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Is The Bankruptcy Code An Adequate Mechanism For Resolving The Distress Of Systemically Important Institutions, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

Is The Bankruptcy Code An Adequate Mechanism For Resolving The Distress Of Systemically Important Institutions, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Lehman’s bankruptcy has triggered calls for new approaches to rescuing systemically important institutions. This essay assesses and confirms the need for a new approach. It identifies the inadequacies of the Bankruptcy Code and advocates an approach modeled on the current regime governing commercial banks. That regime includes both close monitoring when a bank is healthy and aggressive intervention when it is distressed. The two tasks – monitoring and intervention – are closely tied, ensuring that intervention occurs only when there is a well-established need for it. The same approach should be applied to all systemically important institutions. President Obama and the ...


Banking Reform In The Chinese Mirror, Katharina Pistor Jan 2009

Banking Reform In The Chinese Mirror, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the transactions that led to the partial privatization of China’s three largest banks in 2005-06. It suggests that these transactions were structured to allow for inter-organizational learning under conditions of uncertainty. For the involved foreign investors, participation in large financial intermediaries of central importance to the Chinese economy gave them the opportunity to learn about financial governance in China. For the Chinese banks partnering with more than one foreign investor, their participation allowed them to benefit from the input by different players in the global financial market place and to learn from the range of technical ...


Into The Void: Governing Finance In Central & Eastern Europe, Katharina Pistor Jan 2009

Into The Void: Governing Finance In Central & Eastern Europe, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

Twenty years after the fall of the iron curtain, which for decades had separated East from West, many countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are now members of the European Union and some have even adopted the Euro. Their readiness to open their borders to foreign capital and their faith in the viability of market self-governance as well as supra-national governance of finance is both remarkable and almost unprecedented. The eagerness of the countries in CEE to join the West and to become part of a regional and global regime as a way of escaping their closeted socialist past ...


A Proposed Petroleum Fuel Price Stabilization Plan, David M. Schizer, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2009

A Proposed Petroleum Fuel Price Stabilization Plan, David M. Schizer, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The high level of petroleum consumption in the United States contributes to environmental harms, burdens national security, and increases urban sprawl and traffic congestion. In response, the Obama administration has proposed targeted subsidies and regulatory mandates. We do not believe this will be an effective strategy because Congress has no comparative advantage in picking technological winners and losers. Among serious policy analysts, there is consensus that the best approach is to increase prices through a gas tax. The problem, however, is intense and widespread public opposition to this approach.

We propose an alternative that offers many important benefits of a ...


Subsidizing Creativity Through Network Design: Zero Pricing And Net Neutrality, Robin S. Lee, Tim Wu Jan 2009

Subsidizing Creativity Through Network Design: Zero Pricing And Net Neutrality, Robin S. Lee, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Today, through historical practice, there exists a de facto ban on termination fees – also referred to as a “zero-price” rule (Hemphill, 2008) – which forbids an Internet service provider from charging an additional fee to a content provider who wishes to reach that ISP’s customers. The question is whether this zero-pricing structure should be preserved, or whether carriers should be allowed to charge termination fees and engage in other practices that have the effect of requiring payment to reach users. This paper begins with a defense of the de facto zero-price rule currently in existence. We point out that the ...


On Uncertainty, Ambiguity, And Contractual Conditions, Eric L. Talley Jan 2009

On Uncertainty, Ambiguity, And Contractual Conditions, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This article uses the recent Delaware Chancery Court case of Hexion v. Huntsman as a template for motivating thoughts about how contract law should interpret contractual conditions in general – and "material adverse event" provisions in particular – within environments of extreme ambiguity (as opposed to risk). Although ambiguity and aversion thereto bear some facial similarities to risk and risk aversion, an optimal contractual allocation of uncertainty does not always track the optimal allocation of risk. After establishing these intuitions as a conceptual proposition, I endeavor to test them empirically, using a unique data set of 528 actual material adverse event provisions ...


Optimization And Its Discontents In Regulatory Design: Bank Regulation As An Example, William H. Simon Jan 2009

Optimization And Its Discontents In Regulatory Design: Bank Regulation As An Example, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Economists and economically-trained lawyers tend to speak about regulation from a perspective organized around the basic norm of optimization. By contrast, an important managerial literature espouses a perspective organized around the basic norm of reliability. The perspectives are not logically inconsistent, but the economist’s view sometimes leads in practice to a preoccupation with decisional simplicity and cost minimization at the expense of complex judgment and learning. Drawing on a literature often ignored by economists and lawyers, I elaborate the contrast between the optimization and reliability perspectives. I then show how it illuminates current discussions of the reform of bank ...


The Devil Made Me Do It: The Corporate Purchase Of Insurance, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2009

The Devil Made Me Do It: The Corporate Purchase Of Insurance, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Despite the fact that public corporations ought to be risk neutral, they often carry insurance. This note first considers why insurance (or, more precisely, the package of services provided by insurance companies) might create value, regardless of the risk preferences of managers, shareholders, or other corporate stakeholders. One motive is that their contractual counter parties-buyers, lessors, and lenders – require that they carry insurance. Two explanations for why the requirement might be value enhancing are proposed.


Rethinking The "Law And Finance" Paradigm, Katharina Pistor Jan 2009

Rethinking The "Law And Finance" Paradigm, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

The label "Law and Finance" stands for a body of literature that has dominated policy-making and academic debates for the past decade. The literature has its origin in a series of papers co-authored by Andrei Shleifer, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes and a cohort of other researchers, including Robert Vishny, Simeon Djankov et al. (hereinafter referred to as LLS et al.). More than ten years after "Law and Finance" was first published, it seems appropriate to step back and consider the contribution this literature has made, but also to point out where it has gone astray and deviated attention from ...


Surrogacy And The Politics Of Commodification, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2009

Surrogacy And The Politics Of Commodification, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

In 2004, the Illinois legislature passed the Gestational Surrogacy Act, which provides that a child conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and born to a surrogate mother automatically becomes the legal child of the intended parents at birth if certain conditions are met. Under the Act, the woman who bears the child has no parental status. The bill generated modest media attention, but little controversy; it passed unanimously in both houses of the legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

This mundane story of the legislative process in action stands in sharp contrast to the political tale of ...


Hoffman V. Red Owl Stores And The Limits Of The Legal Method, Robert E. Scott Jan 2009

Hoffman V. Red Owl Stores And The Limits Of The Legal Method, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

According to the overwhelming majority view, promissory estoppel is not an appropriate ground for legally enforcing statements made during preliminary negotiations unless there is a “clear and unambiguous promise” on which the counterparty reasonably and foreseeably relies. Bill Whitford and Stewart Macaulay were among the first scholars to note the apparent absence of such a promise in the case of Hoffman v. Red Owl Stores. Several years ago, after studying the trial record, I concluded that the best explanation for the breakdown in negotiations was the fundamental misunderstanding between the parties as to the amount and nature of Hoffmann’s ...


Litigation Governance: Taking Accountability Seriously, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2009

Litigation Governance: Taking Accountability Seriously, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Both Europe and the United States are rethinking their approach to aggregate litigation. In the United States, class actions have long been organized around an entrepreneurial model that uses economic incentives to align the interest of the class attorney with those of the class. But increasingly, potential class members are preferring exit to voice, suggesting that the advantages of the U.S. model may have been overstated. In contrast, Europe has long resisted the U.S.’s entrepreneurial model, and the contemporary debate in Europe centers on whether certain elements of the U.S. model – namely, opt-out class actions, contingent ...


The World Trade Organization: A Legal And Institutional Analysis, Anu Bradford Jan 2009

The World Trade Organization: A Legal And Institutional Analysis, Anu Bradford

Faculty Scholarship

The law of the WTO can be complex and the intricacies of the WTO hard to grasp even by someone who has spent years studying this area of law. In providing a clear, well-structured and highly accessible introduction to the legal and institutional aspects of the WTO, Jan Wouters and Bart De Meester offer a refreshingly uncomplicated book that walks the reader through the basic legal doctrine underlying international trade.


The Empagran Exception: Between Illinois Brick And A Hard Place, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2009

The Empagran Exception: Between Illinois Brick And A Hard Place, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Before it was uncovered and prosecuted, the international vitamin cartel, known as "Vitamins, Inc." by its perpetrators, was extraordinarily successful. Estimates of cartel profits run as high as $18 billion (in 2003 dollars). In addition to substantial criminal sanctions, cartel members paid over $2 billion to American plaintiffs. When foreign plaintiffs tried to sue the foreign defendants in American courts, however, they encountered resistance. A trial court read the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act ("FTAIA") to restrict the reach of the Sherman Act and preclude foreign purchasers from suing the foreign defendants. The D.C. Circuit reversed, holding that the ...


Free Enterprise Fund V. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Free Enterprise Fund V. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This is the introductory essay in an electronically published roundtable sponsored by the Vanderbilt Law Review on the Supreme Court's forthcoming consideration of Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a case raising important separation of powers questions and thought by some to foreshadow overruling or limiting of such precedents as Humphrey's Executor v. United States (sustaining independent regulatory commissions) and Morrison v. Olson (sustaining the independent counsel). The PCAOB is an unusual independent government authority appointed by the Commissioners of the SEC and subject to its oversight; PCAOB members are only by the Commission, and ...


Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The turn of the twenty first century witnessed important shifts in punishment practices. The most shocking is mass incarceration – the exponential rise in prisoners in state and federal penitentiaries and in county jails beginning in 1973. It is tempting to view these developments as evidence of something new that emerged in the 1970s – of a new culture of control, a new penology, or a new turn to biopower. But it would be a mistake to place too much emphasis on the 1970s since most of the recent trends have antecedents and parallels in the early twentieth century. It is important ...


The Empagran Exception: Between Illinois Brick And A Hard Place, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2009

The Empagran Exception: Between Illinois Brick And A Hard Place, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

In F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A., the Supreme Court interpreted the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act ("FTAIA") to bar an antitrust suit by foreign plaintiffs against foreign defendants despite the fact that the foreign and domestic markets were interconnected. I identify one narrow class of cases that would satisfy the statutory exception. Rather than focusing on the interrelatedness of the foreign and domestic prices, the inquiry centers on the resale of goods to the domestic market. The argument is a variant on Illinois Brick.


Neoliberal Penality: The Birth Of Natural Order, The Illusion Of Free Markets, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: The Birth Of Natural Order, The Illusion Of Free Markets, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

What work do the categories “the free market” and “regulation” do for us? Why do we incarcerate one out of every one hundred adults? These seemingly unrelated questions, it turns out, are deeply interconnected. The categories of free and regulated markets emerged as an effort to make sense of irreducibly individual phenomena – unique forms of market organization. In the process, these categories helped shape our belief that the economic realm is characterized by natural order and equilibrium, and that the only legitimate sphere of government intervention is policing and punishment. The consequences have been devastating: first, in distorting and expanding ...


Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2009

Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Mel Eisenberg argued in a recent paper for an expansion of the excuse doctrines. He argues that performance should be excused in those instances when parties tacitly assume that a given kind of circumstance will not occur during the contract time (the shared-assumption test). In addition, he argues that there should be a partial excuse when a change in prices would be sufficiently large to leave the promisor with a loss significantly greater than would have reasonably been expected (the bounded-risk test). This paper questions his first proposition by re-examining the Coronation cases and Taylor v Caldwell. His bounded-risk ...


Locating Innovation: The Endogeneity Of Technology, Organizational Structure And Financial Contracting, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2009

Locating Innovation: The Endogeneity Of Technology, Organizational Structure And Financial Contracting, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

There is much we do not understand about the “location” of innovation: the confluence, for a particular innovation, of the technology associated with the innovation, the innovating firm’s size and organizational structure, and the financial contracting that supports the innovation. This Essay suggests that these three indicia are simultaneously determined and discusses the interaction among them through four examples of innovative activity whose location is characterized by tradeoffs between pursuing the activity in an established company; in a smaller, earlier stage company; or some combination of the two. It first considers the dilemma faced by an established company in ...


The Economics Of Bankruptcy: An Introduction To The Literature, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

The Economics Of Bankruptcy: An Introduction To The Literature, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

This essay surveys important contributions to the economics of bankruptcy. It is an introductory chapter for a forthcoming volume (from Edward Elgar Press) that compiles the work of legal scholars as well as economists working in the field of corporate finance. The essay begins with the foundational theories of Baird, Jackson, and Rea and then collects scholarly work extending, testing, or revising those theories. At various points I identify questions that merit further study, particularly empirical testing.


Chrysler, Gm And The Future Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

Chrysler, Gm And The Future Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Although they caused great controversy, the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies broke no new ground. They invoked procedures that are commonly observed in modern Chapter 11 reorganization cases. Government involvement did not distort the bankruptcy process; it instead exposed the reality that Chapter 11 offers secured creditors – especially those that supply financing during the bankruptcy case – control over the fate of distressed firms. Because the federal government supplied financing in the Chrysler and GM cases, it possessed the creditor control normally exercised by private lenders. The Treasury Department found itself with virtually the same, unchecked power that the FDIC exercises with ...