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Full-Text Articles in Law

Countercyclical Regulation And Its Challenges, Patricia A. Mccoy Jul 2016

Countercyclical Regulation And Its Challenges, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Historically, U.S. financial regulation has normally been procyclical, with federal regulators and Congress relaxing oversight during bull markets and cracking down once financial crises hit. After 2008, the wisdom of this approach came under attack. Critics argued that procyclical regulation left financial institutions undercapitalized and unable to withstand panics. Other critics asserted that economic downturns could be mitigated and even averted if regulators took steps to puncture asset bubbles. The concept of countercyclical regulation responds to both of these critiques. This new approach posits that financial regulation would be more effective if financial regulation clamped down during financial expansions ...


The Home Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis: Lessons Learned, Patricia A. Mccoy Jan 2014

The Home Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis: Lessons Learned, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

From 2007 through 2011, the United States housing market suffered a severe imbalance in supply and demand due to an excessive number both of foreclosed homes and homes awaiting foreclosure in the shadow housing inventory. Foreclosure prevention can help reduce the shadow housing inventory by keeping troubled mortgages from entering that inventory to begin with. The loan modification experience post-2008 yielded four main lessons about the best way to optimize foreclosure prevention. First, servicers should design loan modifications to lower monthly payments, including through principal reduction whenever appropriate. Second, servicers should evaluate loss mitigation as soon as possible following delinquency ...


Keeping Tabs On Financial Innovation: Product Identifiers In Consumer Financial Regulation, Patricia A. Mccoy, Daniel Carpenter Jan 2013

Keeping Tabs On Financial Innovation: Product Identifiers In Consumer Financial Regulation, Patricia A. Mccoy, Daniel Carpenter

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The financial crisis of 2008 gave rise to renewed discussion about whether financial innovations should undergo higher scrutiny for potential harm and, if so, what type? In this Article, the authors propose a new system for monitoring financial innovations through a system of registration, data collection and analysis using unique product identifiers. Creating product identifiers would increase monitoring abilities substantially at relatively low cost by facilitating the linkage of separate databases. The assignment of unique product identifiers would also minimize errors in the identification and classification of different financial products. These identifiers would be available to both the government and ...


Barriers To Foreclosure Prevention During The Financial Crisis, Patricia A. Mccoy Jan 2013

Barriers To Foreclosure Prevention During The Financial Crisis, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The number of modifications to distressed residential loans following the 2008 financial crisis has been disappointingly low compared to the number of foreclosures. This raises concerns about the presence of artificial barriers to loan modifications in situations where foreclosure should be avoidable. There are three pressing reasons to care about what the real barriers to foreclosure prevention are. First, foreclosures that could have been avoided inflict enormous, needless losses on borrowers, investors, and society at large. Second, overcoming artificial barriers to foreclosure prevention will result in loan modifications with higher rates of success. Finally, knowing what to fix is necessary ...


Securitization And Systemic Risk Amid Deregulation And Regulatory Failure, Patricia A. Mccoy, Andrey D. Pavlov, Susan M. Wachter May 2009

Securitization And Systemic Risk Amid Deregulation And Regulatory Failure, Patricia A. Mccoy, Andrey D. Pavlov, Susan M. Wachter

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

During the recent housing boom, private-label securitization without regulation was unsustainable. Without regulation, securitization allowed mortgage industry actors to gain fees and to put off risks. The ability to pass off risk allowed lenders and securitizers to compete for market share by lowering their lending standards, which activated more borrowing. Lenders who did not join in the easing of lending standards were crowded out of the market. Meanwhile, the mortgages underlying securities became more exposed to growing default risk, but investors did not receive higher rates of return. Artificially low risk premia caused the asset price of houses to go ...


The Failure Of Private Ordering And The Financial Crisis Of 2008, Brian J.M. Quinn Apr 2009

The Failure Of Private Ordering And The Financial Crisis Of 2008, Brian J.M. Quinn

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article analyzes the Financial Crisis of 2008 in the context of failures by market participants to engage in private ordering thus leading to opportunistic behavior at the expense of market stability. The Financial Crisis of 2008 offers a decidedly negative verdict on a decades-long project to deregulate financial markets and rely on private ordering mechanisms, including securitization and default swaps, to mitigate opportunistic behavior and improve market efficiency. Although the regulatory approach of the past two decades, which relied in great measure on private parties fending for themselves, helped to generate a number of innovations and positive developments in ...


A New Role For The International Monetary Fund In A New World Economic Order, Cynthia C. Lichtenstein Nov 2008

A New Role For The International Monetary Fund In A New World Economic Order, Cynthia C. Lichtenstein

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The IMF must change to deal with its new functions in a changed world of interconnected global financial markets. The piece first describes the Fund's mandated process of internal reform as of the time the paper was given (2007). It then summarizes the recommendations of Mervyn Kind, Governor of the Bank of England (in a talk he gave in India) as to how the Fund should change its oversight of the functioning of the international monetary system.


Justice, The Bretton Woods Institutions And The Problem Of Inequality, Frank J. Garcia Jun 2008

Justice, The Bretton Woods Institutions And The Problem Of Inequality, Frank J. Garcia

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The Bretton Woods Institutions are, together with the WTO, the preeminent international institutions devoted to managing international economic relations. This mandate puts them squarely in the center of the debate concerning development, inequality and global justice. While the normative analysis of the WTO is gaining momentum, the systematic normative evaluation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund is comparatively less developed. This essay aims to contribute to that nascent inquiry. How might global justice criteria apply to the ideology and operations of the Bank and Fund? Political theory offers an abundance of perspectives from which to conduct such ...


The Impact Of Predatory Lending Laws: Policy Implications And Insights, Patricia A. Mccoy, Raphael Bostic, Kathleen C. Engel, Anthony Pennington-Cross, Susan Wachter Jan 2008

The Impact Of Predatory Lending Laws: Policy Implications And Insights, Patricia A. Mccoy, Raphael Bostic, Kathleen C. Engel, Anthony Pennington-Cross, Susan Wachter

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Over half the states and several localities have enacted statutes and ordinances to regulate abuses in the residential mortgage market. The effect of these statutes is a matter of debate. This paper seeks to improve the understanding of this increasingly important issue and pays particular attention to the role that legal enforcement mechanisms play in this context.

We created a legal index of laws governing mortgage lending terms and practices, giving each state an overall score for the strength of its laws. In addition, we disaggregated the index to create sub-indices along three dimensions: (1) the scope of loans covered ...


Turning A Blind Eye: Wall Street Finance Of Predatory Lending, Kathleen C. Engel, Patricia A. Mccoy Mar 2007

Turning A Blind Eye: Wall Street Finance Of Predatory Lending, Kathleen C. Engel, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Today, Wall Street finances up to eighty percent of subprime home loans through securitization. The subprime sector, which is designed for borrowers with blemished credit, has been dogged by predatory lending charges, many of which have been substantiated. As subprime securitization has grown, so have charges that securitization turns a blind eye to financing abusive loans. In this paper, we examine why secondary market discipline has failed to halt the securitization of predatory loans.

When investors buy securities backed by predatory loans, they face a classic lemons problem in the form of credit risk, prepayment risk, and litigation risk. Securitization ...


Predatory Lending And Community Development At Loggerheads, Patricia A. Mccoy, Kathleen C. Engel Jan 2007

Predatory Lending And Community Development At Loggerheads, Patricia A. Mccoy, Kathleen C. Engel

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

For decades, cities have invested in decaying neighborhoods, leading to increases in home values and home equity. As a result, these neighborhoods have become ready targets for predatory lenders, who market their abusive loans to financially unsophisticated homeowners with home equity and no relationships with traditional lenders. Some borrowers lose their homes; others forsake home repairs to avoid default and foreclosure. Neighborhoods that once were stable become littered with abandoned and neglected homes, resulting in increased crime, falling home values, rising demands for social services, and lower tax revenues.

In the wake of the devastation done by predatory lenders, the ...


Rethinking Disclosure In A World Of Risk-Based Pricing, Patricia A. Mccoy Jan 2007

Rethinking Disclosure In A World Of Risk-Based Pricing, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The residential mortgage market in the United States has changed significantly since the passage of current federal mortgage disclosure laws in the 1960s and 1970s. In this Article, Professor Patricia McCoy advocates for the reform of these traditional disclosure rules. After describing the evolution of the subprime mortgage market and providing a description of current federal disclosure laws, she explores how these new market dynamics cause the traditional disclosure rules to break down in the subprime market. Professor McCoy concludes with proposals to counteract false advertising practices, facilitate "meaningful comparison-shopping, and formulate streamlined disclosures addressing loan applicants' greatest concerns in ...


Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells Dec 2006

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper recounts a number of lessons learned in the course of serving as the Director of Public Charities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It incorporates these lessons into a discussion of the proper analysis of charitable organizations. Should charities be analogized to for-profit firms or are they something that is essentially different? The paper argues that they lack many of the attributes of Coasian firms and that they should be considered as “consumption groups” that have different methods of accountability.


Too Big To Fail: Moral Hazard In Auditing And The Need To Restructure The Industry Before It Unravels, Lawrence A. Cunningham Sep 2006

Too Big To Fail: Moral Hazard In Auditing And The Need To Restructure The Industry Before It Unravels, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Large audit firms may believe that they are too big to fail. Arthur Andersen’s 2002 criminal indictment reduced their number from five to four, and the government decided in 2005 to avoid indicting KPMG for crimes it admitted committing. If audit firms interpret the government’s reluctance to indict as signaling aversion to tough action against them, moral hazard arises. This offsets auditing improvements mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that are designed to strengthen auditors’ reputations with managers for thoroughness and improve financial statement reliability. Neutralizing this moral hazard requires a credible alternative industry structure so that ...


The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown May 2006

The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The federal gratuities statute, 18 USC § 201(c), continues to be a source of confusion and contention. The confusion stems largely from problems of draftsmanship within the statute, as well as uncertainty concerning the relationship of the gratuities offense to bribery. Both offenses are contained in the same statute; the former is often seen as a lesser-included offense variety of the latter. The controversy stems from broader concerns about whether the receipt of gratuities by public officials, even from those they regulate, should be a crime. The argument that such conduct should not be criminalized can be traced to, and ...


Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham May 2006

Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) structures information in documentary systems ranging from financial reports to medical records and business contracts. XML standards for specific applications are developed spontaneously by self-appointed technologists or entrepreneurs. XML’s social and economic stakes are considerable, especially when developed for the private law of contracts. XML can reduce transaction costs but also limit the range of contractual expression and redefine the nature of law practice. So reliance on spontaneous development may be sub-optimal and identification of a more formal public standard setting model necessary. To exploit XML’s advantages while minimizing risks, this Article envisions creating ...


Conflict Of Laws For Transactions In Securities Held Through Intermediaries, James S. Rogers Apr 2006

Conflict Of Laws For Transactions In Securities Held Through Intermediaries, James S. Rogers

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The evolution of the modern system of securities holding through intermediaries poses particularly difficult conflict of laws issues. The traditional approach to conflict of laws suggests that the law governing a transaction in securities is determined by the location of the securities; yet under modern conditions it is difficult in practice, if not impossible in theory, to determine that location. A recent project of the Hague Conference on Private International Law has confronted these problems and devised a workable, modern approach. For any such project to succeed, lawyers must be willing to abandon traditional concepts of conflict of laws such ...


Who Owns The Local Church? A Pressing Issue For Dioceses In Bankruptcy, Catharine P. Wells Nov 2005

Who Owns The Local Church? A Pressing Issue For Dioceses In Bankruptcy, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The recent bankruptcies of Catholic Dioceses are unprecedented. For the first time, Bankruptcy Courts must deal with the difficult question of who owns the parish church. In this paper, I will explore two possible sources of confusion about this question. The first is the non- commercial, charitable nature of the Church. The second is its organizational complexity. Resolving the confusion requires a familiarity with various different sources of law including charities law, bankruptcy law, trust law, and Canon Law. In this paper I address this issue by: 1. discussing why the equities and policies that govern charitable bankruptcies are different ...


A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield Jun 2005

A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Written for the recent conference at St. John’s University Law School on “People of Color, Women, and the Public Corporation,” this paper evaluates recently applied methods of influencing corporate behavior on employment practices and recommends that a dormant legal doctrine be revitalized and added to the “tool box” of activists and concerned shareholders. The methods of influencing corporate behavior that are evaluated include class action lawsuits and shareholder proposals to amend corporate policy. In both contexts, there are procedural hurdles to achieving success. Even when success is achieved, there are limits to the actual changes in organizational behavior that ...


Private Standards In Public Law: Copyright, Lawmaking And The Case Of Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham Mar 2005

Private Standards In Public Law: Copyright, Lawmaking And The Case Of Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Government increasingly leverages its regulatory function by embodying in law standards that are promulgated and copyrighted by non-governmental organizations. Departures from such standards expose citizens to criminal, civil and administrative sanctions, yet private actors generate, control and limit access to them. Despite governmental ambitions, no one is responsible for evaluating the legitimacy of this approach and no framework exists to facilitate analysis. This Article contributes an analytical framework and, for the federal government, nominates the Director of the Federal Register to implement it. Analysis is animated using among the oldest and broadest examples of this pervasive but stealthy phenomenon: embodiment ...


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 ...


A Behavioral Analysis Of Predatory Lending, Patricia A. Mccoy Jan 2005

A Behavioral Analysis Of Predatory Lending, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jan 2005

Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Intellectual tension between the fields of finance and accounting may help to explain explosion of public company frauds. Finance theory diminishes the relevance of accounting information. Enron exploited this consequence while the SEC bought into it. After widespread frauds were exposed, Congress passed laws that address symptoms of finance's futurism, not disease. Laws essentially prohibit pro forma financial reporting and regulate the selective flow of futuristic information to financial analysts. Untouched is the underlying disease of regulatory mandates requiring extensive disclosure of forward-looking information. Until the 1970s, the SEC prudently prohibited such futuristic disclosure as inherently unreliable; assisted by ...


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 ...


Sarbanes-Oxley And The Role Of Lawyers In Public Companies, Lawrence A. Cunningham Apr 2003

Sarbanes-Oxley And The Role Of Lawyers In Public Companies, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations

No abstract provided.


Realigning Auditors' Incentives, Patricia A. Mccoy Apr 2003

Realigning Auditors' Incentives, Patricia A. Mccoy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


A Tale Of Three Markets Revisited, Patricia A. Mccoy, Kathleen C. Engel Jan 2003

A Tale Of Three Markets Revisited, Patricia A. Mccoy, Kathleen C. Engel

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


One Nation Among Many: Policy Implications Of Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage, Diane M. Ring Dec 2002

One Nation Among Many: Policy Implications Of Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage, Diane M. Ring

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Cross-border tax arbitrage arises where a transaction is subject to two or more countries’ differing tax regimes. Conflicts between the tax rules create unique opportunities for the parties to engage in profitable tax planning – opportunities that would not be available if the transaction occurred entirely domestically in one of the countries. These opportunities have been a growing feature of the multi-jurisdictional business world and have raised issues concerning whether and how countries, such as the United States, should respond. This Article examines cross-border tax arbitrage in the context of both domestic tax policy and of other international tax issues, and ...


The Law And Economics Of Remedies For Predatory Lending, Patricia A. Mccoy, Kathleen C. Engel Jan 2001

The Law And Economics Of Remedies For Predatory Lending, Patricia A. Mccoy, Kathleen C. Engel

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.