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Full-Text Articles in Securities Law

Index Funds And The Future Of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence, And Policy, Scott Hirst Sep 2019

Index Funds And The Future Of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence, And Policy, Scott Hirst

Faculty Scholarship

Index funds own an increasingly large proportion of American public companies. The stewardship decisions of index fund managers—how they monitor, vote, and engage with their portfolio companies—can be expected to have a profound impact on the governance and performance of public companies and the economy. Understanding index fund stewardship, and how policymaking can improve it, is thus critical for corporate law scholarship. In this Article we contribute to such understanding by providing a comprehensive theoretical, empirical, and policy analysis of index fund stewardship.

We begin by putting forward an agency-costs theory of index fund incentives. Stewardship decisions by ...


Corporate Governance By Index Exclusion, Scott Hirst, Kobi Kastiel May 2019

Corporate Governance By Index Exclusion, Scott Hirst, Kobi Kastiel

Faculty Scholarship

Investors have long been unhappy with certain governance arrangements adopted by companies undertaking initial public offerings, such as dual-class voting structures. Traditional sources of corporate governance rules—the Securities and Exchange Commission, state law, and exchange listing rules—do not constrain these arrangements. As a result, investors have turned to a new source of governance rules: index providers.

This Article provides a comprehensive analysis of index exclusion rules and their likely effects on insiders’ decision-making. We show that efforts to portray index providers as the new sheriffs of the U.S. capital markets are overstated. Index providers face complex and ...


The Specter Of The Giant Three, Scott Hirst, Lucian Bebchuk May 2019

The Specter Of The Giant Three, Scott Hirst, Lucian Bebchuk

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines the large, steady, and continuing growth of the Big Three index fund managers — BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street Global Advisors. We show that there is a real prospect that index funds will continue to grow, and that voting in most significant public companies will come to be dominated by the future “Giant Three.”

We begin by analyzing the drivers of the rise of the Big Three, including the structural factors that are leading to the heavy concentration of the index funds sector. We then provide empirical evidence about the past growth and current status of the Big ...


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 ...


Revolving Elites: The Unexplored Risk Of Capturing The Sec, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2019

Revolving Elites: The Unexplored Risk Of Capturing The Sec, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas

Faculty Scholarship

Fears have abounded for years that the sweet spot for capture of regulatory agencies is the "revolving door" whereby civil servants migrate from their roles as regulators to private industry. Recent scholarship on this topic has examined whether America's watchdog for securities markets, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is hobbled by the long-standing practices of its enforcement staff exiting their jobs at the Commission and migrating to lucrative private sector employment where they represent those they once regulated. The research to date has been inconclusive on whether staff revolving door practices have weakened the SEC' s verve. In ...


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 ...


Will Fifty Years Of The Sec's Disgorgement Remedy Be Abolished, Roberta Karmel Jul 2018

Will Fifty Years Of The Sec's Disgorgement Remedy Be Abolished, Roberta Karmel

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Case For Investor Ordering, Scott Hirst Jul 2018

The Case For Investor Ordering, Scott Hirst

Faculty Scholarship

Whether corporate arrangements should be mandated by public law or “privately ordered” by corporations themselves has been a foundational question in corporate law scholarship. State corporation laws are generally privately ordered. But a significant and growing number of arrangements are governed by “corporate regulations” created by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). SEC corporate regulations are invariably mandatory. Whether they should be is the focus of this Article.

This Article contributes to the ongoing debate by showing that whether mandatory or privately-ordered rules are optimal depends on the nature of investors, and their incentives in choosing corporate arrangements ...


Universal Proxies, Scott Hirst Apr 2018

Universal Proxies, Scott Hirst

Faculty Scholarship

Contested director elections are a central feature of the corporate landscape, and underlie shareholder activism. Shareholders vote by unilateral proxies, which prevent them from “mixing and matching” among nominees from either side. The solution is universal proxies. The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a universal proxy rule, which has been the subject of heated debate and conflicting claims. This paper provides the first empirical analysis of universal proxies, allowing evaluation of these claims.

The paper’s analysis shows that unilateral proxies can lead to distorted proxy contest outcomes, which disenfranchise shareholders. By removing these distortions, universal proxies would improve ...


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 Fiduciary Principle Of Insider Trading Needs Revision, Roberta S. Karmel Jan 2018

The Fiduciary Principle Of Insider Trading Needs Revision, Roberta S. Karmel

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Seeking An Objective For Regulating Insider Trading Through Texas Gulf Sulphur, James D. Cox Jan 2018

Seeking An Objective For Regulating Insider Trading Through Texas Gulf Sulphur, James D. Cox

Faculty Scholarship

Data summarized in the opening of this article document that inside trading is a growth industry. And, as deals get ever bigger, the growth curve becomes steeper as more the data confirms intuition that the more who know about a good thing the more who will seek to harvest its benefits. Even though insider trading appears to have thrived during the fifty years after Texas Gulf Sulphur, we gather in this symposium to celebrate the decision. But why? As developed below, the Second Circuit’s landmark decision gave way to the Supreme Court’s erection of a fiduciary framework that ...


The Myth Of The Ideal Investor, Elisabeth De Fontenay Jan 2018

The Myth Of The Ideal Investor, Elisabeth De Fontenay

Faculty Scholarship

Critiques of specific investor behavior often assume an ideal investor against which all others should be compared. This ideal investor figures prominently in the heated debates over the impact of investor time horizons on firm value. In much of the commentary, the ideal is a longterm investor that actively monitors management, but the specifics are typically left vague. That is no coincidence. The various characteristics that we might wish for in such an investor cannot peacefully coexist in practice.

If the ideal investor remains illusory, which of the real-world investor types should we champion instead? The answer, I argue, is ...


The Hausmann-Gorky Effect, Mitu Gulati, Ugo Panizza Jan 2018

The Hausmann-Gorky Effect, Mitu Gulati, Ugo Panizza

Faculty Scholarship

For over a century, legal scholars have debated the question of what to do about the debts incurred by despotic governments; asking whether successor non-despotic governments should have to pay them. That debate has gone nowhere. This paper examines whether an Op Ed written by Harvard economist, Ricardo Hausmann, in May 2017, may have shown an alternative path to the goal of increasing the cost of borrowing for despotic governments. Hausmann, in his Op Ed, had sought to produce a pricing penalty on the entire Venezuelan debt stock by trying to shame JPMorgan into removing Venezuelan bonds from its emerging ...


Reconceptualizing The Whistleblower's Dilemma, Miriam Baer Jun 2017

Reconceptualizing The Whistleblower's Dilemma, Miriam Baer

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


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 ...


The Great Etf Tax Swindle: The Taxation Of In-Kind Redemptions, Jeffrey Colon Jan 2017

The Great Etf Tax Swindle: The Taxation Of In-Kind Redemptions, Jeffrey Colon

Faculty Scholarship

Since the repeal of the General Utilities doctrine over 30 years ago, corporations must recognize gain when distributing appreciated property to their shareholders. Regulated investment companies (RICs), which generally must be organized as domestic corporations, are exempt from this rule when distributing property in kind to a redeeming shareholder. In-kind redemptions, while rare for mutual funds, are a fundamental feature of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Because fund managers decide which securities to distribute, they distribute assets with unrealized gains and thereby significantly reduce the future tax burdens of their current and future shareholders. Many ETFs have morphed into investment vehicles that ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


The Financial Crisis And Credit Unavailability: Cause Or Effect?, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2017

The Financial Crisis And Credit Unavailability: Cause Or Effect?, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

Although the relationship between credit availability and financial decline leading to the global financial crisis was somewhat interactive, a loss of credit availability appears to have caused the financial crisis more than the reverse. The potential for credit unavailability to cause a financial crisis suggests at least three lessons: (i) because credit availability is dependent on financial markets as well as banks, regulation should protect the viability of both credit sources; (ii) diversifying sources of credit might increase financial stability if each credit source is robust and does not create a liquidity glut or inappropriately weaken central bank control; and ...


The Deregulation Of Private Capital And The Decline Of The Public Company, Elisabeth De Fontenay Jan 2017

The Deregulation Of Private Capital And The Decline Of The Public Company, Elisabeth De Fontenay

Faculty Scholarship

From its inception, the federal securities law regime created and enforced a major divide between public and private capital raising. Firms that chose to “go public” took on substantial disclosure burdens, but in exchange were given the exclusive right to raise capital from the general public. Over time, however, the disclosure quid pro quo has been subverted: Public companies are still asked to disclose, yet capital is flooding into private companies with regulators’ blessing.

This Article provides a critique of the new public-private divide centered on its information effects. While regulators may have hoped for both the private and public ...


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.


Brief Of Professors At Law And Business Schools As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Respondents, James D. Cox, J. Robert Brown Jr., Lyman Johnson, Lawrence W. Treece, Joan Macleod Heminway Jan 2017

Brief Of Professors At Law And Business Schools As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Respondents, James D. Cox, J. Robert Brown Jr., Lyman Johnson, Lawrence W. Treece, Joan Macleod Heminway

Faculty Scholarship

This Amicus Brief was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of nearly 50 law and business faculty in the United States and Canada who have a common interest in ensuring a proper interpretation of the statutory securities regulation framework put in place by the U.S. Congress. Specifically, all amici agree that Item 303 of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation S-K creates a duty to disclose for purposes of Rule 10b-5(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The Court’s affirmation of a duty to disclose would have little effect on existing practice ...


Deterring Holdout Creditors In A Restructuring Of Pdvsa Bonds And Promissory Notes (¿Cómo Disuadir A Acreedores 'Holdout' En Una Restructuración De Bonos Y Pagarés De Pdvsa?), Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

Deterring Holdout Creditors In A Restructuring Of Pdvsa Bonds And Promissory Notes (¿Cómo Disuadir A Acreedores 'Holdout' En Una Restructuración De Bonos Y Pagarés De Pdvsa?), Lee C. Buchheit, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

The prospect of the potential mischief that may be caused by holdout creditors in a Venezuelan sovereign debt restructuring is probably the main reason why the Maduro administration has not attempted such an exercise. The next administration in Venezuela — whenever and however it may arrive — will not want for suggestions about how to minimize or neutralize this holdout creditor threat. This short article is another contribution to that growing literature. Were the Republic of Venezuela to acknowledge that there really is only one public sector credit risk in the country, and that the distinction between Republic bonds and PDVSA bonds ...


Rethinking Corporate Governance For A Bondholder Financed, Systemically Risky World, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2017

Rethinking Corporate Governance For A Bondholder Financed, Systemically Risky World, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

This Article makes two arguments that, combined, demonstrate an important synergy: first, including bondholders in corporate governance could help to reduce systemic risk because bondholders are more risk averse than shareholders; second, corporate governance should include bondholders because bonds now dwarf equity as a source of corporate financing and bond prices are increasingly tied to firm performance.


The Sec's Neglected Weapon: A Proposed Amendment To Section 17(A)(3) And The Application Of Negligent Insider Trading, Marc I. Steinberg, Abel Ramirez Jr. Jan 2017

The Sec's Neglected Weapon: A Proposed Amendment To Section 17(A)(3) And The Application Of Negligent Insider Trading, Marc I. Steinberg, Abel Ramirez Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Section 17(a)(3) has been widely neglected as a weapon in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) arsenal against insider trading. Section 17(a)(3) carries the potential of providing the SEC with an advantage that is not afforded by Section 10(b), Rule 10b-5, or Rule 14e-3 — the authority to prosecute insider trading claims premised on the lesser mental state of negligence, thus casting a wider net to enforce insider trading regulations against a new category of defendants — negligent inside traders as well as negligent tippers and tippees. Currently, when pursuing insider trading violations, the Securities and ...


Sovereign Debt Restructuring And English Governing Law, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2017

Sovereign Debt Restructuring And English Governing Law, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

The problem of sovereign indebtedness is becoming a worldwide crisis because nations, unlike individuals and corporations, lack access to bankruptcy laws to restructure unsustainable debt. Decades of international efforts to solve this problem through contracting and attempted treaty-making have failed to provide an adequate debt-restructuring framework. A significant amount of outstanding sovereign debt is governed, however, by English law. This Article argues that the U.K. Parliament has the extraordinary power to help solve the problem of unsustainable country debt by changing English law to facilitate fair and consensual debt restructuring. This Article also proposes modifications to English law that ...