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Full-Text Articles in Securities Law

Cacs And Doorknobs, Anna Gelpern, Jeromin Zettelmeyer Oct 2019

Cacs And Doorknobs, Anna Gelpern, Jeromin Zettelmeyer

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In response to debt crises, policy makers often feature Collective Action Clauses (CACs) in sovereign bonds among the pillars of international financial architecture. However, the content of official pronouncements about CACs suggests that CACs are more like doorknobs: a process tool with limited impact on the incidence or ultimate outcome of a debt restructuring. We ask whether CACs are welfare improving and, if so, whether they are pillars or doorknobs. The history of CACs in corporate debt suggests that CACs can be good, bad or unimportant depending on their vulnerability to abuse and the available alternatives, including bankruptcy and debt ...


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Sep 2019

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Split Derivatives: Inside The World's Most Misunderstood Contract, Dan Awrey Jul 2019

Split Derivatives: Inside The World's Most Misunderstood Contract, Dan Awrey

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Derivatives are the "bad boys" of modern finance: exciting, dangerous, and fundamentally misunderstood. These misunderstandings stem from the failure of scholars and policymakers to fully appreciate the unique legal and economic structure of derivative contracts, along with the important differences between these contracts and conventional equity and debt securities. This Article seeks to correct these misunderstandings by splitting derivative contracts open, identifying their constituent elements, and observing how these elements interact with one another. These elements include some of the world's most sophisticated state-contingent contracting, the allocation of property and decision-making rights, and relational mechanisms such as reputation and ...


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Feb 2019

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Smart Contracts In Traditional Contract Law, Or: The Law Of The Vending Machine, Jonathan Rohr Jan 2019

Smart Contracts In Traditional Contract Law, Or: The Law Of The Vending Machine, Jonathan Rohr

Cleveland State Law Review

Smart contracts are the new norm, yet state legislatures and courts have not developed set rules and answers to legal disputes that these contracts create. Is traditional contract law sufficient? Or should we create an entirely new legislative or common law scheme to deal with these disputes? The common law has proven to be successful in dealing with new technologies and contracts, particularly because of its flexibility. Although a major overhaul may be in the future, there are still solutions that we can find today with the current legal landscape given the state of contract law and its evolution over ...


Central Clearing Of Financial Contracts: Theory And Regulatory Implications, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2019

Central Clearing Of Financial Contracts: Theory And Regulatory Implications, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

To protect economic stability, post-crisis regulation requires financial institutions to clear and settle most of their derivatives contracts through central counterparties, such as clearinghouses associated with securities exchanges. This Article asks whether regulators should expand the central clearing requirement to non-derivative financial contracts, such as loan agreements. The Article begins by theorizing how and why central clearing can reduce systemic risk. It then examines the theory’s regulatory and economic efficiency implications, first for current requirements to centrally clear derivatives contracts and thereafter for deciding whether to extend those requirements to non-derivative contracts. The inquiry has real practical importance because ...


Ethereum And The Sec: Why Most Distributed Autonomous Organizations Are Subject To The Registration Requirements Of The Securities Act Of 1933 And A Proposal For New Regulation, Tiffany L. Minks May 2018

Ethereum And The Sec: Why Most Distributed Autonomous Organizations Are Subject To The Registration Requirements Of The Securities Act Of 1933 And A Proposal For New Regulation, Tiffany L. Minks

Texas A&M Law Review

In a world full of new technology, the risk of fraud is constantly increasing. In the securities industry, this risk existed long before the use of technology. Congress enacted the Securities Act of 1933 to combat the risk of fraud and misrepresentation in the sale of securities. By requiring full disclosure, investors have the opportunity to make informed decisions prior to investing. However, Distributed Autonomous Organizations (“DAOs”), through the use of blockchains and smart-contracts, engage in the sale of securities without fully disclosing the risks or complying with the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933. Compliance with the ...


China's Anti-Corruption Crackdown And The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Daniel C.K. Chow May 2018

China's Anti-Corruption Crackdown And The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Daniel C.K. Chow

Texas A&M Law Review

China’s highly publicized crackdown on corruption may affect the type and number of cases in China that arise under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), but it should not be assumed that the crackdown will necessarily lead to fewer FCPA prosecutions. Although there is some overlap of the goals of China’s corruption crackdown and the goals of the FCPA, China’s crackdown also serves important goals of the ruling Communist Party. The main goal of the current crackdown is to reinforce the Party’s power by targeting enemies and rivals of the current leadership. The crackdown is not ...


Reputational Economies Of Scale, Daniel M. Klerman Apr 2018

Reputational Economies Of Scale, Daniel M. Klerman

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

For many years, most scholars have assumed that the strength of reputational incentives is positively correlated with the frequency of repeat play. Firms that sell more products or services were thought more likely to be trustworthy than those that sell less because they have more to lose if consumers decide they have behaved badly. That assumption has been called into question by recent work that shows that, under the standard infinitely repeated game model of reputation, reputational economies of scale will occur only under special conditions, such as monopoly, because larger firms not only have more to lose from behaving ...


The Price Of Law: The Case Of The Eurozone's Collective Action Clauses, Elena Carletti, Paolo Colla, Mitu Gulati, Steven Ongena Jan 2018

The Price Of Law: The Case Of The Eurozone's Collective Action Clauses, Elena Carletti, Paolo Colla, Mitu Gulati, Steven Ongena

Faculty Scholarship

Do markets value contract protections? And does the quality of a legal system affect such valuations? To answer these questions we exploit a unique experiment whereby, after January 1, 2013, newly issued sovereign bonds of Eurozone countries under domestic law had to include Collective Action Clauses (CACs) specifying the minimum vote needed to modify payment terms. We find that CAC bonds trade at lower yields than otherwise similar no-CAC bonds; and that the quality of the legal system matters for this differential. Hence, markets appear to see CACs as providing protection against the legal risk embedded in domestic-law sovereign bonds.


The Evolution Of Entrepreneurial Finance: A New Typology, J. Brad Bernthal Jan 2018

The Evolution Of Entrepreneurial Finance: A New Typology, J. Brad Bernthal

Articles

There has been an explosion in new types of startup finance instruments. Whereas twenty years ago preferred stock dominated the field, startup companies and investors now use at least eight different instruments—six of which have only become widely used in the last decade. Legal scholars have yet to reflect upon the proliferation of instrument types in the aggregate. Notably missing is a way to organize instruments into a common framework that highlights their similarities and differences.

This Article makes four contributions. First, it catalogues the variety of startup investment forms. I describe novel instruments, such as revenue-based financing, which ...


Shareholder Voting And The Symbolic Politics Of Corporation As Contract, Matthew T. Bodie, Grant M. Hayden Jan 2018

Shareholder Voting And The Symbolic Politics Of Corporation As Contract, Matthew T. Bodie, Grant M. Hayden

All Faculty Scholarship

American corporations are structured in such a way that shareholders, and shareholders alone, have the right to vote in all significant corporate decisions. Over the years, this exclusive shareholder franchise has been supported by an ongoing procession of justifications. But as those arguments have fallen by the wayside, shareholder primacists have circled back and latched upon a final argument for the special voting status of shareholders, arguing that this fundamental feature of corporate governance is the product of the set of freely-bargained-for agreements among all corporate constituents. Because this set of agreements reflects the preferences of all parties to the ...


Venture Capital Contract Design: An Empirical Analysis Of The Connection Between Bargaining Power And Venture Financing Contract Terms, Spencer Williams Dec 2017

Venture Capital Contract Design: An Empirical Analysis Of The Connection Between Bargaining Power And Venture Financing Contract Terms, Spencer Williams

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

This Article presents an empirical analysis of the connection between bargaining power and contract design using an original dataset of over 5,500 equity and debt venture financings from 2004–2015. Using the total supply of venture capital in the U.S. as a measure of relative bargaining power between entrepreneurs and investors, this Article finds that venture capital supply has a statistically significant relationship with price and non-price terms in both equity and debt financings. These results contradict one of three theoretical accounts of bargaining power and support the other two.


Tales From A Form Book: Stock Stories And Transactional Documents, Susan M. Chesler, Karen J. Sneddon Sep 2017

Tales From A Form Book: Stock Stories And Transactional Documents, Susan M. Chesler, Karen J. Sneddon

Montana Law Review

Tales from a Form Book: Stock Stories and Transactional Documents


How To Restructure Venezuelan Debt (¿Cómo Restructurar La Deuda Venezolana?), Mitu Gulati, Lee C. Buchheit Jan 2017

How To Restructure Venezuelan Debt (¿Cómo Restructurar La Deuda Venezolana?), Mitu Gulati, Lee C. Buchheit

Faculty Scholarship

English Abstract: There is a growing consensus that Venezuela will not be able to persist for much longer with its policy of full external debt service. The social costs are just too great. This implies a debt restructuring of some kind. Venezuela, principally through its state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PDVSA”), has extensive commercial contacts with the United States. Not since Mexico in the 1980s has an emerging market country with this level of commercial contacts attempted to restructure its New York law-governed sovereign debt. Holdout creditors in a restructuring of Venezuelan sovereign debt will therefore present ...


Sovereign Debt And The “Contracts Matter” Hypothesis, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

Sovereign Debt And The “Contracts Matter” Hypothesis, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The academic literature on sovereign debt largely assumes that law has little role to play. Indeed, the primary question addressed by the literature is why sovereigns repay at all given the irrelevance of legal enforcement. But if law, and specifically contract law, does not matter, how to explain the fact that sovereign loans involve detailed contracts, expensive lawyers, and frequent litigation? This Essay makes the case that contract design matters even in a world where sovereign borrowers are hard (but not impossible) to sue. We identify a number of gaps in the research that warrant further investigation.


Differing Perceptions? Market Practice And The Evolution Of Foreign Sovereign Immunity, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

Differing Perceptions? Market Practice And The Evolution Of Foreign Sovereign Immunity, W. Mark C. Weidemaier, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The 20th century witnessed a transformative, “tectonic” shift in international law, from “absolute” to “restrictive” theories of sovereign immunity. As conventionally understood, however, this dramatic transformation represented only a shift in the default rule. Under absolute immunity, national courts could not hear lawsuits and enforce judgments against a foreign sovereign without its consent. Under restrictive immunity, foreign sovereigns were presumptively not immune when they engaged in commercial acts. We demonstrate that market practices undermine this conventional understanding. Using an extensive, two-century data set of contracts between foreign governments and private creditors, we show that contracting parties have long treated absolute ...


Contractual Arbitrage, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott Jan 2017

Contractual Arbitrage, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contracts are inevitably incomplete. And standard-form or boilerplate commercial contracts are especially likely to be incomplete because they are approximations; they are not tailored to the needs of particular deals. Not only do these contracts contain gaps but, in an attempt to reduce incompleteness, they often contain clauses with vague or ambiguous terms. Terms with indeterminate meaning present opportunities for strategic behavior well after a contract has been concluded. This linguistic uncertainty in standard form commercial contracts creates an opportunity for “contractual arbitrage”: parties may argue, ex post, that the uncertainties in expression mean something that the contracting parties, ex ...


The Puzzle Of Pdvsa Bond Prices, Paolo Colla, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

The Puzzle Of Pdvsa Bond Prices, Paolo Colla, Anna Gelpern, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

Market reports in the summer of 2016 suggest that Venezuela is on the brink of default on upwards of $65 billion in debt. That debt comprises of bonds issued directly by the sovereign and those issued by the state-owned oil company PDVSA. Based on the bond contracts and other legal factors, it is not clear which of these two categories of bonds would fare better in the event of a restructuring. However, market observers are convinced — and we agree — that legal and contractual differences would likely impact the payouts on the bonds if Venezuela defaults. Using a comparison of recent ...


Restructuring Sovereign Debt After Nml V. Argentina, Lee C. Buchheit, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

Restructuring Sovereign Debt After Nml V. Argentina, Lee C. Buchheit, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The decade and a half of litigation that followed Argentina’s sovereign bond default in 2001 ended with a great disturbance in the Force. A new creditor weapon had been uncloaked: The prospect of a court injunction requiring the sovereign borrower to pay those creditors that decline to participate in a debt restructuring ratably with any payments made to those creditors that do provide the country with debt relief.

For the first time holdouts succeeded in fashioning a weapon that could be used to injure their erstwhile fellow bondholders, not just the sovereign issuer. Is the availability of this new ...


Financial Hospitals: Defending The Fed’S Role As A Market Maker Of Last Resort, José Gabilondo Aug 2016

Financial Hospitals: Defending The Fed’S Role As A Market Maker Of Last Resort, José Gabilondo

José Gabilondo

During the last financial crisis, what should the Federal Reserve (the Fed) have done when lenders stopped making loans, even to borrowers with sterling credit and strong collateral? Because the central bank is the last resort for funding, the conventional answer had been to lend freely at a penalty rate against good collateral, as Walter Bagehot suggested in 1873 about the Bank of England. Acting thus as a lender of last resort, the central bank will keep solvent banks liquid but let insolvent banks go out of business, as they should. The Fed tried this, but when the conventional wisdom ...


Contracting In The Age Of The Internet Of Things: Article 2 Of The Ucc And Beyond, Stacy-Ann Elvy Apr 2016

Contracting In The Age Of The Internet Of Things: Article 2 Of The Ucc And Beyond, Stacy-Ann Elvy

Articles & Chapters

This Article analyzes the global phenomenon of the Internet of Things (“IOT”) and its potential impact on consumer contracts for the sale of goods. Recent examples of IOT products include Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service, which allows household devices to automatically reorder goods. By 2025, the IOT is estimated to have an economic impact of as much as $11.1 trillion. To date, there are approximately fifteen billion interconnected devices, and by 2020, there will be fifty billion such devices worldwide. IOT devices will revolutionize the way that consumers shop for consumable supplies and other goods. Consumers will no longer ...


Bringing Continuity To Cryptocurrency: Commercial Law As A Guide To The Asset Categorization Of Bitcoin, Evan Hewitt Mar 2016

Bringing Continuity To Cryptocurrency: Commercial Law As A Guide To The Asset Categorization Of Bitcoin, Evan Hewitt

Seattle University Law Review

This Note will undertake to analyze bitcoin under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)—two important sources of commercial law—to see whether any existing asset categories adequately protect bitcoin’s commercial viability. This Note will demonstrate that although commercial law dictates that bitcoin should—nay must—be regulated as a currency in order to sustain its existence, the very definition of currency seems to preclude that from happening. Therefore, this Note will recommend that we experiment with a new type of asset that receives currency-like treatment, specifically designed for cryptocurrencies, under which bitcoin can ...


Agency Theory As Prophecy: How Boards, Analysts, And Fund Managers Perform Their Roles, Jiwook Jung, Frank Dobbin Mar 2016

Agency Theory As Prophecy: How Boards, Analysts, And Fund Managers Perform Their Roles, Jiwook Jung, Frank Dobbin

Seattle University Law Review

In 1976, Michael Jensen and William Meckling published a paper reintroducing agency theory that explained how the modern corporation is structured to serve dispersed shareholders. They purported to describe the world as it exists but, in fact, they described a utopia, and their piece was read as a blueprint for that utopia. We take a page from the sociology of knowledge to argue that, in the modern world, economic theories function as prescriptions for behavior as much as they function as descriptions. Economists and management theorists often act as prophets rather than scientists, describing the world not as it is ...


Open Sesame: The Myth Of Alibaba's Extreme Corporate Governance And Control, Yu-Hsin Lin, Thomas Mehaffy Jan 2016

Open Sesame: The Myth Of Alibaba's Extreme Corporate Governance And Control, Yu-Hsin Lin, Thomas Mehaffy

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

In September 2014, Alibaba Group Holding Limited (Alibaba) successfully launched a $25 billion initial public offering (IPO), the largest IPO ever, on New York Stock Exchange. Alibaba’s IPO success witnessed a wave among Chinese Internet companies to raise capital in U.S capital markets. A significant number of these companies have employed a novel, but poorly understood corporate ownership and control mechanism—the variable interest entity (VIE) structure and/or the disproportional control structure. The VIE structure was created in response to the Chinese restriction on foreign investments; however, it carries the risk of being declared illegal under Chinese ...


The Customer's Nonwaivable Right To Choose Arbitration In The Securities Industry, Jill I. Gross Jan 2016

The Customer's Nonwaivable Right To Choose Arbitration In The Securities Industry, Jill I. Gross

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

Arbitration has been the predominant form of dispute resolution in the securities industry since the 1980s. Virtually all brokerage firms include predispute arbitration agreements (PDAAs) in their retail customer contracts, and have successfully fought off challenges to their validity. Additionally, the industry has long mandated that firms submit to arbitration at the demand of a customer, even in the absence of a PDAA.

More recently, however, brokerage firms have been arguing that forum selection clauses in their agreements with sophisticated customers (such as institutional investors and issuers) supersede firms’ duty to arbitrate under FINRA Rule 12200. Circuit courts currently are ...


Pricing Contract Terms In A Crisis: Venezuelan Bonds In 2016, Elena Carletti, Paolo Colla, Mitu Gulati, Steven Ongena Jan 2016

Pricing Contract Terms In A Crisis: Venezuelan Bonds In 2016, Elena Carletti, Paolo Colla, Mitu Gulati, Steven Ongena

Faculty Scholarship

As of this writing in June 2016, the markets are predicting Venezuela to be on the brink of default. On June 1, 2016, the 6 month CDS contract traded at about 7000bps which translates into a likelihood of default of over 90%. Our interest in the Venezuelan crisis is that its outstanding sovereign bonds have a unique set of contractual features that, in combination with its near-default status, have created a natural experiment. This experiment has the potential to shed light on one of the long standing questions that sits at the intersection of the fields of law and finance ...


The Pricing Of Non-Price Terms In Sovereign Bonds: The Case Of The Greek Guarantees, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati Jan 2016

The Pricing Of Non-Price Terms In Sovereign Bonds: The Case Of The Greek Guarantees, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

In March 2012, Greece conducted one of the biggest and most brutal sovereign debt restructurings ever, asking holders of Greek government bonds to take net present value haircuts of near 80 percent. Greece forced acquiescence to its terms from a large number of its bonds by using a variety of legal strong-arm tactics. With the vast majority of Greek bonds, the tactics worked. There were, however, thirty-six bonds guaranteed by the Greek state, which, because of the weakness of the underlying companies, were effectively obligations of the Greek state. Yet, on these thirty six bonds, even though Greece desperately needed ...


Sovereign Debt: Now What?, Anna Gelpern Jan 2016

Sovereign Debt: Now What?, Anna Gelpern

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The sovereign debt restructuring regime looks like it is coming apart. Changing patterns of capital flows, old creditors’ weakening commitment to past practices, and other stakeholders’ inability to take over, or coalesce behind a viable alternative, have challenged the regime from the moment it took shape in the mid-1990s. By 2016, its survival cannot be taken for granted. Crises in Argentina, Greece, and Ukraine since 2010 exposed the regime’s perennial failures and new shortcomings. Until an alternative emerges, there may be messier, more protracted restructurings, more demands on public resources, and more pressure on national courts to intervene in ...


A Corporation's Securities Litigation Gambit: Fee-Shifting Provisions That Defend Against Fraud-On-The-Market, Steven W. Lippman May 2015

A Corporation's Securities Litigation Gambit: Fee-Shifting Provisions That Defend Against Fraud-On-The-Market, Steven W. Lippman

University of Richmond Law Review

Part I discusses the current landscape of securities class action litigation. It explains how and why the suits are initiated and dis­ cusses the outcome of Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. (HalliburtonII).19 PartII discusses the framework for the proposi­tion of this comment. It provides a brief history of significant cas­ es and incorporates several recent cases that have opened the door to the possibility of implementing fee-shifting clauses. It concludes with a comparison to other contractual provisions cur­ rently being implemented by corporations and also analyzes fee­ shifting provisions under federal preemption. Part III explains ...