Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 10 of 10

Full-Text Articles in Law

Marginalizing Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz Feb 2011

Marginalizing Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

A major focus of finance is reducing risk on investments, a goal commonly achieved by dispersing the risk among numerous investors. Sometimes, however, risk dispersion can cause investors to underestimate and under-protect against risk. Risk can even be so widely dispersed that rational investors individually lack the incentive to monitor it. This article examines the market failures resulting from risk dispersion, and analyzes when government regulation may be necessary or appropriate to limit these market failures. The article also examines how such regulation should be designed, including the extent to which it should limit risk dispersion in the first instance.


Disintermediating Avarice: A Legal Framework For Commercially Sustainable Microfinance, Steven L. Schwarcz Aug 2010

Disintermediating Avarice: A Legal Framework For Commercially Sustainable Microfinance, Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

Although microfinance has emerged as a key tool to alleviate poverty, the need for microfinance lending vastly exceeds the amount of funds that can be raised from charitable donors. Commercial bank lending is supplementing donor money, but microfinance loans made by banks are expensive and sometimes even exploitive. This article examines how innovative legal structures can enable microfinance loans to be funded directly from lower-cost, and virtually limitless, capital market sources by removing, or “disintermediating,” the need for a bank intermediary. In that context, the article identifies and attempts to resolve the resulting law-and-business issues of first impression and also ...


Distorting Legal Principles, Steven L. Schwarcz Feb 2010

Distorting Legal Principles, Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

This article explores the important but until now largely neglected problem of distorting legal principles. Although legal principles enable society to order itself by preserving broadly based expectations, parties sometimes transact in ways that are so inconsistent with accepted principles as to create uncertainty or confusion that undermines the basis for reasoning afforded by the principles. The article starts by examining a fundamental distortion of the nemo dat legal principle (one cannot give what one does not have), which was a trigger of Lehman Brothers’ recent downfall. A practice called “rehypothecation” so distorted nemo dat that Lehman’s customers were ...


Complexity As A Catalyst Of Market Failure', Steven L. Schwarcz Feb 2009

Complexity As A Catalyst Of Market Failure', Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

This article examines how the complexities of modern financial markets and investment securities can trigger market failure. The article also analyzes what steps, including possible regulation, should be taken to reduce the potential for failure. Because market complexities and failures are characteristic of complexities and failures in engineering systems with nonlinear feedback, the article employs a law and engineering analysis, drawing on the literature analyzing those systems.


Complexity As A Catalyst Of Market Failure: A Law And Engineering Inquiry, Steven L. Schwarcz Aug 2008

Complexity As A Catalyst Of Market Failure: A Law And Engineering Inquiry, Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

This article examines how the complexities of modern investment securities and the assets underlying them can trigger a breakdown of financial markets and also analyzes what should be done to mitigate the potential for market failure. Because these complexities are characteristic of complexities in nonlinear engineering systems, the article’s analysis draws on the literature analyzing these systems.


Protecting Financial Markets: Lessons From The Subprime Mortgage Meltdown, Steven L. Schwarcz Feb 2008

Protecting Financial Markets: Lessons From The Subprime Mortgage Meltdown, Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

Why did the recent subprime mortgage meltdown undermine financial market stability notwithstanding the protections provided by market norms and financial regulation? This article attempts to answer that question by identifying anomalies and obvious protections that failed to work, and then by examining hypotheses that might explain the anomalies and failures. The resulting explanations provide critical insights into protecting financial markets.


Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz Jul 2007

Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

This article is the first major work of legal scholarship on systemic risk, under which the world’s financial system can collapse like a row of dominoes. There is widespread confusion about the causes and even the definition of systemic risk, and uncertainty how to control it. This article attempts to provide a conceptual framework for examining what risks are truly “systemic,” what causes those risks, and how, if at all, those risks should be regulated.

It begins by carefully examining what systemic risk really means, cutting through the confusion and ambiguity to establish basic parameters. Economists and other scholars ...


To Make Or To Buy: In-House Lawyering And Value Creation, Steven L. Schwarcz Feb 2007

To Make Or To Buy: In-House Lawyering And Value Creation, Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

In recent years, companies have been shifting much of their transactional legal work from outside law firms to in-house lawyers, and some large companies now staff transactions almost exclusively in-house. Although this transformation redefines the very nature of the business lawyer, scholars have largely ignored it. This article seeks to remedy that omission, using empirical evidence as well as economic theory to help explain why in-house lawyers are taking over, and whether they are likely to continue to take over, these functions and roles of outside lawyers. The findings are surprising, suggesting that in-house lawyers may now be performing as ...


To Make Or To Buy: In-House Lawyering And Value Creation, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2007

To Make Or To Buy: In-House Lawyering And Value Creation, Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

In recent years, companies have been shifting much of their transactional legal work from outside law firms to in-house lawyers, and some large companies now staff transactions almost exclusively in-house. Although this transformation redefines the very nature of the business lawyer, scholars have largely ignored it. This article seeks to remedy that omission, using empirical evidence as well as economic theory to help explain why in-house lawyers are taking over, and whether they are likely to continue to take over, these functions and roles of outside lawyers. The findings are surprising, suggesting that in-house lawyers may now be performing as ...


To Make Or To Buy: In-House Lawyering And Value Creation, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2007

To Make Or To Buy: In-House Lawyering And Value Creation, Steven L. Schwarcz

Steven L Schwarcz

No abstract provided.