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Full-Text Articles in Securities Law

Global Settlements: Promise And Peril, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2019

Global Settlements: Promise And Peril, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In 2010, Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd. destabilized the world of securities litigation by denying those who purchased their securities outside the U.S. the ability to sue in the U.S. (as they had previously often done). Nature, however abhors a vacuum, and practitioners and other jurisdictions began to seek ways to regain access to U.S. courts. Several techniques have emerged: (1) expanding settlement classes so that they are broader than litigation classes and treating the location of the transaction as strictly a merits issue that defendants could waive; (2) adopting U.S. law as applicable to ...


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 ...


Class Actions In The Era Of Trump: Trends And Developments In Class Certification And Related Issues, John C. Coffee Jr., Alexandra D. Lahav Jan 2017

Class Actions In The Era Of Trump: Trends And Developments In Class Certification And Related Issues, John C. Coffee Jr., Alexandra D. Lahav

Faculty Scholarship

In this memorandum prepared for the Annual ABA National Institute on Class Actions, Professors Coffee and Lahav review and assess developments in class certification over recent years, and track trends in approaches to certification. Special attention is given to securities litigation, the use of confidential witnesses, ascertainability, attorney's fees, standing, mootness, statutes of repose, and the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions, including Halliburton II and Spokeo.


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 have an uneasy relationship today. It was not always so. Indeed, the two were closely intertwined at the nation's birth. The Treasury Department was a major hub of early federal administration, with Alexander Hamilton crafting the first iterations of federal administrative law in his oversight of revenue generation and customs collection. One hundred and fifty years later, administrative law and financial regulation were conjoined in the New Deal's creation of the modern administrative state. This time it was James Landis, Chair of the newly formed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and author of ...


Mandatory Disclosure And Individual Investors: Evidence From The Jobs Act, Colleen Honisberg, Robert J. Jackson Jr., Yu-Ting Forester Wong Jan 2015

Mandatory Disclosure And Individual Investors: Evidence From The Jobs Act, Colleen Honisberg, Robert J. Jackson Jr., Yu-Ting Forester Wong

Faculty Scholarship

One prominent justification for the mandatory disclosure rules that define modem securities law is that these rules encourage individual investors to participate in stock markets. Mandatory disclosure, the theory goes, gives individual investors access to information that puts them on a more equal playing field with sophisticated institutional shareholders. Although this reasoning has long been cited by regulators and commentators as a basis for mandating disclosure, recent work has questioned its validity. In particular, recent studies contend that individual investors are overwhelmed by the amount of information required to be disclosed under current law, and thus they cannot and do ...


The Impact Of Hedge Fund Activism: Evidence And Implications, John C. Coffee Jr., Darius Palia Jan 2014

The Impact Of Hedge Fund Activism: Evidence And Implications, John C. Coffee Jr., Darius Palia

Faculty Scholarship

Hedge fund activism has increased almost hyperbolically. Some view this optimistically as a means for bridging the separation of ownership and control; others are more pessimistic, seeing mainly wealth transfers from bondholders or speculative expectations of a takeover as fueling the spike. Equivalent division exists over the impact of this increased activism, with optimists seeing real gains that do not erode over time and improvements in operating performance, and pessimists predicting shortened investment horizons, increased leverage, and reduced investment in research and development.

Our perspective is analytic. We begin by surveying the regulatory and institutional developments that have reduced the ...


Corporate Inversions And The Unbundling Of Regulatory Competition, Eric L. Talley Jan 2014

Corporate Inversions And The Unbundling Of Regulatory Competition, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

A sizable number of US public companies have recently executed “tax inversions” – acquisitions that move a corporation’s residency abroad while maintaining its listing in domestic securities markets. When appropriately structured, inversions replace American with foreign tax treatment of extraterritorial earnings, often at far lower effective rates. Regulators and politicians have reacted with alarm to the “inversionitis” pandemic, with many championing radical tax reforms. This paper questions the prudence of such extreme reactions, both on practical and on conceptual grounds. Practically, I argue that inversions are simply not a viable strategy for many firms, and thus the ongoing wave may ...


Rolling Back The Repo Safe Harbors, Edward R. Morrison, Mark J. Roe, Christopher S. Sontchi Jan 2014

Rolling Back The Repo Safe Harbors, Edward R. Morrison, Mark J. Roe, Christopher S. Sontchi

Faculty Scholarship

Recent decades have seen substantial expansion in exemptions from the Bankruptcy Code's normal operation for repurchase agreements. These repos, which are equivalent to very short-term (often one-day) secured loans, are exempt from core bankruptcy rules such as the automatic stay that enjoins debt collection, rules against prebankruptcy fraudulent transfers, and rules against eve-of-bankruptcy preferential payment to favored creditors over other creditors. While these exemptions can be justified for United States Treasury securities and similarly liquid obligations backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, they are not justified for mortgage-backed securities and other securities that ...


Fee-Shifting Bylaw And Charter Provisions: Can They Apply In Federal Court? – The Case For Preemption, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2014

Fee-Shifting Bylaw And Charter Provisions: Can They Apply In Federal Court? – The Case For Preemption, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In the first months after a decision of the Delaware Supreme Court upholding a fee-shifting bylaw under which the unsuccessful plaintiff shareholder was required to reimburse all defendants for their legal and other expenses in the litigation, some 24 public companies adopted a similar provision – either by means of a board-adopted bylaw or by placing such a provision in their certificate of incorporation (in the case of companies undergoing an IPO). In effect, private ordering is introducing a one-sided version of the “loser pays” rules. Indeed, as drafted, these provisions typically require a plaintiff who is not completely successful to ...


Idiosyncratic Risk During Economic Downturns: Implications For The Use Of Event Studies In Securities Litigation, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2013

Idiosyncratic Risk During Economic Downturns: Implications For The Use Of Event Studies In Securities Litigation, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

We reported in a recent paper that during the 2008-09 financial crisis, for the average firm, idiosyncratic risk, as measured by variance, increased by five-fold. This finding is important for securities litigation because idiosyncratic risk plays a central role in event study methodology. Event studies are commonly used in securities litigation to determine materiality and loss causation. Many bits of news affect an issuer’s share price at the time of a corporate disclosure that is the subject of litigation. Because of this, even if an issuer’s market–adjusted price changes at the time of the disclosure, one cannot ...


Mapping The Future Of Insider Trading Law: Of Boundaries, Gaps, And Strategies, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2013

Mapping The Future Of Insider Trading Law: Of Boundaries, Gaps, And Strategies, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The current law on insider trading is remarkably unrationalized because it contains gaps and loopholes the size of the Washington Square Arch. For example, if a thief breaks into your office, opens your files, learns material nonpublic information, and trades on that information, he has not breached a fiduciary duty and is presumably exempt from insider trading liability. But drawing a line that can convict only the fiduciary and not the thief seems morally incoherent. Nor is it doctrinally necessary.

The basic methodology handed down by the Supreme Court in SEC v. Dirks and United States v. O'Hagan dictates ...


Delaware Court Of Chancery: Change, Continuity – And Competition, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2012

Delaware Court Of Chancery: Change, Continuity – And Competition, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

For Delaware, it is the best of times and the worst of times. The institutional prestige of the Delaware Court of Chancery has never been higher. Under the leadership of Chancellors Allen, Chandler and Strine, the court has converted many (and possibly most) of the academics, who once tended to be skeptical of Delaware. Academics and practitioners alike have been impressed by both the depth and thoughtfulness of the court of chancery's decisions and the hardworking style of its vice chancellors (who regularly seem able to turn out lengthy decisions in days that would take many federal circuit courts ...


The Political Economy Of Dodd-Frank: Why Financial Reform Tends To Be Frustrated And Systemic Risk Perpetuated, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2012

The Political Economy Of Dodd-Frank: Why Financial Reform Tends To Be Frustrated And Systemic Risk Perpetuated, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

A good crisis should never go to waste. In the world of financial regulation, experience has shown – since at least the time of the South Sea Bubble three hundred years ago – that only after a catastrophic market collapse can legislators and regulators overcome the resistance of the financial community and adopt comprehensive "re-form" legislation. U.S. financial history both confirms and conforms to this generalization. The Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 were the product of the 1929 stock-market crash and the Great Depression, with their enactment following the inauguration of President Franklin Roosevelt in ...


The Law And Economics Of Blockholder Disclosure, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Robert J. Jackson Jr. Jan 2012

The Law And Economics Of Blockholder Disclosure, Lucian A. Bebchuk, Robert J. Jackson Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently considering a rulemaking petition that advocates tightening the rules under the Williams Act, which regulates the disclosure of large blocks of stock in public companies. In this Article, we explain why the Commission should not view the proposed tightening as a merely "technical" change needed to meet the objectives of the Williams Act, provide market transparency, or modernize its regulations. The drafters of the Williams Act made a conscious choice not to impose an inflexible 5% cap on pre-disclosure accumulations of shares to avoid deterring investors from accumulating large blocks of shares. We ...


Enhancing Investor Protection And The Regulation Of Securities Markets, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2009

Enhancing Investor Protection And The Regulation Of Securities Markets, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

This is the congressional testimony of Professor John C. Coffee, Jr., before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, March 10, 2009.


Redesigning The Sec: Does The Treasury Have A Better Idea?, John C. Coffee Jr., Hillary A. Sale Jan 2009

Redesigning The Sec: Does The Treasury Have A Better Idea?, John C. Coffee Jr., Hillary A. Sale

Faculty Scholarship

Symposiums supply a snapshot in time. By observing the common assumptions and shared frameworks of a collection of scholars writing contemporaneously, one gains both insight into the intellectual world of a past era and the ability to measure its distance from our own. Twenty-five years ago the Virginia Law Review organized a noted symposium (the "1984 Symposium") to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the SEC. A number of prominent scholars participated, and its articles have been much cited.


Public Ownership. Firm Governance, And Litigation Risk, Eric L. Talley Jan 2009

Public Ownership. Firm Governance, And Litigation Risk, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Many going-private transactions are motivated – at least ostensibly – by the desire to escape the burdens and costs of public ownership. Although these burdens have many purported manifestations, one commonly cited is the risk of litigation, which may be borne both directly by the firm and/or its fiduciaries or reflected in director and officer insurance premia funded at company expense. An important issue for the "litigation risk" justification of privatization is whether alternative (and less expensive) steps falling short of going private – such as governance reforms – may augur sufficiently against litigation exposure. In this Article, I consider whether, controlling for ...


Accountability And Competition In Securities Class Actions: Why "Exit" Works Better Than "Voice", John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2008

Accountability And Competition In Securities Class Actions: Why "Exit" Works Better Than "Voice", John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The rules of "litigation governance" in class actions are diametrically different from the rules of corporate governance, in large part because the former works off an "opt out" rule while the latter employs an "opt in" rule. This results in higher agency costs in the former context. To address this problem, reformers have long favored remedies such as the "lead plaintiff" provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act ("PSLRA"), which in theory give class members a stronger voice. Empirically, however, such "voice-based" reforms appear to have had no more than a modest impact. But an alternative remedy appears to ...


Reputational Sanctions In China's Securities Market, Benjamin L. Liebman, Curtis J. Milhaupt Jan 2008

Reputational Sanctions In China's Securities Market, Benjamin L. Liebman, Curtis J. Milhaupt

Faculty Scholarship

Literature suggests two distinct paths to stock market development: an approach based on legal protections for investors, and an approach based on self-regulation of listed companies by stock exchanges. This Essay traces China's attempts to pursue both approaches, while focusing primarily on the role of the stock exchanges as regulators. Specifically, the Essay examines a fascinating but unstudied aspect of Chinese securities regulation – public criticism of listed companies by the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges. Based on both event study methodology and extensive interviews of market actors, we find that the public criticisms have significant effects on listed companies and ...


Law And The Market: The Impact Of Enforcement, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2007

Law And The Market: The Impact Of Enforcement, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The intensity of enforcement efforts by securities regulators varies widely among financially developed nations, but countries with "common law origins" appear to systematically expend more on securities regulation than countries with "civil law origins." However, whether this variable of relative enforcement intensity explains the greater financial development of countries with common law origins or is instead the product of that differential in development remains open to question and depends on the direction of causality. This paper examines several explanations and prefers the hypothesis that enforcement intensity is a product of the level of retail ownership in the jurisdiction, with a ...


Reputational Sanctions In China's Securities Market, Benjamin L. Liebman, Curtis J. Milhaupt Jan 2007

Reputational Sanctions In China's Securities Market, Benjamin L. Liebman, Curtis J. Milhaupt

Faculty Scholarship

Literature suggests two distinct paths to stock market development: an approach based on legal protections for investors, and an approach based on self-regulation of listed companies by stock exchanges. This paper traces China's attempts to pursue both approaches, while focusing on the role of the stock exchanges as regulators. Specifically, the paper examines a fascinating but unstudied aspect of Chinese securities regulation, namely, public criticism of listed companies by the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges. Based on both event study methodology and extensive interviews of market actors, we find that the criticisms have significant effects on listed companies and their ...


Reforming The Securities Class Action: An Essay On Deterrence And Its Implementation, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2006

Reforming The Securities Class Action: An Essay On Deterrence And Its Implementation, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The securities class action cannot be justified in terms of compensation, but only in terms of deterrence. Currently, the damages recovered through private enforcement dwarf the financial penalties levied by public enforcement. Yet, the evidence is clear that corporate officers and insiders rarely contribute to securities class action settlements, with the settlement funds coming instead from the corporation and its insurers. As a result, the cost of such actions in the aggregate falls on largely diversified shareholders. Such a system is akin to punishing the victims of burglary for their negligence in suffering a burglary and does little to deter ...


Reforming The Securities Class Action: On Deterrence And Its Implementation, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2006

Reforming The Securities Class Action: On Deterrence And Its Implementation, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Securities class actions impose enormous penalties, but they achieve little compensation and only limited deterrence. This is because of a basic circularity underlying the securities class action: When damages are imposed on the corporation, they essentially fall on diversified shareholders, thereby producing mainly pocket-shifting wealth transfers among shareholders. The current equilibrium benefits corporate insiders, insurers, and plaintiffs' attorneys, but not investors. The appropriate answer to this problem is not to abandon securities litigation, but to shift the incidence of its penalties so that, in the secondary market context, they fall less on the corporation and more on those actors who ...


Causation By Presumption? Why The Supreme Court Should Reject Phantom Losses And Reverse Broudo, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2005

Causation By Presumption? Why The Supreme Court Should Reject Phantom Losses And Reverse Broudo, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Over a quarter of a century ago, Judge Henry Friendly coined the term "fraud by hindsight" in upholding the dismissal of a proposed securities class action. As he explained, it was too simple to look backward with full knowledge of actual events and allege what should have been earlier disclosed by a public corporation in its Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Because hindsight has twenty/twenty vision, plaintiffs could not fairly "seize [] upon disclosures" in later reports, he ruled, to show what defendants should have disclosed earlier.

Today, a parallel concept – "causation by presumption" – is before the Supreme Court ...


Gatekeeper Failure And Reform: The Challenge Of Fashioning Relevant Reforms, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2004

Gatekeeper Failure And Reform: The Challenge Of Fashioning Relevant Reforms, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Securities markets have long employed "gatekeepers" – independent professionals who pledge their reputational capital – to protect the interests of dispersed investors who cannot easily take collective action. The clearest examples of such reputational intermediaries are auditors and securities analysts, who verify or assess corporate disclosures in order to advise investors in different ways. But during the late 1990s, these protections seemingly failed, and a unique concentration of financial scandals followed, all involving the common denominator .of accounting irregularities. What caused this sudden outburst of scandals, involving an apparent epidemic of accounting and related financial irregularities, that broke over the financial markets ...


What Caused Enron? A Capsule Social And Economic History Of The 1990s, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2004

What Caused Enron? A Capsule Social And Economic History Of The 1990s, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The sudden explosion of corporate accounting scandals and related financial irregularities that burst over the financial markets between late 2001 and the first half of 2002 – Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia and others – raises an obvious question: Why now? What explains the concentration of financial scandals at this moment in time? Much commentary has rounded up the usual suspects and placed the blame on a decline in business morality, an increase in "infectious greed," or other similarly subjective trends that cannot be reliably measured. Although none of these possibilities can be dismissed out of hand, approaches that simply reason backwards, proceeding ...


Prescribing The Pill In Japan?, Curtis J. Milhaupt Jan 2004

Prescribing The Pill In Japan?, Curtis J. Milhaupt

Faculty Scholarship

Contrary to popular belief, corporate Japan is changing incrementally, to be sure, but changing nonetheless. One of the areas of greatest potential change is the legal and business environment for mergers and acquisitions ("M&A"), including hostile M&A. Recent amendments to Japan's Commercial Code in the areas of stock swaps and divestitures are helping to facilitate M&A transactions.1 At the same time, the constellation of shareholders in Japanese firms is changing as cross-shareholding declines and foreign investment increases. M&A activity in Japan has increased significantly in recent years.2


Corporate Governance, Executive Compensation And Securities Litigation, Eric L. Talley, Gudrun Johnsen Jan 2004

Corporate Governance, Executive Compensation And Securities Litigation, Eric L. Talley, Gudrun Johnsen

Faculty Scholarship

It is generally accepted that good corporate governance, executive compensation and the threat of litigation are all important mechanisms for incentivizing managers of public corporations. While there are significant and robust literatures analyzing each of these policy instruments in isolation, their mutual relationship and interaction has received somewhat less attention. Such neglect is mildly surprising in light of a strong intuition that the three devices are structurally related to one another (either as complements or substitutes). In this paper, we construct an agency cost model of the firm in which corporate governance protections, executive compensation levels, and litigation incentives are ...


The Attorney As Gatekeeper: An Agenda For The Sec, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2003

The Attorney As Gatekeeper: An Agenda For The Sec, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act authorizes the SEC to prescribe "minimum standards of professional conduct" for attorneys "appearing or practicing" before it. This brief statutory provision frames a much larger question: What is the role of the corporate attorney in securities transactions in the public markets? Is the attorney's role that of (a) an advocate, (b) a transaction cost engineer, or, more broadly, (c) a gatekeeper – that is, a reputational intermediary with some responsibility to monitor the accuracy of corporate disclosures? The bar has long divided over this question, with the bar associations resisting any such obligation. Yet ...


The Rise Of State Bankruptcy-Directed Legislation, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2003

The Rise Of State Bankruptcy-Directed Legislation, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This is a paper for a conference at Cardozo Law School on the relation between securitization and secured credit. Concerns about securitization have been focused by decisions of various States to take the lead in attempting to decide how those issues will be resolved in bankruptcy proceedings. In this paper I step back from that debate to ask a more fundamental question: who is to decide the appropriate policy response to those issues? On the one hand, Congress could decide those questions in the exercise of its exclusive constitutional power to enact bankruptcy laws. Or, if it chose to do ...