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Why Financial Regulation Keeps Falling Short, Dan Awrey, Kathryn Judge Jan 2020

Why Financial Regulation Keeps Falling Short, Dan Awrey, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This article argues that there is a fundamental mismatch between the nature of finance and current approaches to financial regulation. Today’s financial system is a dynamic and complex ecosystem. For these and other reasons, policy makers and market actors regularly have only a fraction of the information that may be pertinent to decisions they are making. The processes governing financial regulation, however, implicitly assume a high degree of knowability, stability, and predictability. Through two case studies and other examples, this article examines how this mismatch undermines financial stability and other policy aims. This examination further reveals that the procedural ...


A Better Financing System? The Death – And Possible Rebirth – Of The Presidential Nomination Public Financing Program, Richard Briffault Jan 2019

A Better Financing System? The Death – And Possible Rebirth – Of The Presidential Nomination Public Financing Program, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

In 1974 Congress authorized public funding for presidential nomination campaigns. Public funding was crucial to Jimmy Carter’s nomination in 1976 and to Ronald Reagan’s nearly successful campaign the same year, and continued to be an important factor in presidential nomination contests for more than two decades after that. But no major candidate has used the program since 2004. Due the program’s built-in limitations, changes in the nomination process, and campaign finance developments, the program is completely irrelevant today.

It has been argued that the program isn’t really needed. Although one argument for public funding is that ...


Corporate Governance For Sustainability, Andrew Johnston, Jeroen Veldman, Robert G. Eccles, Simon Deakin, Jerry Davis, Marie-Laure Djelic, Katharina Pistor, Blanche Segrestin, William M. Gentry, Cynthia A. Williams, David Millon, Paddy Ireland, Beate Sjåfjell, Christopher M. Bruner, Lorraine E. Talbot, Hugh Christopher Willmott, Charlotte Villiers, Carol Liao, Bertrand Valiorgue, Jason Glynos, Todd L. Sayre, Bronwen Morgan, Rick Wartzman, Prem Sikka, Filip Gregor, David Carroll Jacobs, Roger Gill, Roger Brown, Vincenzo Bavoso, Neil Lancastle, Julie Matthaei, Scott Taylor, Ulf Larsson-Olaison, Jay Cullen, Alan J. Dignam, Thomas Wuil Joo, Ciarán O'Kelly, Con Keating, Roman Tomasic, Simon Lilley, Kevin Tennent, Keith Robson, Willy Maley, Iris H-Y Chiu, Ewan Mcgaughey, Chris Rees, Nina Boeger, Adam Leaver, Marc T. Moore, Leen Paape, Alan D. Meyer, Marcello Palazzi, Nitasha Kaul, Juan Felipe Espinosa-Cristia, Timothy Kuhn, David J. Cooper, Susanne Soederberg, Andreas Jansson, Susan Watson, Ofer Sitbon, Joan Loughrey, David Collison, Maureen Mcculloch, Navajyoti Samanta, Daniel J.H. Greenwood, Grahame F. Thompson, Andrew R. Keay, Alessia Contu, Andreas Rühmkorf, Richard Hull, Irene-Marie Esser, Nihel Chabrak Jan 2019

Corporate Governance For Sustainability, Andrew Johnston, Jeroen Veldman, Robert G. Eccles, Simon Deakin, Jerry Davis, Marie-Laure Djelic, Katharina Pistor, Blanche Segrestin, William M. Gentry, Cynthia A. Williams, David Millon, Paddy Ireland, Beate Sjåfjell, Christopher M. Bruner, Lorraine E. Talbot, Hugh Christopher Willmott, Charlotte Villiers, Carol Liao, Bertrand Valiorgue, Jason Glynos, Todd L. Sayre, Bronwen Morgan, Rick Wartzman, Prem Sikka, Filip Gregor, David Carroll Jacobs, Roger Gill, Roger Brown, Vincenzo Bavoso, Neil Lancastle, Julie Matthaei, Scott Taylor, Ulf Larsson-Olaison, Jay Cullen, Alan J. Dignam, Thomas Wuil Joo, Ciarán O'Kelly, Con Keating, Roman Tomasic, Simon Lilley, Kevin Tennent, Keith Robson, Willy Maley, Iris H-Y Chiu, Ewan Mcgaughey, Chris Rees, Nina Boeger, Adam Leaver, Marc T. Moore, Leen Paape, Alan D. Meyer, Marcello Palazzi, Nitasha Kaul, Juan Felipe Espinosa-Cristia, Timothy Kuhn, David J. Cooper, Susanne Soederberg, Andreas Jansson, Susan Watson, Ofer Sitbon, Joan Loughrey, David Collison, Maureen Mcculloch, Navajyoti Samanta, Daniel J.H. Greenwood, Grahame F. Thompson, Andrew R. Keay, Alessia Contu, Andreas Rühmkorf, Richard Hull, Irene-Marie Esser, Nihel Chabrak

Faculty Scholarship

The current model of corporate governance needs reform. There is mounting evidence that the practices of shareholder primacy drive company directors and executives to adopt the same short time horizon as financial markets. Pressure to meet the demands of the financial markets drives stock buybacks, excessive dividends and a failure to invest in productive capabilities. The result is a ‘tragedy of the horizon’, with corporations and their shareholders failing to consider environmental, social or even their own, long-term, economic sustainability.

With less than a decade left to address the threat of climate change, and with consensus emerging that businesses need ...


Long-Term Bias, Eric L. Talley, Michal Barzuza Jan 2019

Long-Term Bias, Eric L. Talley, Michal Barzuza

Faculty Scholarship

An emerging consensus in certain legal, business, and scholarly communities maintains that corporate managers are pressured unduly into chasing short-term gains at the expense of superior long-term prospects. The forces inducing managerial myopia are easy to spot, typically embodied by activist hedge funds and Wall Street gadflies with outsized appetites for next quarter’s earnings. Warnings about the dangers of “short termism” have become so well established, in fact, that they are now driving changes to mainstream practice, as courts, regulators and practitioners fashion legal and transactional constraints designed to insulate firms and managers from the influence of investor short-termism ...


Why Do Auditors Fail? What Might Work? What Won't?, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2019

Why Do Auditors Fail? What Might Work? What Won't?, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Auditing failures and scandals have become commonplace. In response, reformers (including the Kingman Review in the U.K and a recent report of the U.K.’s Competition and Market Authority) have proposed a variety of remedies, including prophylactic bans on auditors providing consulting services to their clients in the belief that this will minimize the conflicts of interest that produce auditing failures. Although useful, such reforms are already in place to a considerable degree and may have reached the point of diminishing returns. Moreover, this strategy does not address the deeper problem that clients (or their managements) may not ...


Being True To Trulia: Do Disclosure-Only Settlements In Merger Objection Lawsuits Harm Shareholders?, Eric L. Talley, Giuseppe Dari‐Mattiacci Jan 2019

Being True To Trulia: Do Disclosure-Only Settlements In Merger Objection Lawsuits Harm Shareholders?, Eric L. Talley, Giuseppe Dari‐Mattiacci

Faculty Scholarship

A significant debate within mergers and acquisitions law concerns the explosive popularity of the “merger objection lawsuit” (MOL), a shareholder action seeking to enjoin an announced deal on fiduciary duty grounds. MOLs blossomed during the Financial Crisis, becoming popularly associated with “shareholder shakedowns,” whereby quick-triggered plaintiff attorneys would file against – and then rapidly settle with – acquirers, typically on non-monetary terms containing modest added disclosures in exchange for blanket class releases and attorney fee awards. This practice unleashed a torrent of criticism from lawyers, commentators, academics, and (ultimately) judges, culminating in a doctrinal shift in Delaware law in the January 2016 ...


The New Mechanisms Of Market Inefficiency, Kathryn Judge Jan 2019

The New Mechanisms Of Market Inefficiency, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

Mechanisms of market inefficiency are some of the most important and least understood institutions in financial markets today. A growing body of empirical work reveals a strong and persistent demand for “safe assets,” financial instruments that are sufficiently low risk and opaque that holders readily accept them at face value. The production of such assets, and the willingness of holders to treat them as information insensitive, depends on the existence of mechanisms that promote faith in the value of the underlying assets while simultaneously discouraging information production specific to the value of those assets. Such mechanisms include private arrangements, like ...


Revising Boilerplate: A Comparison Of Private And Public Company Transactions, Stephen J. Choi, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2019

Revising Boilerplate: A Comparison Of Private And Public Company Transactions, Stephen J. Choi, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The phenomenon of “sticky boilerplate” causing inefficient contract terms to persist exists across a variety of commercial contract types. One explanation for this failure to revise suboptimal terms is that the key agents on these transactions, including attorneys and investment bankers, are short sighted; their incentives are to get the deal done rather than ensure that they are using the best terms possible for their clients. Moreover, these agents face a first mover disadvantage that deters unilateral revisions to inefficient terms. If agency costs are indeed driving the stickiness phenomenon, we expect that the pace of revision will vary across ...


The Origins Of A Capital Market Union In The United States, Jeffrey N. Gordon, Kathryn Judge Jan 2018

The Origins Of A Capital Market Union In The United States, Jeffrey N. Gordon, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

EU policy-makers have focused on the creation of a “Capital Market Union” to advance the economic vitality of the EU in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-09 and the Eurozone crisis of 2011-13. The hope is that EU-wide capital markets will help remedy the limitations in the EU’s pattern of bank-centered finance, which, despite the launch of the Banking Union, remains tied to Member States. Capital market development will provide alternative channels for finance, which will facilitate greater resiliency, more economic integration within the EU, and more choices for savers and firms. This chapter uses the ...


Regulation And Deregulation: The Baseline Challenge, Kathryn Judge Jan 2018

Regulation And Deregulation: The Baseline Challenge, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

A core challenge for financial regulation is how best to address the inherent dynamism of finance. The financial system is engineered to change. Periods of stability, evolving macroeconomic conditions, and regulation are among the forces driving the constant shape shifting of finance. As a result, rules established at Time A often have a different substantive effect at Time B. And because efforts to reduce the cost of complying with regulatory burdens, commonly known as regulatory arbitrage, are among the forces driving this change, a static regulatory regime will tend to be inherently deregulatory.

Currently, the processes through which the law ...


Guarantor Of Last Resort, Kathryn Judge Jan 2018

Guarantor Of Last Resort, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

The optimal response to a financial crisis entails addressing two, often conflicting, demands: stopping the panic and starting the clock. When short-term depositors flee, banks can be forced to sell assets at fire-sale prices, causing credit to contract and real economic activity to decline. To reduce these adverse spillover effects, policymakers routinely intervene to stop systemic runs. All too often, however, policymakers deploy stopgap measures that allow the underlying problems to fester. To promote long-term economic health, they must also ferret out the underlying problems and allocate the losses that cannot be avoided. A well-designed guarantor of last resort can ...


Economic Democracy And Enterprise Form In Finance, William H. Simon Jan 2018

Economic Democracy And Enterprise Form In Finance, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This comment – a contribution to a project on “democratizing finance” – considers the relative advantages of alternative enterprise forms from the point of view of public accountability. It compares the business corporation to the state agency or authority, the cooperative, the state corporation, and the charitable nonprofit. These forms can be distinguished in terms of whether they aspire to enhance general electoral democracy or stakeholder democracy and in terms of whether their democratic controls operate directly or indirectly. I suggest that the more indirect democratic forms may be more promising than the more direct ones. I also argue that the project ...


Valuation Disputes In Corporate Bankruptcy, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2018

Valuation Disputes In Corporate Bankruptcy, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Prior scholarship points to disagreements about valuation and judicial valuation error as key drivers of Chapter 11 outcomes. Avoiding valuation disputes and valuation errors is also the underlying driver of most proposed reforms, from Baird’s auctions to Bebchuk’s options. In this paper, we undertake a detailed examination of bankruptcy court opinions involving valuation disputes. Our paper has two goals. The first is to understand how parties and their expert witnesses justify their opposing views to the judge, and how judges decide between them. The second is to provide practical guidance to judges in resolving valuation disputes. We document ...


Finance In The Courtroom: Appraising Its Growing Pains, Eric L. Talley Jan 2017

Finance In The Courtroom: Appraising Its Growing Pains, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This short essay provides an overview of the current state of finance in corporate law, emphasizing its role in a series of pending appraisal cases at the Delaware Supreme Court.


The Utility Of Finance, Shlomit Azgad-Tromer, Eric L. Talley Jan 2017

The Utility Of Finance, Shlomit Azgad-Tromer, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Public Utilities Commissions (PUCs) are charged with regulating a public utility’s rates at levels that serve the public’s interest while allowing the utility’s investors to earn a rate commensurate with that expected by businesses facing similar risks. Although the process of adjusting rates for risk is a staple of modern finance, we know surprisingly little about how well accomplish their regulatory mandate when judged against the benchmarks of financial economics. This article analyzes a dozen years’ worth of gas and electric rate-setting decisions from PUCs in the United States and Canada, demonstrating empirically that allowed returns on ...


Appraisal Arbitrage And Shareholder Value, Scott Callahan, Darius Palia, Eric L. Talley Jan 2017

Appraisal Arbitrage And Shareholder Value, Scott Callahan, Darius Palia, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Post-merger appraisal rights have been the focus of heated controversy within mergers and acquisitions circles in recent years. Traditionally perceived as an arcane and cabalistic proceeding, the appraisal action has recently come to occupy center stage through the ascendancy of appraisal arbitrage-whereby investors purchase target-company shares shortly after an announcement principally to pursue appraisal. Such strategies became more feasible and profitable a decade ago, on the heels of two seemingly technocratic reforms in Delaware: (i) the statutory codification of prejudgment interest, pegging a presumptive rate at five percent above the federal discount rate; and (ii) the Transkaryotic opinion, which effectively ...


Investor-Driven Financial Innovation, Kathryn Judge Jan 2017

Investor-Driven Financial Innovation, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

Financial regulations often encourage or require market participants to hold particular types of financial assets. One unintended consequence of this form of regulation is that it can spur innovation to increase the effective supply of favored assets. This Article examines when and how changes in the law prompt the spread of “investor-driven financial innovations.” Weaving together theory, recent empirical findings, and illustrations, this Article provides an overview of why investors prefer certain types of financial assets to others, how markets respond, and how the spread of investor-driven innovations can transform the structure of the financial system. This examination suggests that ...


The Importance Of "Money", Kathryn Judge Jan 2017

The Importance Of "Money", Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

In a provocative new book, The Money Problem: Rethinking Financial Regulation, Professor Morgan Ricks argues that the government should reclaim control over money creation. Money, Ricks argues, is not just the cash in your pocket or the balance in your checking account. Instead, at least for purposes of financial stability policy, money is best equated with short-term debt. For most of the twentieth century, such debt was issued primarily by regulated commercial banks and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), resulting in a fairly stable financial system. As a result of financial innovation, however, much of today's ...


Information Gaps And Shadow Banking, Kathryn Judge Jan 2017

Information Gaps And Shadow Banking, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This Article argues that information gaps – pockets of information that are pertinent and knowable but not currently known – are a byproduct of shadow banking and a meaningful source of systemic risk. It lays the foundation for this claim by juxtaposing the regulatory regime governing the shadow banking system with the incentives of the market participants who populate that system. Like banks, shadow banks rely heavily on short-term debt claims designed to obviate the need for the holder to engage in any meaningful information gathering or analysis. The securities laws that prevail in the capital markets, however, both presume and depend ...


Beyond Options, Edward R. Morrison, Anthony J. Casey Jan 2016

Beyond Options, Edward R. Morrison, Anthony J. Casey

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars and policymakers now debate reforms that would prevent a bankruptcy filing from being a moment that forces valuation of the firm, crystallization of claims against it, and elimination of junior stakeholders’ interest in future appreciation in firm value. These reforms have many names, ranging from Relative Priority to Redemption Option Value. Much of the debate centers on the extent to which reform would protect the non-bankruptcy options of junior stakeholders, or harm the non-bankruptcy options of senior lenders. We argue that this focus on options misplaced. Protecting options is neither necessary nor sufficient for advancing the goal of a ...


Short-Termism And Long-Termism, Michal Barzuza, Eric L. Talley Jan 2016

Short-Termism And Long-Termism, Michal Barzuza, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

A significant debate in corporate law and finance concerns the role of activist investors (especially hedge funds) in corporate governance. Activists, it is often alleged, imprudently privilege short term earnings over superior (but less liquid) long term investments. Activists counter that they target managers who unjustifiably cling to questionable strategies. While this debate is hardly new, it has grown increasingly fractious of late. We analyze the activism debate within a theoretical securities-market setting. In our framework – which draws from an emerging literature in empirical and experimental finance – managers are differentially overconfident (causing them to favor long-term projects), while investors are ...


Information Gaps And Shadow Banking, Kathryn Judge Jan 2016

Information Gaps And Shadow Banking, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This Article argues that information gaps – ble but not currently known – are a byproduct of shadow banking and a meaningful source of systemic risk. It lays the foundation for this claim by juxtaposing the regulatory regime governing the shadow banking system with the incentives of the market participants who populate that system. Like banks, shadow banks rely heavily on short-term debt claims designed to obviate the need for the holder to engage in any meaningful information gathering or analysis. The securities laws that prevail in the capital markets, however, both presume and depend on providers of capital to perform these ...


Preserving The Corporate Superego In A Time Of Activism: An Essay On Ethics And Economics, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2016

Preserving The Corporate Superego In A Time Of Activism: An Essay On Ethics And Economics, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

This essay focuses on the impact of recent changes in corporate governance on ethical behavior within the public corporation. It argues that a style of corporate behavior – one characterized by a risk tolerant, even reckless, pursuit of short-term profits and a disregard for the interests of non-shareholder constituencies – is attributable in significant part to recent changes in corporate governance, including the rise of hedge fund activism, greater use of incentive compensation, and the appearance of blockholder directors. It then surveys feasible responses intended to strengthen the role of the boards as the corporation’s conscience and superego. Given the difficulty ...


The First Year: The Role Of A Modern Lender Of Last Resort, Kathryn Judge Jan 2016

The First Year: The Role Of A Modern Lender Of Last Resort, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

Insufficient liquidity can trigger fire sales and wreak havoc on a financial system. To address these challenges, the Federal Reserve (the Fed) and other central banks have long had the authority to provide financial institutions liquidity when market-based sources run dry. Yet, liquidity injections sometimes fail to quell market dysfunction. When liquidity shortages persist, they are often symptoms of deeper problems plaguing the financial system.

This Essay shows that continually pumping new liquidity into a financial system in the midst of a persistent liquidity shortage may increase the fragility of the system and, on its own, is unlikely to resolve ...


Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative law and financial regulation might be thought closely connected, sharing a focus on federal regulation and intertwined at key historical junctures such as the birth of the New Deal administrative state. Yet, oddly, in many ways these two fields stand today poles apart, divided not simply by their separation in law school curricula and faculty, but even more by opposite precepts and framing principles. Modern U.S. administrative law takes notice-and-comment rulemaking as the paradigmatic example of administrative action, with the goal of such regulation often being to compensate for market deficiencies. Accountability, particularly political accountability through presidential and ...


Reinterpreting The Status-Contract Divide: The Case Of Fiduciaries, Hanoch Dagan, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2015

Reinterpreting The Status-Contract Divide: The Case Of Fiduciaries, Hanoch Dagan, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The distinction between status and contract permeates legal analyses of categories of cooperative interpersonal interactions in which one party has particular obligations to the other. But the current binary understanding of the distinction has facilitated its use as a foil and thus undermined its conceptual and normative significance. This predicament is understandable given that the innate, comprehensive and inalienable status as well as the wholly open-ended contract anticipated by commentators are corner – rather than core – alternatives in a liberal polity. Hence, to clarify these normative debates we introduce two further, intermediate conceptions: office and contract type. Like the innate status ...


The First Year: The Role Of A Modern Lender Of Last Resort, Kathryn Judge Jan 2015

The First Year: The Role Of A Modern Lender Of Last Resort, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

Insufficient liquidity can trigger fire sales and wreak havoc on a financial system. To address these challenges, the Federal Reserve (the Fed) and other central banks have long had the authority to provide financial institutions liquidity when market-based sources run dry. Yet, liquidity injections sometimes fail to quell market dysfunction. When liquidity shortages persist, they are often symptoms of deeper problems plaguing the financial system. This Essay shows that continually pumping new liquidity into a financial system in the midst of a persistent liquidity shortage may increase the fragility of the system and, on its own, is unlikely to resolve ...


The Wolf At The Door: The Impact Of Hedge Fund Activism On Corporate Governance, John C. Coffee Jr., Darius Palia Jan 2015

The Wolf At The Door: The Impact Of Hedge Fund Activism On Corporate Governance, John C. Coffee Jr., Darius Palia

Faculty Scholarship

Hedge fund activism has increased almost hyperbolically. Although some view this trend optimistically as a means for bridging the separation of ownership and control, we review the evidence and find it far more mixed. In particular, engagements by activist hedge funds appear to be producing a significant externality: severe cut-backs in long-term investment (and particularly a reduction in investment in research and development) by both the targeted firms and other firms not targeted but still deterred from making such investments.

We begin by surveying the regulatory and institutional developments that have reduced the costs and increased the expected payoff from ...


The Future Of Direct Finance: The Diverging Paths Of Peer-To-Peer Lending And Kickstarter, Kathryn Judge Jan 2015

The Future Of Direct Finance: The Diverging Paths Of Peer-To-Peer Lending And Kickstarter, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores why the technologies that have transformed a range of industries by facilitating a dramatic rise in direct transactions – as reflected in the rapid growth of eBay, Etsy, and Airbnb, among others – have yet to similarly transform banking and other modes of financial intermediation. Its primary focus is the evolution of peer-to-peer (“P2P”) lending from a sector that promised to bring similarly radical changes to financial intermediation to one in which the relationship between the supplier and recipient of the capital is increasingly attenuated. The analysis reveals a number of market and regulatory forces that tend to favor ...


Putting Stored-Value Cards In Their Place, Liran Haim, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2015

Putting Stored-Value Cards In Their Place, Liran Haim, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay explores the effects of stored-value cards on social welfare. We argue that stored-value cards, in general, are socially beneficial payment devices. Their burgeoning use benefits society in three main plains. First, by replacing paper-based instruments in market segments previously inaccessible to card-based payments, stored-value cards lower the private and public costs of payment transactions. Second, by extending the use of card-based payment systems towards lower- and middle-income households, stored-value cards foster inclusion of those households in the financial mainstream of our society. Third, by operating without an extension of credit, stored-value cards help to limit the uniquely American ...