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Full-Text Articles in Law

Rethinking Chutes: Incentives, Investment, And Innovation, Simone M. Sepe, Charles K. Whitehead Dec 2015

Rethinking Chutes: Incentives, Investment, And Innovation, Simone M. Sepe, Charles K. Whitehead

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Eighty-two percent of public firms have golden parachutes (or “chutes”) under which CEOs and senior officers may be paid tens of millions of dollars upon their employer’s change in control. What justifies such extraordinary payouts?

Much of the conventional analysis views chutes as excessive compensation granted by captured boards, focusing on the payouts that occur following a takeover. Those explanations, if they ever were complete, miss the mark today. This Article demonstrates, theoretically and empirically, that chutes are less relevant to a firm during a takeover than they are before a takeover, particularly in relation to firms that invest ...


Damages Versus Specific Performance: Lessons From Commercial Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller Mar 2015

Damages Versus Specific Performance: Lessons From Commercial Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Specific performance is a central contractual remedy but, in Anglo-American law, generally is subordinate to damages. Despite rich theoretical discussions of specific performance, little is known about parties' treatment of the remedy in their contracts. We study 2,347 contracts of public corporations to quantify the presence or absence of specific performance clauses in several types of contracts. Although a majority of contracts do not refer to specific performance, substantial variation exists in the rates of including specific performance clauses. High rates of specific performance use in the area of corporate combinations through merger (53.4 percent) or assets sales ...


Paying For Risk: Bankers, Compensation, And Competition, Simone M. Sepe, Charles K. Whitehead Mar 2015

Paying For Risk: Bankers, Compensation, And Competition, Simone M. Sepe, Charles K. Whitehead

Cornell Law Review

Efforts to control bank risk address the wrong problem in the wrong way. They presume that the financial crisis was caused by CEOs who failed to super­vise risk-taking employees. The responses focus on exe­cutive pay, believing that exe­cu­tives will bring non-execu­tives into line—using incen­­­­tives to manage risk-taking—once their own pay is regu­lated. What they over­look is the effect on non-executive pay of the com­pe­­ti­­tion for talent. Even if exe­­cu­tive pay is regu­lated, and exe­cu­tives act in the bank’s best interests, they ...


Public Actors In Private Markets: Toward A Developmental Finance State, Robert C. Hockett, Saule T. Omarova Jan 2015

Public Actors In Private Markets: Toward A Developmental Finance State, Robert C. Hockett, Saule T. Omarova

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The recent financial crisis brought into sharp relief fundamental questions about the social function and purpose of the financial system, including its relation to the “real” economy. This Article argues that, to answer these questions, we must recapture a distinctively American view of the proper relations among state, financial market, and development. This programmatic vision – captured in what we call a “developmental finance state” – is based on three key propositions: (1) that economic and social development is not an “end-state” but a continuing national policy priority; (2) that the modalities of finance are the most potent means of fueling continuous ...


The Corporation As A Time Machine: Intergenerational Equity, Intergenerational Efficiency, And The Corporate Form, Lynn A. Stout Jan 2015

The Corporation As A Time Machine: Intergenerational Equity, Intergenerational Efficiency, And The Corporate Form, Lynn A. Stout

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Symposium Article argues that the board-controlled corporation can be understood as a legal innovation that historically has functioned as a means of transferring wealth forward and sometimes backward through time, for the benefit of present and future generations. In this fashion the board-controlled corporation promotes both intergenerational equity and intergenerational efficiency. Logic and evidence each suggest, however, that the modern embrace of "shareholder value" as the only corporate objective and "shareholder democracy" as the ideal of corporate governance is damaging the corporate form's ability to serve this economically and ethically important function.


The Macroprudential Turn: From Institutional 'Safety And Soundness' To Systematic 'Financial Stability' In Financial Supervision, Robert C. Hockett Jan 2015

The Macroprudential Turn: From Institutional 'Safety And Soundness' To Systematic 'Financial Stability' In Financial Supervision, Robert C. Hockett

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Since the global financial dramas of 2008-09, authorities on financial regulation have come increasingly to counsel the inclusion of macroprudential policy instruments in the standard ‘toolkit’ of finance-regulatory measures employed by financial supervisors. The hallmark of this perspective is its focus not simply on the safety and soundness of individual financial institutions, as is characteristic of the traditional ‘microprudential’ perspective, but also on certain structural features of financial systems that can imperil such systems as wholes. Systemic ‘financial stability’ thus comes to supplement, though not to supplant, institutional ‘safety and soundness’ as a regulatory desideratum.

The move from primarily micro- ...