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Full-Text Articles in Law

Synthetic Governance, Byung Hyun Anh, Jill E. Fisch, Panos N. Patatoukas, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jul 2020

Synthetic Governance, Byung Hyun Anh, Jill E. Fisch, Panos N. Patatoukas, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Scholars, practitioners and policymakers continue to debate what constitutes “good” corporate governance. Academic efforts to evaluate the effect of governance provisions such as dual class voting structures, staggered boards of directors and separating the positions of CEO and Chairman of the Board, have produced inconsistent or inconclusive results. The consequence is that the debate over corporate governance is increasingly political and discordant.

We offer a way to address this debate. The rise of index-based investing provides a market-based alternative to governance regulation. Through the creation of bespoke governance index funds, asset managers can offer investors the opportunity to choose an ...


Private Company Lies, Elizabeth Pollman Mar 2020

Private Company Lies, Elizabeth Pollman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Rule 10b-5’s antifraud catch-all is one of the most consequential pieces of American administrative law and most highly developed areas of judicially-created federal law. Although the rule broadly prohibits securities fraud in both public and private company stock, the vast majority of jurisprudence, and the voluminous academic literature that accompanies it, has developed through a public company lens.

This Article illuminates how the explosive growth of private markets has left huge portions of U.S. capital markets with relatively light securities fraud scrutiny and enforcement. Some of the largest private companies by valuation grow in an environment of extreme ...


Law Professor Comment Letter On Harmonization Of Private Offering Rules, Elisabeth D. De Fontenay, Erik F. Gerding, John Coffee, Jr., James D. Cox, Stephen F. Diamond, Merritt B. Fox, Michael Guttentag, Colleen Honigsberg, Renee M. Jones, Donald Langevoort, Saule T. Omarova, James Park, Jeff Schwartz, Andrew F. Tuch, Urska Velikonja Sep 2019

Law Professor Comment Letter On Harmonization Of Private Offering Rules, Elisabeth D. De Fontenay, Erik F. Gerding, John Coffee, Jr., James D. Cox, Stephen F. Diamond, Merritt B. Fox, Michael Guttentag, Colleen Honigsberg, Renee M. Jones, Donald Langevoort, Saule T. Omarova, James Park, Jeff Schwartz, Andrew F. Tuch, Urska Velikonja

Research Data

Comment letter filed on Sept. 24, 2019.

"File No. S7-08-19"

"We are fifteen law professors whose scholarship and teaching focuses on securities regulation. We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC” or the “Commission”) Concept Release on Harmonization of Securities Offering Exemptions (the “Concept Release”)."


Concept Release On Harmonization Of Securities Offering Exemptions; File Number S7-08-19, Robert Anderson, Samantha Prince, John Neil Conkle, Sarah Zomaya Sep 2019

Concept Release On Harmonization Of Securities Offering Exemptions; File Number S7-08-19, Robert Anderson, Samantha Prince, John Neil Conkle, Sarah Zomaya

Faculty Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Regulating Offshore Finance, William J. Moon Jan 2019

Regulating Offshore Finance, William J. Moon

Faculty Scholarship

From the Panama Papers to the Paradise Papers, massive document leaks in recent years have exposed trillions of dollars hidden in small offshore jurisdictions. Attracting foreign capital with low tax rates and environments of secrecy, a growing number of offshore jurisdictions have emerged as major financial havens hosting thousands of hedge funds, trusts, banks, and insurance companies.

While the prevailing account has examined offshore financial havens as “tax havens” that facilitate the evasion or avoidance of domestic tax, this Article uncovers how offshore jurisdictions enable corporations to evade domestic regulatory law. Specifically, recent U.S. Supreme Court cases restricting the ...


Center-Left Politics And Corporate Governance: What Is The 'Progressive' Agenda?, Christopher Bruner Jan 2018

Center-Left Politics And Corporate Governance: What Is The 'Progressive' Agenda?, Christopher Bruner

Scholarly Works

For as long as corporations have existed, debates have persisted among scholars, judges, and policymakers regarding how best to describe their form and function as a positive matter, and how best to organize relations among their various stakeholders as a normative matter. This is hardly surprising given the economic and political stakes involved with control over vast and growing "corporate" resources, and it has become commonplace to speak of various approaches to corporate law in decidedly political terms. In particular, on the fundamental normative issue of the aims to which corporate decision-making ought to be directed, shareholder-centric conceptions of the ...


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 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 ...


A Canadian Model Of Corporate Governance: Where Do Shareholders Really Stand?, Carol Liao Jan 2014

A Canadian Model Of Corporate Governance: Where Do Shareholders Really Stand?, Carol Liao

Faculty Publications

This feature article in the Director Journal summarizes the findings from the report, "A Canadian Model of Corporate Governance: Insights from Canada's Leading Legal Practitioners," produced for the Canadian Foundation for Governance Research and the Institute of Corporate Directors (also available on SSRN).

In the report, interviews were conducted with 32 leading senior legal practitioners across Canada to opine on the fundamental principles that are driving the development of Canadian corporate governance. The report found that Canadian common law has made the process of considering stakeholders in the "best interests of the corporation" more overt, well beyond what is ...


A Canadian Model Of Corporate Governance, Carol Liao Jan 2014

A Canadian Model Of Corporate Governance, Carol Liao

Faculty Publications

What is Canada’s actual legal model to govern its corporations? Recent landmark judicial decisions indicate Canada is shifting away from an Anglo-American definition of shareholder primacy. Yet the Canadian securities commissions have become increasingly influential in the governance sphere, and by nature are shareholder-focused. Shareholders’ rights have increased well beyond what was ever contemplated by Canadian corporate laws, and the issue of greater shareholder vs. board control has now become the topic of live debate. The future of Canada's overall model seems to rest on what will be more compelling: the constancy of the corporate statutes and trajectory ...


'Quack Corporate Governance' As Traditional Chinese Medicine – The Securities Regulation Cannibalization Of China's Corporate Law And A State Regulator's Battle Against Party State Political Economic Power, Nicholas C. Howson Jan 2014

'Quack Corporate Governance' As Traditional Chinese Medicine – The Securities Regulation Cannibalization Of China's Corporate Law And A State Regulator's Battle Against Party State Political Economic Power, Nicholas C. Howson

Articles

From the start of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) “corporatization ” project in the late 1980s, a Chinese corporate governance regime subject to increasingly enabling legal norms has been determined by mandatory regulations imposed by the PRC securities regulator, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). Indeed, the Chinese corporate law system has been cannibalized by all - encompassing securities regulation directed at corporate governance, at least for companies with listed stock. This Article traces the path of that sustained intervention and makes a case — wholly contrary to the “quack corporate governance” critique much aired in the United States — that ...


The New Investor, Tom C. W. Lin Jan 2013

The New Investor, Tom C. W. Lin

UF Law Faculty Publications

A sea change is happening in finance. Machines appear to be on the rise and humans on the decline. Human endeavors have become unmanned endeavors. Human thought and human deliberation have been replaced by computerized analysis and mathematical models. Technological advances have made finance faster, larger, more global, more interconnected, and less human. Modern finance is becoming an industry in which the main players are no longer entirely human. Instead, the key players are now cyborgs: part machine, part human. Modern finance is transforming into what this Article calls cyborg finance.

This Article offers one of the first broad, descriptive ...


“Publicness” In Contemporary Securities Regulation After The Jobs Act, Donald C. Langevoort, Robert B. Thompson Jan 2013

“Publicness” In Contemporary Securities Regulation After The Jobs Act, Donald C. Langevoort, Robert B. Thompson

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The JOBS Act of 2012 reflects the largest deregulatory change to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 over its more than 75 year history. It contracts the coverage of those companies subject to the obligations of ‘publicness” and it introduces an “on ramp” that will permit most newly-public companies to meet a lesser set of disclosure, internal control and governance obligations for up to five years. We set these changes against a larger discussion of when a private enterprise should be forced to take on public status in securities regulation, a topic that has been entirely under theorized. We conclude ...


The Long Road Back: Business Roundtable And The Future Of Sec Rulemaking, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2013

The Long Road Back: Business Roundtable And The Future Of Sec Rulemaking, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Securities and Exchange Commission has suffered a number of recent setbacks in areas ranging from enforcement policy to rulemaking. The DC Circuit’s 2011 Business Roundtable decision is one of the most serious, particularly in light of the heavy rulemaking obligations imposed on the SEC by Dodd-Frank and the JOBS Act. The effectiveness of the SEC in future rulemaking and the ability of its rules to survive legal challenge are currently under scrutiny.

This article critically evaluates the Business Roundtable decision in the context of the applicable statutory and structural constraints on SEC rulemaking. Toward that end, the essay ...


A Changing Mosaic In Sec Regulation And Enforcement: Broker-Dealers And Investment Advisers, Douglas M. Branson Jan 2013

A Changing Mosaic In Sec Regulation And Enforcement: Broker-Dealers And Investment Advisers, Douglas M. Branson

Articles

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act directed the SEC to study the issue of whether the Commission should, by regulation, decree broker-dealers (“registered representatives”) subject to the same fiduciary standards applicable to investment advisers, applicable at least since SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, 385 U.S. 180 (1963). The SEC completed such a study in 2011, predictably recommending that the Commission exercise the authority Dodd-Frank had given it, namely, waving its wand, declaring brokers fiduciaries. Many able academics and regulators have adumbrated the pros and the cons of such a regulatory step. To date, however, the SEC has done nothing, undoubtedly ...


Executive Trade Secrets, Tom C.W. Lin Jan 2012

Executive Trade Secrets, Tom C.W. Lin

UF Law Faculty Publications

The law discriminates among a corporation’s secrets. In the eyes of the law, commercial secrets of corporations are legitimate secrets that deserve legal protection and nondisclosure, but personal secrets of executives are not as deserving of legal protection and nondisclosure. This divergent treatment of secrets has resulted in a legal landscape of perplexing, paradoxical paths for corporations and executives concerning executive disclosures — a precarious landscape that has left corporations and investors dangerously susceptible to revelations of private facts that shock market valuation and institutional stability.

This Article explores this divergent treatment of secrets in the context of public corporations ...


Facebook, The Jobs Act, And Abolishing Ipos, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2012

Facebook, The Jobs Act, And Abolishing Ipos, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Initial public offerings (IPOs)-the first sale of private firms' stock to the public-are a bellwether of investor sentiment. Investors must be bullish if they are putting their money into untested start-ups. IPOs are frequently cited in the business press as a key barometer of the health of financial markets. Politicians, too, see a steady flow of IPOs as an indicator that capital is fueling the entrepreneurial initiative that sustains the growth of new businesses. Growing businesses create jobs, so Republicans and Democrats can find common ground on the importance of promoting IPOs. That bipartisan consensus was on display this ...


A Behavioral Framework For Securities Risk, Tom C.W. Lin Jan 2011

A Behavioral Framework For Securities Risk, Tom C.W. Lin

UF Law Faculty Publications

This article provides the first critical analysis and redesign of the existing securities risk disclosure framework given new insights from the emerging, interdisciplinary field of behavioral economics. Disclosure is the principle at the heart of federal securities regulation. Beneath that core principle of disclosure is the basic assumption that the reasonable investor is the idealized über-rational person of neoclassical economic theory. Therefore, once armed with the requisite information investors presumably can protect themselves through rational choice. Descriptively, however, real investors are not like their rational, neoclassical kin. This article examines this incongruence between the idealized rational investor and the imperfect ...


The Power Of Proxy Advisors: Myth Or Reality?, Stephen Choi, Jill E. Fisch, Marcel Kahan Jan 2010

The Power Of Proxy Advisors: Myth Or Reality?, Stephen Choi, Jill E. Fisch, Marcel Kahan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent regulatory changes increasing shareholder voting authority have focused attention on the role of proxy advisors. In particular, greater shareholder empowerment raises the question of how much proxy advisors influence voting outcomes. This Article analyzes the significance of voting recommendations issued by four proxy advisory firms in connection with uncontested director elections. We find, consistent with press reports, that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) is the most powerful proxy advisor and that, of the others, only Glass, Lewis & Co. seems to have a meaningful impact on shareholder voting. This Article also attempts to measure the impact of voting recommendations on voting ...


Legitimacy And Corporate Law: The Case For Regulatory Redundancy, Renee M. Jones Aug 2009

Legitimacy And Corporate Law: The Case For Regulatory Redundancy, Renee M. Jones

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article provides a democratic assessment of the corporate law making structure in the United States. It draws upon the basic democratic principle that those affected by legal rules should have a voice in determining the substance of those rules. Although other commentators have noted certain undemocratic aspects of corporate law, this Article is the first to present a comprehensive assessment of the corporate regulatory structure from the perspective of democracy. It departs from prior accounts by looking past the states' role to consider the ways that federal regulation shores up the legitimacy of the overarching structure. This focus on ...


Stoneridge Investment Partners V. Scientific-Atlanta: The Political Economy Of Securities Class Action Reform, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2008

Stoneridge Investment Partners V. Scientific-Atlanta: The Political Economy Of Securities Class Action Reform, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

I begin in Part II by explaining the wrong turn that the Court took in Basic. The Basic Court misunderstood the function of the reliance element and its relation to the question of damages. As a result, the securities class action regime established in Basic threatens draconian sanctions with limited deterrent benefit. Part III then summarizes the cases leading up to Stoneridge and analyzes the Court's reasoning in that case. In Stoneridge, like the decisions interpreting the reliance requirement of Rule 10b-5 that came before it, the Court emphasized policy implications. Sometimes policy implications are invoked to broaden the ...


Hedge Funds In Corporate Governance And Corporate Control, Marcel Kahan, Edward B. Rock May 2007

Hedge Funds In Corporate Governance And Corporate Control, Marcel Kahan, Edward B. Rock

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Hedge funds have become critical players in both corporate governance and corporate control. In this article, we document and examine the nature of hedge fund activism, how and why it differs from activism by traditional institutional investors, and its implications for corporate governance and regulatory reform. We argue that hedge fund activism differs from activism by traditional institutions in several ways: it is directed at significant changes in individual companies (rather than small, systemic changes), it entails higher costs, and it is strategic and ex ante (rather than intermittent and ex post). The reasons for these differences may lie in ...


The Irrational Auditor And Irrational Liability, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2006

The Irrational Auditor And Irrational Liability, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

This Article argues that less liability for auditors in certain areas might encourage more accurate and useful financial statements, or at least equally accurate statements at a lower cost. Audit quality is promoted by three incentives: reputation, regulation, and litigation. When we take reputation and regulation into account, exposing auditors to potentially massive liability may undermine the effectiveness of reputation and regulation, thereby diminishing integrity of audited financial statements. The relation of litigation to the other incentives that promote audit quality has become more important in light of the sea change that occurred in the regulation of the auditing profession ...


The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jan 2005

The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations

These articles evaluate using financial statement insurance (FSI) to reduce the frequency and magnitude of audit failure. The FSI concept was pioneered by Josh Ronen, NYU Accounting Professor, who has modeled its economic aspects. My paper examines FSI’s efficacy from policy and legal perspectives. I conclude that while the model is not perfect, it promises considerable advantages over the current model. While some of the existing system’s imperfections are sustained or reappear in different guises, none of the existing imperfections appears to be aggravated and the rest likely are mitigated significantly. So I prescribe a framework to permit ...


Improving The Efficiency Of The Angel Finance Market: A Proposal To Expand The Intermediary Role Of Finders In The Private Capital Raising Setting, John L. Orcutt Jan 2005

Improving The Efficiency Of The Angel Finance Market: A Proposal To Expand The Intermediary Role Of Finders In The Private Capital Raising Setting, John L. Orcutt

Law Faculty Scholarship

The angel finance market is of critical importance to the financing and creation of rapid-growth start-ups, whose continuous creation plays a substantial role in the success of the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, the angel finance market suffers from systematic problems, including information and agency problems and high transaction costs, that limit its ability to adequately finance these rapid-growth start-ups. One reason for the angel market's inefficiency is the lack of meaningful financial intermediaries that operate in the market. One logical group that could serve a meaningful intermediary role in the angel market is finders. The current regulatory treatment of ...


A Model Financial Statement Insurance Act, Lawrence A. Cunningham Sep 2004

A Model Financial Statement Insurance Act, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Building on companion work investigating the efficacy of financial statement insurance (FSI) as an alternative to traditional auditor liability, this Article presents the terms of a national enabling statute to implement this concept. The Model Financial Statement Insurance Act uses the architecture of the U.S. Trust Indenture Act of 1939. It authorizes issuer application for qualification, in connection with annual proxy statement filings, of policies of financial statement insurance. The Model FSI Act deems a series of provisions necessary to achieve securities law objectives to be part of all financial statement insurance policies so proposed, and requires insurers to ...


Choosing Gatekeepers: The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2004

Choosing Gatekeepers: The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Positioned in a lively current debate concerning how to design auditor incentives to optimize financial statement auditing, this Article presents the more ambitious financial statement insurance alternative. This breaks from the existing securities regulation framework to draw directly on insurance markets and law. Based on upon an evaluation of major structural and policy-related features of the concept, the assessment prescribes a framework to permit companies, on an experimental-basis and with investor approval, to use financial statement insurance as an optional alternative to the existing model of financial statement auditing backed by auditor liability. The financial statement insurance concept, pioneered by ...


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 ...


Should Issuers Be On The Hook For Laddering? An Empirical Analysis Of The Ipo Market Manipulation Litigation, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi Jan 2004

Should Issuers Be On The Hook For Laddering? An Empirical Analysis Of The Ipo Market Manipulation Litigation, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi

Articles

On December 6, 2000, the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story exposing abuses in the market for initial public offerings (IPOs). The story revealed "tie-in" agreements between investment banks and initial investors seeking to participate in "hot" offerings. Under those agreements, initial investors would commit to buy additional shares of the offering company's stock in secondary market trading in return for allocations of shares in the IPO. As the Wall Street Journal related, those "[c]ommitments to buy in the after-market lock in demand for additional stock at levels above the IPO price. As such, they provide the ...


Schreiber V. Burlington Northern, Inc., Lewis F. Powell Jr. Oct 1984

Schreiber V. Burlington Northern, Inc., Lewis F. Powell Jr.

Supreme Court Case Files

No abstract provided.