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Foreword: Bankruptcy’S New And Old Frontiers, William W. Bratton, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2018

Foreword: Bankruptcy’S New And Old Frontiers, William W. Bratton, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Symposium marks the fortieth anniversary of the enactment of the 1978 Bankruptcy Code (the “1978 Code” or the “Code”) with an extended look at seismic changes that currently are reshaping Chapter 11 reorganization. Today’s typical Chapter 11 case looks radically different than did the typical case in the Code’s early years. In those days, Chapter 11 afforded debtors a cozy haven. Most everything that mattered occurred within the context of the formal proceeding, where the debtor enjoyed agenda control, a leisurely timetable, and judicial solicitude. The safe haven steadily disappeared over time, displaced by a range of ...


Does Shareholder Voting Matter? Evidence From The Takeover Market, Paul Mason, Usha Rodrigues, Mike Stegemoller, Steven Utke Jan 2018

Does Shareholder Voting Matter? Evidence From The Takeover Market, Paul Mason, Usha Rodrigues, Mike Stegemoller, Steven Utke

Scholarly Works

Voting rights are a basic shareholder-protection mechanism. Outside of the core voting requirements state law imposes (election of directors and votes on fundamental changes), federal law grants shareholders additional voting rights. But these rights introduce concomitant costs into corporate governance. Each grant of a voting right thus invites the question: is the benefit achieved worth the cost the vote imposes?

The question is not merely a theoretical one. Recently the SEC, concerned about Nasdaq’s potential weakening of shareholder voting protections, has lamented that little evidence exists on the value of the shareholder vote. This Article provides that evidence. It ...


The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin Jan 2018

The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Bond workouts are a famously dysfunctional method of debt restructuring, ridden with opportunistic and coercive behavior by bondholders and bond issuers. Yet since 2008 bond workouts have quietly started to work. A cognizable portion of the restructuring market has shifted from bankruptcy court to out-of-court workouts by way of exchange offers made only to large institutional investors. The new workouts feature a battery of strong-arm tactics by bond issuers, and aggrieved bondholders have complained in court. The result has been a new, broad reading of the primary law governing workouts, section 316(b) of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 ...


Quieting The Sharholders' Voice: Empirical Evidence Of Pervasive Bundling In Proxy Solicitations, James D. Cox, Fabrizio Ferri, Colleen Honigsberg, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2016

Quieting The Sharholders' Voice: Empirical Evidence Of Pervasive Bundling In Proxy Solicitations, James D. Cox, Fabrizio Ferri, Colleen Honigsberg, Randall S. Thomas

Faculty Scholarship

The integrity of shareholder voting is critical to the legitimacy of corporate law. One threat to this process is proxy “bundling,” or the joinder of more than one separate item into a single proxy proposal. Bundling deprives shareholders of the right to convey their views on each separate matter being put to a vote and forces them to either reject the entire proposal or approve items they might not otherwise want implemented.

In this Paper, we provide the first comprehensive evaluation of the anti-bundling rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in 1992. While we find that the ...


The Nonfinancial Returns Of Crowdfunding, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2015

The Nonfinancial Returns Of Crowdfunding, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

Securities crowdfunding — the sale of unregistered securities to the public over the Internet — has come under attack before it has even begun. Legal scholars in particular have expressed concern that investors will lose any money they invest in crowdfunding companies. Even assuming that this may be true from a purely financial perspective, these critics are missing an important point: Crowdfund investors with negative returns will not simply have lost their money, but rather they will have spent it (at least in part) on nonpecuniary benefits, including entertainment, political expression and community building. These nonfinancial returns of crowdfunding are readily apparent ...


The Digital Shareholder, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2015

The Digital Shareholder, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

Crowdfunding, a new Internet-based securities market, was recently authorized by federal and state law in order to create a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive system of entrepreneurial finance. But will people really send their money to strangers on the Internet in exchange for unregistered securities in speculative startups? Many are doubtful, but this Article looks to first principles and finds reason for optimism.

Well-established theory teaches that all forms of startup finance must confront and overcome three fundamental challenges: uncertainty, information asymmetry, and agency costs. This Article systematically examines this “trio of problems” and potential solutions in the context of crowdfunding ...


Teenage Crowdfunding, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2014

Teenage Crowdfunding, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

Teenage startups are in the public interest and should be encouraged, yet the federal CARD Act of 2009 eliminated credit card financing for many such companies, cutting off an important source of early-stage business capital for teenage entrepreneurs. Since then, however, Congress passed the CROWDFUND Act of 2012 which will allow teenagers to raise early-stage financing through Internet crowdfunding. Teens, being masters of the Internet, are well positioned to exploit this new opportunity, with the upshot being that securities crowdfunding may become an important way for youthful entrepreneurs to fund their business dreams.


Who Calls The Shots?: How Mutual Funds Vote On Director Elections, Stephen J. Choi, Jill E. Fisch, Marcel Kahan Jan 2013

Who Calls The Shots?: How Mutual Funds Vote On Director Elections, Stephen J. Choi, Jill E. Fisch, Marcel Kahan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Shareholder voting has become an increasingly important focus of corporate governance, and mutual funds control a substantial percentage of shareholder voting power. The manner in which mutual funds exercise that power, however, is poorly understood. In particular, because neither mutual funds nor their advisors are beneficial owners of their portfolio holdings, there is concern that mutual fund voting may be uninformed or tainted by conflicts of interest. These concerns, if true, hamper the potential effectiveness of regulatory reforms such as proxy access and say on pay. This article analyzes mutual fund voting decisions in uncontested director elections. We find that ...


Rural Crowdfunding, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2013

Rural Crowdfunding, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

One reason that economic development in rural America lags behind its urban counterpart is the persistent lack of venture capital for rural entrepreneurs. Geography deserves much of the blame, as angel investors and venture capitalists tend to live and work in metropolitan areas on the coasts, in places like Silicon Valley and Boston. Many rural areas are literally thousands of miles away, with the result that venture capital has rarely found its way to rural regions.

Recent federal legislation, however, has the potential to change this dynamic. The JOBS Act authorizes the sale of securities over the Internet to large ...


Crowdfunding Securities, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2013

Crowdfunding Securities, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

A new federal statute authorizes the online "crowdfunding" of securities, a new idea based on the concept of "reward" crowdfunding practiced on Kickstarter and other websites. This method of selling securities had previously been banned by federal securities law but the new CROWDFUND Act overturns that prohibition.

This Article introduces the CROWDFUND Act and explains that it can be expected to have two primary effects on securities law and capital markets. First, it will liberate startup companies to use peer networks and the Internet to obtain modest amounts of capital at low cost. Second, it will help democratize the market ...


Shareholders And Social Welfare, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter Jan 2013

Shareholders And Social Welfare, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article addresses the question whether (and how) the shareholders matter for social welfare. Answers to the question have changed over time. Observers in the mid-twentieth century believed that the socio-economic characteristics of real world shareholders were highly pertinent to social welfare inquiries. But they went on to conclude that there followed no justification for catering to shareholder interest, for shareholders occupied elite social strata. The answer changed during the twentieth century’s closing decades, when observers came to accord the shareholder interest a key structural role in the enhancement of economic efficiency even as they also deemed irrelevant the ...


Spacs And The Jobs Act, Usha Rodrigues Oct 2012

Spacs And The Jobs Act, Usha Rodrigues

Scholarly Works

The law has long confined the average investor to trading in public securitieswhile allowing wealthy—or “accredited”—individual investors access to a panoply of private securities, including investment vehicles such as hedge funds and private equity funds. Nevertheless, pressure to let the general public into private equity has been growing. Two forces have contributed to this mounting pressure. First, public investors are eager to try their hand at investing in private enterprise. Second, private firms need capital. In the face of these forces, the sharp line that has long separated public and private firms has become increasingly blurred

Consider the ...


Shareholder Eugenics In The Public Corporation, Edward B. Rock May 2012

Shareholder Eugenics In The Public Corporation, Edward B. Rock

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In a world of active, empowered shareholders, the match between shareholders and public corporations can potentially affect firm value. This article examines the extent to which publicly held corporations can shape their shareholder base. Two sorts of approaches are available: direct/recruitment strategies; and shaping or socialization strategies. Direct/recruitment strategies through which “good” shareholders are attracted to the firm include: going public; targeted placement of shares; traditional investor relations; the exploitation of clientele effects; and de-recruitment. “Shaping” or “socialization” strategies in which shareholders of a “bad” or unknown type are transformed into shareholders of the “good” type include: choice ...


Class Action Criminality, Lisa L. Casey Jan 2008

Class Action Criminality, Lisa L. Casey

Journal Articles

This paper examines the criminal prosecution of Milberg Weiss, formerly the most successful plaintiffs’ securities class action firm in the country, for allegedly making undisclosed incentive payments to class representatives. In particular, the article examines the government’s primary charge - that the firm’s practice violated the “honest services” theory of mail and wire fraud. The government’s application of this theory presumes a fiduciary relationship between the class representatives and the class which has never been clearly delineated and, indeed, is against the weight of case law and the realities of class action litigation.

The Article proceeds on two ...


New Hope For Corporate Governance In China?, James V. Feinerman Jan 2007

New Hope For Corporate Governance In China?, James V. Feinerman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

China's recent revisions to its Company Law and Securities Law have brought new attention to issues of corporate governance in Chinese companies and financial markets. Among the chief criticisms of the earlier laws - in both their provisions and application - were the lack of protection for minority shareholders, the paucity of independent directors, the absence of transparency and inadequate financial disclosure. The acknowledged need for greater congruence between Chinese law and practice and that of countries with more developed capital markets led to the proposal of amendments to China's legislation during the first half of this decade. This article ...


The Social Construction Of Sarbanes-Oxley, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2007

The Social Construction Of Sarbanes-Oxley, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The closer one looks at SOX and its origins in the financial scandals of the early 2000s, the blurrier the picture, which lets commentators see what they want to see and draw inferences accordingly. That is why social construction is so crucial. My aim in this paper is to illuminate the social nature of SOX's diffusion into practice. I will leave to the reader the judgment about whether this has been or will be good or bad, and for whom. If I seem to challenge SOX's critics more than its supporters, it is because the critics have been ...


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.


Regulation A: Small Businesses’ Search For “A Moderate Capital”, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr. Jan 2006

Regulation A: Small Businesses’ Search For “A Moderate Capital”, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr.

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Small businesses are an important part of our national economy, accounting for as much as 40% of our total economic activity and providing society with important services and products.

Small businesses face daunting economic, structural, and legal impediments when they attempt to acquire external capital. The absence of financial inter-mediation services means that they are almost always on their own to find investors. Their small capital needs mean that their relative offering costs are often sky high. Federal and state securities rules significantly exacerbate these economic and structural disadvantages by imposing onerous and unwarranted conditions on their search for external ...


Dialectical Regulation, Robert B. Ahdieh Jan 2006

Dialectical Regulation, Robert B. Ahdieh

Faculty Scholarship

While theories of regulation abound, woefully inadequate attention has been given to growing patterns of "intersystemic" and "dialectical" regulation in the world today. In this rapidly expanding universe of interactions, independent regulatory agencies, born of autonomous jurisdictions, nonetheless face a combination of jurisdictional overlap with, and regulatory dependence on, one another. Here, the cross-jurisdictional interaction of regulators is no longer the voluntary interaction embraced by transnationalists; it is, instead, an unavoidable reality of acknowledgement and engagement, potentially culminating in the integration of discrete sets of regulatory rules into a collective whole.

Such patterns of regulatory engagement are increasingly evident, across ...


From Insull To Enron: Corporate (Re)Regulation After The Rise And Fall Of Two Energy Icons, William D. Henderson, Richard D. Cudahy Jan 2005

From Insull To Enron: Corporate (Re)Regulation After The Rise And Fall Of Two Energy Icons, William D. Henderson, Richard D. Cudahy

Articles by Maurer Faculty

For most Americans, the collapse of the Enron Corporation is without doubt the most memorable corporate event of their generation. Remarkably, few people are aware that the New Deal regulatory framework - which Congress recently reformed and toughened to in response to the Enron debacle - was itself erected in the wake of a strikingly similar corporate crash. In late 1931 and early 1932, the country looked on in horror as Samuel Insull's mighty and seemingly invulnerable electric utility holding company empire collapsed without warning, wiping out the holdings of over 1 million investors, most of whom believed that they had ...


Private Litigation To Enforce Fiduciary Duties In Mutual Funds: Derivative Suits, Disinterested Directors And The Ideology Of Investor Sovereignty, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2005

Private Litigation To Enforce Fiduciary Duties In Mutual Funds: Derivative Suits, Disinterested Directors And The Ideology Of Investor Sovereignty, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article focuses on independent directors and the processes of mutual fund corporate governance. To be clear, I believe (and research shows) that disinterested directors do add value as a form of shareholder protection, and this fact justifies the SEC's efforts to strengthen their role. But they are far from a panacea. While that point alone is almost trite, exploring some of the unique features of mutual fund governance shows why judges and policymakers should not even try to reason by analogy to governance in other kinds of corporations. Yet that is exactly what Burks and its progeny have ...


Capital Market Exits: Planning For Restricted And Control Securities, George F. Albright Nov 2004

Capital Market Exits: Planning For Restricted And Control Securities, George F. Albright

William & Mary Annual Tax Conference

No abstract provided.


Law's Signal: A Cueing Theory Of Law In Market Transition, Robert B. Ahdieh Jan 2004

Law's Signal: A Cueing Theory Of Law In Market Transition, Robert B. Ahdieh

Faculty Scholarship

Securities markets are commonly assumed to spring forth at the intersection of an adequate supply of, and a healthy demand for, investment capital. In recent years, however, seemingly failed market transitions - the failure of new markets to emerge and of existing markets to evolve - have called this assumption into question. From the developed economies of Germany and Japan to the developing countries of central and eastern Europe, securities markets have exhibited some inability to take root. The failure of U.S. securities markets, and particularly the New York Stock Exchange, to make greater use of computerized trading, communications, and processing ...


Business Law Reform In The United States: Thinking Too Small?, Douglas C. Michael Jan 2003

Business Law Reform In The United States: Thinking Too Small?, Douglas C. Michael

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Dean Johan Henning presents the South African experience with business entity reform as one part of a coordinated whole. It included, for example, government funding for business, tax reforms, accounting and securities changes. Henning says that these reforms, though multi-faceted, had a uniform purpose: to use small business as an engine to improve the economy and to move “historically and socially disadvantaged groups” into the mainstream of the economy and the society.

These are noble goals and far reaching efforts, and a lot to ask of business entity reform. But because the South African experience was nonetheless successful by all ...


Foreword: Revisiting Gilson And Kraakman’S Efficiency Story, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2003

Foreword: Revisiting Gilson And Kraakman’S Efficiency Story, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Gilson and Kraakman's ‘Mechanisms of Market Efficiency’ is part of the canon of modem corporate law scholarship, one of a handful of articles that has profoundly influenced the way we think about the field. It is also enigmatic, warranting a fresh look by those who think they know what it says from some long-ago reading or second-hand references by other authors.


Panel Presentation: Securities Regulation And Corporate Responsibility, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2003

Panel Presentation: Securities Regulation And Corporate Responsibility, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

What I want to do is talk about the big picture, as John suggested, and consider the likely spillover effects of Sarbanes-Oxley. I want to do this in a discretely administrative law-oriented way, taking two themes that were very visible and driving forces behind the legislation. The first, as Mary suggested in her opening remarks, is a question about federalism. It has been common for the last twenty years, at least, to trot out - as John just did - a distinction between federal and state spheres of competency. The SEC is on the disclosure side, while the substance of corporate law ...


The Overwhelming Case For Elimination Of The Integration Doctrine Under The Securities Act Of 1933, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr. Jan 2001

The Overwhelming Case For Elimination Of The Integration Doctrine Under The Securities Act Of 1933, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr.

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The thesis of this Article is that the Securities and Exchange Commission should entirely eliminate the integration doctrine from the Securities Act of1933. Under the integration doctrine, a single "offering" or "issue" of securities cannot be split. The doctrine is expensive for society and furthers no valid policy of the 1933 Act. More specifically, the doctrine does not promote investor protection but does retard capital formation, an outcome that is contrary to the presently articulated purposes of the 1933 Act.

Part II of this Article traces the history of the adoption of the integration doctrine both by the Commission and ...


Seeking Sunlight In Santa Fe's Shadow: The Sec's Pursuit Of Managerial Accountability, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2001

Seeking Sunlight In Santa Fe's Shadow: The Sec's Pursuit Of Managerial Accountability, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

My aim in this paper is not to justify at length an expansive "new corporation law" perspective, though I do believe in it. Nor do I want to try to resolve a controversial question that the new learning admittedly leaves open: which jurisdictional body should set the disclosure and antifraud standards insofar as they are designed to promote better corporate governance? To say that corporate and securities law are largely unitary does not necessarily mean that centralization of authority in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) is the right choice. Perhaps the states, foreign countries, or stock exchanges ...


Untenable Status Of Corporate Governance Listing Standards Under The Securities Exchange Act, Douglas C. Michael Aug 1992

Untenable Status Of Corporate Governance Listing Standards Under The Securities Exchange Act, Douglas C. Michael

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

United States securities markets operate under a system of supervised self-regulation created by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act). That system includes substantive regulation of the traders and the issuers of securities traded in those markets through the use of listing standards.

These listing standards have a unique status. They are part of a self-regulatory system, but are not classic self-regulation. The markets do not govern the traders of which it consists; rather, it governs outsiders—the issuers. The markets and the Securities and Exchange Commissions have sought to control issuers in ways not clearly related to trading ...


The Case Beyond Time, Lyman P.Q. Johnson, David K. Millon Jan 1990

The Case Beyond Time, Lyman P.Q. Johnson, David K. Millon

Scholarly Articles

The Delaware Supreme Court's opinion in Paramount Communications, Inc. v. Time, Inc.' treats several important questions that arise in connection with hostile corporate takeovers. At the same time, it leaves three critical issues unanswered. In this article, we first briefly describe what the Time decision did, comparing Chancellor William Allen's somewhat discursive Chancery Court opinion with the more peremptory ruling of the Supreme Court. Next, we identify three unarticulated but potentially far-reaching implications of both the Supreme Court's and Chancellor Allen's reasoning that threaten to destabilize seemingly settled doctrine governing the conduct of target company management.