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Full-Text Articles in Law

Beyond Bankruptcy: Resolution As A Macroprudential Regulatory Tool, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2018

Beyond Bankruptcy: Resolution As A Macroprudential Regulatory Tool, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

To try to protect the stability of the financial system, regulators and policymakers have been extending bankruptcy-resolution techniques beyond their normal boundaries. To date, however, their efforts have been insufficient, in part because bankruptcy law traditionally has microprudential goals (to protect individual firms) whereas protecting financial stability is a “macroprudential” goal.

This Article seeks to derive a logical and consistent theory of how and why resolution-based regulation can help to stabilize the financial system. To that end, the Article identifies three possible regulatory approaches: reactive resolution-based regulation, which comprises variations on traditional bankruptcy; proactive resolution-based regulation, which consists of pre-planned ...


Cracking The Code: An Empirical Analysis Of Consumer Bankruptcy Outcomes, Sara Sternberg Greene, Parina Patel, Katherine M. Porter Jan 2017

Cracking The Code: An Empirical Analysis Of Consumer Bankruptcy Outcomes, Sara Sternberg Greene, Parina Patel, Katherine M. Porter

Faculty Scholarship

Chapter 13 is a cornerstone of the bankruptcy system. Its legal requirements strike a balance between the rehabilitation of debtors through keeping assets and reducing debt, and the repayment of creditors over a period of years. Despite the accolades from policymakers, the hard truth is that the majority of the half-million families each year that seek refuge in chapter 13 bankruptcy will not achieve the debt relief of a discharge. Prior research found that those who drop out of bankruptcy quickly endure the serious financial struggles that they had before bankruptcy—now even worse off for having spent thousands of ...


Puerto Rico And The Netherworld Of Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Mitu Gulati, Robert K. Rasmussen Jan 2017

Puerto Rico And The Netherworld Of Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Mitu Gulati, Robert K. Rasmussen

Faculty Scholarship

Puerto Rico has incurred debt well beyond its ability to repay. It attempted to address its fiscal woes through legislation allowing the restructuring of some its debt. The Supreme Court put a stop to this effort, holding that Congress in the Bankruptcy Code barred the Commonwealth from enacting its own restructuring regime. Yet all agreed that the Bankruptcy Code did not provide anything in its place. While Congress quickly enacted PROMESA in an attempt to address the Puerto Rico’s fiscal ills, we explore in this paper whether Congress has the power to bar Puerto Rico from enacting a restructuring ...


Targeted Subordination Of Official Sector Debt, Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati Jan 2016

Targeted Subordination Of Official Sector Debt, Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

If Greece’s debt is unsustainable, and most observers (including the IMF) seem to think it is, the country’s only source of funding will continue to be official sector bailout loans. Languishing for a decade or more as a ward of the official sector is undesirable from all perspectives. The Greeks bridle under what they see as foreign imposed austerity; the taxpayers who fund the official sector loans to Greece balk at the prospect of shoveling good money after bad. The question then is how to facilitate Greece’s ability to tap the private capital markets at tolerable interest ...


Sovereign Debt Restructuring: A Model-Law Approach, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2016

Sovereign Debt Restructuring: A Model-Law Approach, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

The existing contractual framework for sovereign debt restructuring is sorely inadequate. Whether or not their fault, nations sometimes take on debt burdens that become unsustainable. Until resolved, the resulting sovereign debt problem hurts not only those nations (such as Greece) but also their citizens, their creditors, and—by posing serious systemic risks to the international financial system—the wider economic community. The existing contractual framework functions poorly to resolve the problem because it often leaves little alternative between a sovereign debt bailout, which is costly and creates moral hazard, and a default, which raises the specter of systemic financial contagion ...


A Model-Law Approach To Restructuring Unsustainable Sovereign Debt, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2015

A Model-Law Approach To Restructuring Unsustainable Sovereign Debt, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

Unresolved sovereign debt problems are hurting debtor nations, their citizens and their creditors, and also can pose serious systemic threats to the international financial system. The existing contractual restructuring approach is insufficient to make sovereign debt sustainable. Although a more systematic legal resolution framework is needed, a formal multilateral approach, such as a treaty, is not currently politically viable. An informal model-law approach should be legally, politically and economically feasible. This informal approach would not require multilateral acceptance. Because most sovereign debt contracts are governed by either New York or English law, it would be sufficient if one or both ...


Derivatives And Collateral: Balancing Remedies And Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2015

Derivatives And Collateral: Balancing Remedies And Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

U.S. bankruptcy law grants special rights and immunities to creditors in derivatives transactions, including virtually unlimited enforcement rights. This Article examines whether exempting those transactions from bankruptcy’s automatic stay, including the stay of foreclosure actions against collateral, is necessary or appropriate in order to minimize systemic risk.


The Failed Reform: Congressional Crackdown On Repeat Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filers, Sara Sternberg Greene Jan 2015

The Failed Reform: Congressional Crackdown On Repeat Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filers, Sara Sternberg Greene

Faculty Scholarship

After decades of lobbying to “get tough” on bankruptcy repeat filers, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). The Bankruptcy Code now requires that the automatic stay, which prevents creditors from pursuing the property of bankruptcy debtors, expires after thirty days for petitioners who file for bankruptcy within one year of a previously failed petition. Debtors can file a motion to extend the stay, but there is a presumption of a bad faith filing, only overcome if a debtor can show there has been a “substantial change in his or her financial or personal ...


Rollover Risk: Ideating A U.S. Debt Default, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2014

Rollover Risk: Ideating A U.S. Debt Default, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

This article examines how a U.S. debt default might occur, how it could be avoided, its potential consequences if not avoided, and how those consequences could be mitigated. To that end, the article differentiates defaults caused by insolvency from defaults caused by illiquidity. The latter, which are potentiated by rollover risk (the risk that the government will be temporarily unable to borrow sufficient funds to repay its maturing debt), are not only plausible but have occurred in the past. Moreover, the ongoing controversy over the federal debt ceiling and the rise of the shadow-banking system make these types of ...


Towards A “Rule Of Law” Approach To Restructuring Sovereign Debt, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2014

Towards A “Rule Of Law” Approach To Restructuring Sovereign Debt, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Derivatives And Collateral: Balancing Remedies And Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2014

Derivatives And Collateral: Balancing Remedies And Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Securitization, Structured Finance, And Covered Bonds, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2013

Securitization, Structured Finance, And Covered Bonds, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Revisiting Sovereign Bankruptcy, Lee C. Buchheit, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati, Ugo Panizza, Beatrice Weder Di Mauro, Jeromin Zettelmeyer Jan 2013

Revisiting Sovereign Bankruptcy, Lee C. Buchheit, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati, Ugo Panizza, Beatrice Weder Di Mauro, Jeromin Zettelmeyer

Faculty Scholarship

Sovereign debt crises occur regularly and often violently. Yet there is no legally and politically recognized procedure for restructuring the debt of bankrupt sovereigns. Procedures of this type have been periodically debated, but so far been rejected, for two main reasons. First, countries have been reluctant to give up power to supranational rules or institutions, and creditors and debtors have felt that there were sufficient instruments for addressing debt crises at hoc. Second, fears that making debt easier to restructure would raise the costs and reduce the amounts of sovereign borrowing in many countries. This was perceived to be against ...


Ring-Fencing, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2013

Ring-Fencing, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

“Ring-fencing” is often touted as a regulatory solution to problems in banking, finance, public utilities, and insurance. However, both the precise meaning of ring-fencing, as well as the nature of the problems that ring-fencing regulation purports to solve, are ill defined. This article examines the functions and conceptual foundations of ring-fencing. In a regulatory context, the term can best be understood as legally deconstructing a firm in order to more optimally reallocate and reduce risk. So utilized, ring-fencing can help to protect public-benefit activities performed by private-sector firms, as well as to mitigate systemic risk and the too-big-to-fail problem inherent ...


The Bankruptcy-Law Safe Harbor For Derivatives: A Path-Dependence Analysis, Steven L. Schwarcz, Ori Sharon Jan 2013

The Bankruptcy-Law Safe Harbor For Derivatives: A Path-Dependence Analysis, Steven L. Schwarcz, Ori Sharon

Faculty Scholarship

U.S. bankruptcy law grants special rights and immunities to creditors in derivatives transactions, including virtually unlimited enforcement rights. This article argues that these rights and immunities result from a form of path dependence, a sequence of industry-lobbied legislative steps, each incremental and in turn serving as apparent justification for the next step, without a rigorous and systematic vetting of the consequences. Because the resulting “safe harbor” has not been fully vetted, its significance and utility should not be taken for granted; and thus regulators, legislators, and other policymakers—whether in the United States or abroad—should not automatically assume ...


The Role Of The Imf In Future Sovereign Debt Restructurings: Report Of The Annenberg House Expert Group, Douglas G. Baird, Nicole Bollen, Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati, Anne O. Krueger, Fridrik Mar Balursson, Robert K. Rasmussen, David A. Skeel Jr., Sergei Storchak, Jeromin Settelmeyer Jan 2013

The Role Of The Imf In Future Sovereign Debt Restructurings: Report Of The Annenberg House Expert Group, Douglas G. Baird, Nicole Bollen, Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati, Anne O. Krueger, Fridrik Mar Balursson, Robert K. Rasmussen, David A. Skeel Jr., Sergei Storchak, Jeromin Settelmeyer

Faculty Scholarship

A meeting of international finance and insolvency experts was held on November 2, 2013 at the Annenberg House in Santa Monica, California. The meeting was co-hosted by the USC Law School and the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands. The goal was to solicit the views of experts on the implications of the IMF’s April 26, 2013 paper captioned “Sovereign Debt Restructuring -- Recent Developments and Implications for the Fund’s Legal and Policy Framework”. The April 26 paper may signal a shift in IMF policies in the area of sovereign debt workouts. Although the Expert Group discussed a number of the ...


Walking Back From Cyprus, Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati Jan 2013

Walking Back From Cyprus, Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

Last Friday, the European leaders trespassed on consecrated ground by putting insured depositors in Cypriot banks in harm’s way. They had other options, none of them pleasant but some less ominous than the one they settled on.


A Minimalist Approach To State ‘Bankruptcy’, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2011

A Minimalist Approach To State ‘Bankruptcy’, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

Increasingly finding themselves in financial straitjackets, states have been turning to austerity measures, tax increases, privatization of services, and renegotiation of collective bargaining agreements. Absent a federal government bailout, however, states will also need debt relief if their debt burden becomes so crushing that reasonable efforts at fiscal reform will fail to avoid default. Some advocate providing this relief by, effectively, extending municipal bankruptcy law to states. That approach brings in excess baggage, however, engendering political opposition and constitutional concerns. There is a simpler solution: Enable states to work out their debt problems with their creditors. Although the main obstacle ...


Sovereign Debt Reform And The Best Interest Of Creditors, William W. Bratton, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2004

Sovereign Debt Reform And The Best Interest Of Creditors, William W. Bratton, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

In April 2002 the International Monetary Fund introduced a sovereign bankruptcy proposal only to be rebuffed by the United States Treasury. Where the IMF wanted a mandatory bankruptcy regime, the Treasury wanted to solve distress problems with contractual devices. Sovereign bondholders and sovereign issuers themselves flatly rejected both proposals, even though they were nominally the beneficiaries of both proponents. This Article addresses and explains this bondholder reaction. In so doing, it takes a highly skeptical view of the IMF's proposal even as it shows that the incentive structure surrounding sovereign lending renders untenable the Treasury's contractarian proposal. The ...


Corporate Debt Restructurings In Mexico: For Foreign Creditors, Insolvency Law Is Only Half The Story, Kimberly D. Krawiec Jan 1997

Corporate Debt Restructurings In Mexico: For Foreign Creditors, Insolvency Law Is Only Half The Story, Kimberly D. Krawiec

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Basics Of Business Reorganization In Bankruptcy, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 1987

Basics Of Business Reorganization In Bankruptcy, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

In this article, Steven Schwarcz offers an overview of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In addition to beginning a Chapter 11 case, he also discusses administration of these cases and the plan of reorganization that a debtor must consider.