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

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 ...


From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the past five years, three of the most remarkable bankruptcy cases in American history have come out of Detroit: the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009, and of Detroit itself in 2012. The principal objective of this Article is simply to show that the Grand Bargain at the heart of the Detroit bankruptcy is the direct offspring of the bankruptcy sale transactions that were used to restructure Chrysler and GM. The proponents of Detroit’s “Grand Bargain” never would have dreamed up the transaction were it not for the federal government-engineered carmaker bankruptcies. The Article’s second ...


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 ...


Introduction To Institutional Investor Activism: Hedge Funds And Private Equity, Economics And Regulation, William W. Bratton, Joseph A. Mccahery Jan 2015

Introduction To Institutional Investor Activism: Hedge Funds And Private Equity, Economics And Regulation, William W. Bratton, Joseph A. Mccahery

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The increase in institutional ownership of recent decades has been accompanied by an enhanced role played by institutions in monitoring companies’ corporate governance behaviour. Activist hedge funds and private equity firms have achieved a degree of success in actively shaping the business plans of target firms. They may be characterized as pursuing a common goal – in the words used in the OECD Steering Group on Corporate Governance, both seek ‘to increase the market value of their pooled capital through active engagement with individual public companies. This engagement may include demands for changes in management, the composition of the board, dividend ...


Rediscovering Corporate Governance In Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

Rediscovering Corporate Governance In Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Essay on Lynn LoPucki and Bill Whitford’s corporate reorganization project, written for a symposium honoring Bill Whitford, I begin by very briefly describing its historical antecedents. The project draws on the insights and perspectives of two closely intertwined traditions: the legal realism of 1930s, whose exemplars included William Douglas and other participants in the SEC study; and the law in action movement at the University of Wisconsin. In Section II, I briefly survey the key contributions of the corporate governance project, which punctured the then-conventional wisdom about the treatment of shareholders in bankruptcy, managers’ principal allegiance, and ...


Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2015

Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its most recent Halliburton II decision, the Supreme Court rejected an effort to overrule its prior decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. The Court reasoned that adherence to Basic was warranted by principles of stare decisis that operate with “special force” in the context of statutory interpretation. This Article offers an alternative justification for adhering to Basic—the collaboration between the Court and Congress that has led to the development of the private class action for federal securities fraud. The Article characterizes this collaboration as a lawmaking partnership and argues that such a partnership offers distinctive lawmaking advantages.

Halliburton ...


The (Il)Legitimacy Of Bankruptcies For The Benefit Of Secured Creditors, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Jan 2015

The (Il)Legitimacy Of Bankruptcies For The Benefit Of Secured Creditors, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper explores the legitimacy—or illegitimacy—of filing and maintaining a case under the Bankruptcy Code when the sole or principal beneficiary or beneficiaries of the case would be a secured creditor or secured creditors. In the situation posited here, the application of the usual distributional priority rules would not produce any distribution for the general, unsecured creditors of the debtor. In the prototypical case virtually all of the assets of the debtor would be subject to secured claims securing obligations that exceed the value of the collateral, i.e., the secured creditor would be undersecured and there would ...


The Political Economy Of Fraud On The Market, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter Jan 2011

The Political Economy Of Fraud On The Market, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Private Standards, Public Governance: A New Look At The Financial Accounting Standards Board, William W. Bratton Jan 2007

Private Standards, Public Governance: A New Look At The Financial Accounting Standards Board, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “FASB”) presents a puzzle: How has this private standard setter managed simultaneously (1) to remain independent, (2) to achieve institutional stability and legitimacy, and (3) to operate in a politicized context in the teeth of op-position from its own constituents? This Article looks to governance design to account for this institutional success. The FASB’s founders made a strategic choice to create a regulatory agency that sought independence rather than political responsiveness. The FASB also set out a coherent theory of accounting, the “Conceptual Framework,” to contain and direct its decisions. The Conceptual Framework ...


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 ...


The New Dividend Puzzle, William W. Bratton Jan 2005

The New Dividend Puzzle, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


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).


Enron And The Dark Side Of Shareholder Value, William W. Bratton Jan 2002

Enron And The Dark Side Of Shareholder Value, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Pill: Adaptive Responses To Takeover Law, Marcel Kahan, Edward B. Rock Jan 2002

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Pill: Adaptive Responses To Takeover Law, Marcel Kahan, Edward B. Rock

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Can Internet Offerings Bridge The Small Business Capital Barrier?, Jill E. Fisch Jan 1998

Can Internet Offerings Bridge The Small Business Capital Barrier?, Jill E. Fisch

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.


From Legitimacy To Logic: Reconstructing Proxy Regulation, Jill E. Fisch Jan 1993

From Legitimacy To Logic: Reconstructing Proxy Regulation, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Mystery And Myth Of "Ostensible Ownership" And Article 9 Filing: A Critique Of Proposals To Extend Filing Requirements To Leases, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Jan 1988

The Mystery And Myth Of "Ostensible Ownership" And Article 9 Filing: A Critique Of Proposals To Extend Filing Requirements To Leases, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.