Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 25 of 25

Full-Text Articles in Law

Memo To The Sec On The Proposed Rule On Disclosure Of Payments By Resource Extraction Issuers, Perrine Toledano Dec 2011

Memo To The Sec On The Proposed Rule On Disclosure Of Payments By Resource Extraction Issuers, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI strongly supports the transparency of contracts and tax flows. CCSI shares the belief of many stakeholders that transparency is essential to leverage extractive industries for sustainable development and is in the mutual interest of all stakeholders. However, some industry players continue to voice the concern that increased transparency would be harmful for their business. Therefore, CCSI is working to also establish the business case for transparency.

In one such case, some industry players have been lobbying against the regulations developed by the Security and Exchange Commission to implement the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform ...


Wider Role For Our Miners In Africa, Lisa E. Sachs, Joel Negin, Glenn Denning Aug 2011

Wider Role For Our Miners In Africa, Lisa E. Sachs, Joel Negin, Glenn Denning

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Australian government is rapidly increasing aid to Africa. But the real story about the country's engagement in Africa is the massive investment by Australian companies in extractive industries.

More than 150 Australian resource companies are active in more than 40 African countries with a total investment greater than $20 billion, including in coal in Mozambique, copper and uranium in Zambia, gold in Eritrea and uranium in Malawi.


Making Coasean Property More Coasean, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2011

Making Coasean Property More Coasean, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

In his pioneering work on transaction costs, Ronald Coase presupposed a picture of property as a bundle of government-prescribed use rights. This picture is not only not essential to what Coase was trying to do, but its limitations emerge when we apply Coase’s central insights to analyze the structure of property itself. This leads to what we term the Coase Corollary: in a world of zero transaction costs the nature of property does not matter to allocative efficiency. But as with the Coase Theorem itself, the real point is the implication for a positive transaction cost world: we need ...


Economic Crisis And Share Price Unpredictability: Reasons And Implications, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2011

Economic Crisis And Share Price Unpredictability: Reasons And Implications, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

The volatility of share returns for individual companies increased sharply during the recent financial crisis. The larger part of this increase was due to a dramatic rise – five fold as measured by variance – in idiosyncratic risk. We find that this pattern repeats itself during each major economic reversal going back 85 years. Because idiosyncratic risk is what is involved, this increase cannot be explained by changes in predictions concerning the future course of the economy as a whole.

Our first goal is to explain why difficult economic times, which are defined in terms of market wide phenomena, make the future ...


Cultivating Justice For The Working Poor: Clinical Representation Of Unemployment Claimants, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2011

Cultivating Justice For The Working Poor: Clinical Representation Of Unemployment Claimants, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

The combination of current economic conditions and recent changes in the United States’ welfare system makes representation of unemployment insurance claimants by clinic students a timely learning opportunity. While unemployment insurance claimants often share similarities with student attorneys, they are unable to access justice as easily as student attorneys, and as a result, face the risk of severe poverty. Clinical representation of unemployment claimants is a rich opportunity for students to experience making a difference for a client, and to understand the issues of poverty and justice that these clients experience along the way. These cases reveal that larger lessons ...


Mortgage Modification And Strategic Behavior: Evidence From A Legal Settlement With Countrywide, Christopher J. Mayer, Edward R. Morrison, Tomasz Piskorski, Arpit Gupta Jan 2011

Mortgage Modification And Strategic Behavior: Evidence From A Legal Settlement With Countrywide, Christopher J. Mayer, Edward R. Morrison, Tomasz Piskorski, Arpit Gupta

Faculty Scholarship

We investigate whether homeowners respond strategically to news of mortgage modification programs. We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in modification policy induced by U.S. state government lawsuits against Countrywide Financial Corporation, which agreed to offer modifications to seriously delinquent borrowers with subprime mortgages throughout the country. Using a difference-in-difference framework, we find that Countrywide's relative delinquency rate increased thirteen percent per month immediately after the program's announcement. The borrowers whose estimated default rates increased the most in response to the program were those who appear to have been the least likely to default otherwise, including those with substantial ...


Systemic Risk After Dodd-Frank: Contingent Capital And The Need For Regulatory Strategies Beyond Oversight, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2011

Systemic Risk After Dodd-Frank: Contingent Capital And The Need For Regulatory Strategies Beyond Oversight, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Because the quickest, simplest way for a financial institution to increase its profitability is to increase its leverage, an enduring tension will exist between regulators and systemically significant financial institutions over the issues of risk and leverage. Many have suggested that the 2008 financial crisis erupted because flawed systems of executive compensation induced financial institutions to increase leverage and accept undue risk. But that begs the question why such compensation formulas were adopted. Growing evidence suggests that shareholders favored these formulas to induce managers to accept higher risk and leverage. Shareholder pressure, then, is a factor that could cause the ...


Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2011

Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay is a comparative economic analysis of the disparate doctrines governing the good faith purchase of stolen or misappropriated goods. We argue that prior treatments have misconceived the problem. An owner will take optimal precautions to prevent theft if she is faced with the loss of her goods; and a purchaser will make an optimal investigation into his seller's title if faced with the loss of the goods. An owner and a buyer cannot both be faced with the full loss, however. This presents a problem of "double moral hazard" and it cannot be solved in a first-best ...


Stimulus And Civil Rights, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2011

Stimulus And Civil Rights, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Federal spending has the capacity to perpetuate racial inequality, not simply through explicit exclusion, but through choices made in the legislative and institutional design of spending programs. Drawing on the lessons of New Deal and postwar social programs, this Essay offers an account of the specificfeatures offederal spending that give it salience in structuring racial arrangements. Federal spending programs, this Essay argues, are relevant in structuring racial inequality due to their massive scale, their creation of new programmatic and spending infrastructures, and the choices made in these programs as to whether to impose explicit inclusionary norms on states and localities ...


Incarceration And The Economic Fortunes Of Urban Neighborhoods, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West Jan 2011

Incarceration And The Economic Fortunes Of Urban Neighborhoods, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West

Faculty Scholarship

New research has identified the consequences of high rates of incarceration on neighborhood crime rates, but few studies have looked beyond crime to examine the collateral effects of incarceration on the social and economic well being of the neighborhoods themselves and their residents. We assess two specific indicia of neighborhood economic well-being, household income and human capital, dimensions that are robust predictors of elevated crime, enforcement and incarceration rates. We decompose incarceration effects by neighborhood racial composition and socio-economic conditions to account for structural disadvantages in labor force and access to wealth that flow from persistent patterns of residential segregation ...


Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2011

Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This article is a comparative economic analysis of the disparate doctrines governing the good faith purchase of stolen or misappropriated goods. Good faith purchase questions have occupied the courts and commentators of many nations for millennia. We argue that prior treatments have misconceived the economic problem. An owner of goods will take optimal precautions to prevent theft if she is faced with the loss of her goods; and a purchaser will make an optimal investigation into his seller’s title if the purchaser is faced with the loss of the goods. An owner and a buyer cannot both be faced ...


Traynor (Drennan) V. Hand (Baird): Much Ado About (Almost) Nothing, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2011

Traynor (Drennan) V. Hand (Baird): Much Ado About (Almost) Nothing, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Most Contracts casebooks feature either Baird v. Gimbel or Drennan v. Star Paving to illustrate the limits on revocability of an offer. In this paper an analysis of the case law yields three major conclusions. First, as is generally known, in the contractor-subcontractor cases Drennan has prevailed. However, both it and its spawn, Restatement 2d 87(2), have had almost no impact outside that narrow area. Moreover, almost all the cases involve public construction projects – private projects account for only about ten percent of the cases. This suggests that private parties have managed to resolve the problem contractually. Public contract ...


Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2011

Rethinking The Laws Of Good Faith Purchase, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This article is a comparative economic analysis of the disparate doctrines governing the good faith purchase of stolen or misappropriated goods. Good faith purchase questions have occupied the courts and commentators of many nations for millennia. We argue that prior treatments have misconceived the economic problem. An owner of goods will take optimal precautions to prevent theft if she is faced with the loss of her goods; and a purchaser will make an optimal investigation into his seller’s title if the purchaser is faced with the loss of the goods. An owner and a buyer cannot both be faced ...


Maximizing Autonomy In The Shadow Of Great Powers: The Political Economy Of Sovereign Wealth Funds, Kyle Hatton, Katharina Pistor Jan 2011

Maximizing Autonomy In The Shadow Of Great Powers: The Political Economy Of Sovereign Wealth Funds, Kyle Hatton, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

Sovereign wealth funds ("SWFs") have received a great deal of attention since they appeared as critical investors during the global financial crisis. Reactions have ranged from fears of state intervention and mercantilism to hopes that SWFs will emerge as model long-term investors that will take on risky investments in green technology and infrastructure that few private investors are willing to touch. In this paper we argue that both of these reactions overlook the fact that SWFs are deeply embedded in the political economy of their respective sovereign sponsors. This paper focuses on four political entities that sponsor some of the ...


Making Coasean Property More Coasean, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2011

Making Coasean Property More Coasean, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

In his pioneering work on transaction costs, Ronald Coase presupposed a picture of property as a bundle of government-prescribed use rights. Not only is this picture not essential to Coase’s purpose, but its limitations emerge when we apply Coase’s central insights to analyze the structure of property itself. This leads to the Coase corollary: in a world of zero transaction costs, the nature of property does not matter to allocative efficiency. However, as with the Coase theorem, the real implication is for our world of positive transaction costs: we need to subject the notion of property to a ...


Ratings Reform: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2011

Ratings Reform: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Although dissatisfaction with the performance of the credit rating agencies is universal (particularly with regard to structured finance), reformers divide into two basic camps: (1) those who see the "issuer pays" model of the major credit ratings firms as the fundamental cause of inflated ratings, and (2) those who view the licensing power given to credit ratings agencies by regulatory rules requiring an investment grade rating from an NRSRO rating agency as creating a de facto monopoly that precludes competition. After reviewing the recent empirical literature on how ratings became inflated, this Article agrees with the former school and doubts ...


Traynor (Drennan) Versus Hand (Baird): Much Ado About (Almost) Nothing, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2011

Traynor (Drennan) Versus Hand (Baird): Much Ado About (Almost) Nothing, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Most Contracts casebooks feature either Baird v. Gimbel or Drennan v. Star Paving to illustrate the limits on revocability of an offer. In this article an analysis of the case law yields three major conclusions. First, as is generally known, in the contractor-subcontractor cases Drennan has prevailed. However, both it and its spawn, Restatement 2d E 87(2), have had almost no impact outside that narrow area. Moreover, almost all the cases involve public construction projects – private projects account for only about ten percent of the cases. This suggests that private parties have managed to resolve the problem contractually. Public ...


Regulatory Dualism As A Development Strategy: Corporate Reform In Brazil, The United States, And The European Union, Ronald J. Gilson, Henry Hansmaan, Mariana Pargendler Jan 2011

Regulatory Dualism As A Development Strategy: Corporate Reform In Brazil, The United States, And The European Union, Ronald J. Gilson, Henry Hansmaan, Mariana Pargendler

Faculty Scholarship

Countries pursuing economic development confront afundamental obstacle. Reforms that increase the size of the overall pie are blocked by powerful interests that are threatened by the growth-inducing changes. This problem is conspicuous in efforts to create effective capital markets to support economic development. Controlling owners and managers of established firms successfully oppose corporate governance reforms that would improve investor protection and promote capital market growth. In this Article, we examine the promise of regulatory dualism as a strategy to defuse the tension between future growth and the current distribution of wealth and power. Regulatory dualism seeks to mitigate political opposition ...


Can Joe The Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, And Sustainable Policy Design, Gillian Lester Jan 2011

Can Joe The Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, And Sustainable Policy Design, Gillian Lester

Faculty Scholarship

How does one win popular support for laws designed specifically to redistribute economic wealth? One can hardly gainsay that this is a – perhaps the – defining issue for domestic policy in the age of President Obama. Even as the recent financial crisis has exposed the need for a reliable social safety net, attempts to respond through the political and legislative arenas have triggered increasingly hostile responses among conservatives, populists, Massachusetts voters, and incipient tea partiers. The puzzle of how to attract and preserve public support for law reform aimed at redistribution – of both income and risk – is of no small significance ...


Subsidizing The Press, David M. Schizer Jan 2011

Subsidizing The Press, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Through beat reporting and investigative journalism, reporters monitor the foundational institutions of our society. This reporting has value even to those who never buy a newspaper or read a website. For example, subscribers and nonsubscribers alike benefit when government officials respond to a critical news story by eliminating an abusive practice. Yet unfortunately, the professional press is experiencing a severe economic crisis. Layoffs are pervasive, and news organizations across the nation are on the brink of insolvency. As a result, a number of commentators have proposed government subsidies for the press. Yet if the press becomes financially dependent on the ...


Dodd-Frank For Bankruptcy Lawyers, Douglas G. Baird, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2011

Dodd-Frank For Bankruptcy Lawyers, Douglas G. Baird, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

The Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation creates an “Orderly Liquidation Authority” (OLA) that shares many features in common with the Bankruptcy Code. This is easy to overlook because the legislation uses a language and employs a decision-maker (both borrowed from bank regulation) that will seem foreign to bankruptcy lawyers. Our task in this essay is to identify the core congruities between OLA and the Code. In doing so, we highlight important differences and assess both their constitutionality and policy objectives. We conclude with a few thoughts on the likelihood that OLA will contribute to market stability.


Maximizing Autonomy In The Shadow Of Great Powers: The Political Economy Of Sovereign Wealth Funds, Kyle J. Hatton, Katharina Pistor Jan 2011

Maximizing Autonomy In The Shadow Of Great Powers: The Political Economy Of Sovereign Wealth Funds, Kyle J. Hatton, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

Sovereign wealth funds (“SWFs”) have received a great deal of attention since they appeared as critical investors during the global financial crisis. Reactions have ranged from fears of state intervention and mercantilism to hopes that SWFs will emerge as model long-term investors that will take on risky investments in green technology and infrastructure that few private investors are willing to touch. In this paper we argue that both of these reactions overlook the fact that SWFs are deeply embedded in the political economy of their respective sovereign sponsors. This paper focuses on four political entities that sponsor some of the ...


Governing Interdependent Financial Systems: Lessons From The Vienna Initiative, Katharina Pistor Jan 2011

Governing Interdependent Financial Systems: Lessons From The Vienna Initiative, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

This paper argues that while financial markets have become transnational, their governance structures have remained national at the core: Fiscal responsibility for crises is ultimately born by the nation state where the crisis occurred – whether or not it bears any responsibility for regulatory or policy failures. The tension between the transnational nature of markets and national responsibility for these markets has been revealed once more by the global financial and the European sovereign debt crises. Against this background, the Vienna Initiative (VI) offers the prospect of an alternative governance regime. The VI was formed to manage the fallout from the ...


Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer Jan 2011

Fiscal Policy In An Era Of Austerity, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

We face a time of stagnant economic growth, severe unemployment, massive budget deficits, and an increasingly competitive global economy. Monetary policy is tapped out, and there is a great deal of uncertainty about the effectiveness of a traditional Keynesian stimulus – and, not surprisingly, a heated debate among economists. One thing we do know is that a stimulus is quite difficult to execute effectively. For example, it is a challenge to identify “shovel ready” projects that contribute to long-term economic growth, particularly on short notice. There is no uncertainty, though, about the need to address a broad range of specific problems ...


The Politics And Policy Of The Estate Tax – Past, Present, And Future, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2011

The Politics And Policy Of The Estate Tax – Past, Present, And Future, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

This paper is an edited transcript of the Lloyd Leva Plaine Distinguished Lecture, delivered at the University of Miami’s Heckerling Estate Planning Institute on January 11, 2011. It reviews the history of the estate tax, discusses the politics of its bizarre repeal for the year 2010 only, and outlines the forces that led to reinstatement of the tax for 2011 and 2012 with a $5 million exemption and 35 percent top rate. The paper makes clear that the coalition pushing for repeal of the estate tax will continue to work to eliminate it and also explores potential broader implications ...