And Benefits Of Automatic Stays For Derivatives And Repurchase Agreements, Darrell Duffie, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2012

A Dialogue On The Costs And Benefits Of Automatic Stays For Derivatives And Repurchase Agreements, Darrell Duffie, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For nearly two years, the two of us have had a running discussion of the costs and benefits of automatic stays in bankruptcy for qualified financial contracts (QFCs) such as derivatives and repurchase agreements, particularly those held by systemically important major dealer banks. Under current U.S. bankruptcy law, these contracts are exempted from the automatic stay. The advantages and disadvantages of this treatment have been a matter of significant debate for the past decade, particularly since the 2008 crisis.

After some background on AFCs and automatic stays, we provide our joint analysis of the costs and benefits of stays ...


Making Sense Of The New Financial Deal, David A. Skeel Jr. Apr 2011

Making Sense Of The New Financial Deal, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Essay, I assess the enactment and implications of the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress’s response to the 2008 financial crisis. To set the stage, I begin by very briefly reviewing the causes of the crisis. I then argue that the legislation has two very clear objectives. The first is to limit the risk of the shadow banking system by more carefully regulating the key instruments and institutions of contemporary finance. The second objective is to limit the damage in the event one of these giant institutions fails. While the new regulation of the instruments of contemporary finance—including clearing ...


Inside-Out Corporate Governance, David A. Skeel Jr., Vijit Chahar, Alexander Clark, Mia Howard, Bijun Huang, Federico Lasconi, A.G. Leventhal, Matthew Makover, Randi Milgrim, David Payne, Romy Rahme, Nikki Sachdeva, Zachary Scott Jan 2011

Inside-Out Corporate Governance, David A. Skeel Jr., Vijit Chahar, Alexander Clark, Mia Howard, Bijun Huang, Federico Lasconi, A.G. Leventhal, Matthew Makover, Randi Milgrim, David Payne, Romy Rahme, Nikki Sachdeva, Zachary Scott

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Until late in the twentieth century, internal corporate governance—that is, decision making by the principal constituencies of the firm—was clearly distinct from outside oversight by regulators, auditors and credit rating agencies, and markets. With the 1980s takeover wave and hedge funds’ and equity funds’ more recent involvement in corporate governance, the distinction between inside and outside governance has eroded. The tools of inside governance are now routinely employed by governance outsiders, intertwining the two traditional modes of governance. We argue in this Article that the shift has created a new governance paradigm, which we call inside-out corporate governance ...


The New Financial Deal: Understanding The Dodd-Frank Act And Its (Unintended) Consequences, David A. Skeel Jr. Oct 2010

The New Financial Deal: Understanding The Dodd-Frank Act And Its (Unintended) Consequences, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Contrary to rumors that the Dodd-Frank Act is an incoherent mess, its 2,319 pages have two very clear objectives: limiting the risk of the shadow banking system by more carefully regulating derivatives and large financial institutions; and limiting the damage caused by a financial institution’s failure. The new legislation also has a theme: government partnership with the largest Wall Street banks. The vision emerged almost by accident from the Bear Stearns and AIG bailouts of 2008 and the commandeering of the bankruptcy process to rescue Chrysler and GM in 2009. Its implications for derivatives regulation could prove beneficial ...


The Overstated Promise Of Corporate Governance, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2010

The Overstated Promise Of Corporate Governance, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Rethinking The Regulation Of Securities Intermediaries, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2010

Rethinking The Regulation Of Securities Intermediaries, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article argues that existing regulation of mutual funds has serious shortcomings. In particular, the Investment Company Act, which is based primarily on principles of corporate governance and fiduciary duties, fails to support and, in some cases impedes, market forces. Existing evidence suggests that retail investing behavior and the dominance of sales agents with competing financial incentives further weakens market discipline. As a solution, the Article proposes that funds should be treated primarily as financial products rather than corporations and, correspondingly, investors should be treated primarily as consumers rather than corporate shareholders. To implement this approach, the Article proposes the ...


Top Cop Or Regulatory Flop? The Sec At 75, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2009

Top Cop Or Regulatory Flop? The Sec At 75, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In their forthcoming article, Redesigning the SEC: Does the Treasury Have a Better Idea?, Professors John C. Coffee, Jr., and Hillary Sale offer compelling reasons to rethink the SEC’s role. This article extends that analysis, evaluating the SEC’s responsibility for the current financial crisis and its potential future role in regulation of the capital markets. In particular, the article identifies critical failures in the SEC’s performance in its core competencies of enforcement, financial transparency, and investor protection. The article argues that these failures are not the result, as suggested by the Treasury Department Blueprint, of a balkanized ...


Predicting Corporate Governance Risk: Evidence From The Directors' & Officers' Liability Insurance Market, Tom Baker, Sean J. Griffith Jan 2007

Predicting Corporate Governance Risk: Evidence From The Directors' & Officers' Liability Insurance Market, Tom Baker, Sean J. Griffith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Missing Monitor In Corporate Governance: The Directors' And Officers' Liability Insurer, Tom Baker, Sean J. Griffith Jan 2007

The Missing Monitor In Corporate Governance: The Directors' And Officers' Liability Insurer, Tom Baker, Sean J. Griffith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article reports the results of empirical research on the monitoring role of directors’ and officers’ liability insurance (D&O insurance) companies in American corporate governance. Economic theory provides three reasons to expect D&O insurers to serve as corporate governance monitors: first, monitoring provides insurers with a way to manage moral hazard; second, monitoring provides benefits to shareholders who might not otherwise need the risk distribution that D&O insurance provides; and third, the “bonding” provided by risk distribution gives insurers a comparative advantage in monitoring. Nevertheless, we find that D&O insurers neither monitor corporate governance during the life of the insurance contract nor manage litigation defense costs once claims arise. Our findings raise significant questions about the value of D&O insurance for shareholders as well as the deterrent effect of corporate and securities ...


Does Analyst Independence Sell Investors Short?, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2007

Does Analyst Independence Sell Investors Short?, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Regulators responded to the analyst scandals of the late 1990s by imposing extensive new rules on the research industry. These rules include a requirement forcing financial firms to separate investment banking operations from research. Regulators argued, with questionable empirical support, that the reforms were necessary to eliminate analyst conflicts of interest and ensure the integrity of sell-side research.

By eliminating investment banking revenues as a source for funding research, the reforms have had substantial effects. Research coverage of small issuers has been dramatically reduced—the vast majority of small capitalization firms now have no coverage at all. The market for ...


Hedge Funds And Governance Targets, William W. Bratton Jan 2007

Hedge Funds And Governance Targets, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Corporate governance interventions by hedge fund shareholders are triggering debates between advocates of management empowerment and advocates of aggressive monitoring by actors in the capital markets. This Article intervenes with an empirical question: What, based on the record so far, have the hedge funds actually done to their targets? Information has been collected on 130 domestic firms identified in the business press since 2002 as targets of activist hedge funds, including the funds’ demands, their tactics, and the results of their interventions for the targets’ governance and finance. The survey results show that the hedge funds have an enviable record ...


Of Predatory Lending And The Democratization Of Credit: Preserving The Social Safety Net Of Informality In Small-Loan Transactions, Regina Austin Jan 2004

Of Predatory Lending And The Democratization Of Credit: Preserving The Social Safety Net Of Informality In Small-Loan Transactions, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

53 Am. U. Int'l L. Rev. 1217 (2004).


Vultures Or Vanguards?: The Role Of Litigation In Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Jill E. Fisch, Caroline M. Gentile Jan 2004

Vultures Or Vanguards?: The Role Of Litigation In Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Jill E. Fisch, Caroline M. Gentile

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Sovereign Debt Reform And The Interest Of Creditors, William W. Bratton, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2004

Sovereign Debt Reform And The Interest Of Creditors, William W. Bratton, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Gaming Delaware, William W. Bratton Jan 2004

Gaming Delaware, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Pari Passu And A Distressed Sovereign's Rational Choices, William W. Bratton Jan 2004

Pari Passu And A Distressed Sovereign's Rational Choices, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Rules, Principles, And The Accounting Crisis In The United States, William W. Bratton Jan 2004

Rules, Principles, And The Accounting Crisis In The United States, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Securities Exchange Commission move too quickly ·when they prod the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the standard setter for US GAAP, to move immediately to a principles-based system. Priorities respecting reform of corporate reporting in the US need to be ordered more carefully. Incentive problems impairing audit performance should be solved first through institutional reform insulating the audit from the negative impact of rent-seeking and solving adverse selection problems otherwise affecting audit practice. So long as auditor independence and management incentives respecting accounting treatments remain suspect. the US reporting system holds out no actor plausibly positioned ...


The Scope Of Private Securities Litigation: In Search Of Liability Standards For Secondary Defendants, Jill E. Fisch Jan 1999

The Scope Of Private Securities Litigation: In Search Of Liability Standards For Secondary Defendants, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent federal court decisions have struggled to apply the Supreme Court's decision in Central Bank v. First Interstate to determine when outside professionals should be held liable as primary violators under section IO(b) of the Securities Exchange Act. In keeping with the Court's current interpretive methodology, Central Bank and its progeny employ a textualist approach. In this Article, Professor Fisch argues that literal textualism is an inappropriate approach for interpreting the federal securities laws generally and misguided in light of legislative developments post-dating the Central Bank decision. Instead, Professor Fisch advocates an approach that weighs Congress 's ...


The Genius Of The 1898 Bankruptcy Act, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 1999

The Genius Of The 1898 Bankruptcy Act, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Bankruptcy Judges And Bankruptcy Venue: Some Thoughts On Delaware, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 1998

Bankruptcy Judges And Bankruptcy Venue: Some Thoughts On Delaware, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Foxes And Hen Houses?: Personal Trading By Mutual Fund Managers, Edward B. Rock Jan 1995

Foxes And Hen Houses?: Personal Trading By Mutual Fund Managers, Edward B. Rock

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.