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The Economic (In) Significance Of Executive Pay Esg Incentives, David Walker Feb 2022

The Economic (In) Significance Of Executive Pay Esg Incentives, David Walker

Faculty Scholarship

The hottest topic in corporate governance circles today involves company commitments to and pursuit of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives in addition to the traditional pursuit of profits. One facet of this debate has to do with how to motivate executives to pursue ESG goals. Increasingly, companies tie executive pay to ESG performance, although even strong ESG advocates debate the advisability of doing so. This Article joins the fray by closely examining ESG-based CEO pay arrangements at a subset of companies with leadership positions on the Business Roundtable, an industry trade group that embraced ESG in a 2019 statement ...


Bilski And The Information Age A Decade Later, Michael Meurer Jan 2022

Bilski And The Information Age A Decade Later, Michael Meurer

Faculty Scholarship

In the years from State Street in 1999 to Alice in 2014, legal scholars vigorously debated whether patents should be used to incentivize the invention of business methods. That attention has waned just as economists have produced important new research on the topic, and just as artificial intelligence and cloud computing are changing the nature of business method innovation. This chapter rejoins the debate and concludes that the case for patent protection of business methods is weaker now than it was a decade ago.


The Millennial Corporation, Michal Barzuza, Quinn Curtis, David Webber Jan 2021

The Millennial Corporation, Michal Barzuza, Quinn Curtis, David Webber

Faculty Scholarship

In a prior paper, Shareholder Value(s): Index Fund ESG Activism and The New Millennial Corporate Governance, we argued that the index funds’ sudden shift towards socially-responsible investment, after decades of ignoring or opposing it, was driven by the competition to manage growing Millennial wealth. In our view, the main contribution of that paper was identifying sharp differences between Millennials and prior generations over investment, consumption, and employment. It has now become clear that this contribution has implications far beyond index-fund environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) activism and is in fact completely transforming the corporate world, marking a fundamental shift ...


Executive Pay Clawbacks And Their Taxation, David Walker Jan 2021

Executive Pay Clawbacks And Their Taxation, David Walker

Faculty Scholarship

Executive pay clawback provisions require executives to repay previously received compensation under certain circumstances, such as a downward adjustment to the financial results upon which their incentive pay was predicated. The use of these provisions is on the rise, and the SEC is expected to soon finalize rules implementing a mandatory, no-fault clawback requirement enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank legislation. The tax issue raised by clawbacks is this: should executives be allowed to recover taxes previously paid on compensation that is returned to the company as a result of a clawback provision? This Article argues that a full tax ...


Afghanistan's New Vat, Part 1: Invoice Matching Or A Unitary Digital Invoice, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi, Andrew Leahey, Yujin Li, Haseena Rahman Nov 2020

Afghanistan's New Vat, Part 1: Invoice Matching Or A Unitary Digital Invoice, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi, Andrew Leahey, Yujin Li, Haseena Rahman

Faculty Scholarship

In the summer of 1990 two groundbreaking articles on business process re-engineering (BPR) were published, one by Thomas H. Davenport (a professor in information technology at Babson College) in the MIT Sloan Management Review, the other by Michael Hammer (a professor of computer science at MIT) in the Harvard Business Review. BPR is a management strategy that analyzes IT-intensive workflow designs and business processes within an organization.

On December 21, 2020 (Jadi 1, 1399) Afghanistan was scheduled to implement a 10% VAT. It has been delayed one year by the pandemic. When it does implement, Afghanistan will have significant workflow ...


The Revival Of Respondeat Superior And Evolution Of Gatekeeper Liability, Rory Van Loo Oct 2020

The Revival Of Respondeat Superior And Evolution Of Gatekeeper Liability, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

In an era of servants and masters, respondeat superior emerged to hold the powerful accountable for the acts of those they control. That doctrine’s significance has only grown in an economy driven by large corporations that rely heavily on legions of subsidiaries and independent contractors, such as banks deploying independent call centers, oil companies using drilling contractors, and tech platforms connecting consumers to app developers. It is widely believed that firms can avoid third- party liability for many laws by outsourcing or creating subsidiaries.

This Article shows that common narratives of the demise of third-party liability are incomplete. Respondeat ...


Shareholder Value(S): Index Fund Esg Activism And The New Millennial Corporate Governance, David Webber, Michal Barzuza, Quinn Curtis Sep 2020

Shareholder Value(S): Index Fund Esg Activism And The New Millennial Corporate Governance, David Webber, Michal Barzuza, Quinn Curtis

Faculty Scholarship

Major index fund operators have been criticized as ineffective stewards of the firms in which they are now the largest shareholders. While scholars debate whether this passivity is a serious problem, index funds’ generally docile approach to ownership is broadly acknowledged.

However, this Article argues that the notion that index funds are passive owners overlooks an important dimension in which index funds have demonstrated outspoken, confrontational, and effective stewardship. Specifically, we document that index funds have taken a leading role in challenging management and voting
against directors in order to advance board diversity and corporate sustainability. We show that index ...


Federal Rules Of Platform Procedure, Rory Van Loo Apr 2020

Federal Rules Of Platform Procedure, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Tech platforms serve as private courthouses for disputes about speech, lodging, commerce, elections, and reputation. After receiving allegations of defamatory content in top search results, Google must decide between protecting one person’s public image and another’s profits or speech. Amazon adjudicates disputes between consumers and third-party merchants about defective or counterfeit items. For many small businesses, layoffs and bankruptcy hang in the balance. This Article uncovers the processes that these platforms use to resolve disputes, and proposes reforms. Other powerful businesses that intermediate, such as credit card companies ruling on a disputed charge between a merchant and consumer ...


Uk & Ksa Vats: A Cutting-Edge Proposal – Mini-Blockchain And Vatcoin, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi, Mike Cheetham Apr 2020

Uk & Ksa Vats: A Cutting-Edge Proposal – Mini-Blockchain And Vatcoin, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi, Mike Cheetham

Faculty Scholarship

This paper develops, extends, and clarifies themes introduced in five prior papers dealing with blockchain, and VATCoin in the context of both (a) the new VATs in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and (b) the mature VATs in the EU. Five additional papers on VAT technology advances in Fiji, with blockchain and VATCoin applications to New Zealand’s approach to online sales platforms (the Netlix Tax) are similarly referenced and extended. The GCC VAT papers were exploratory. For the most part, they were composed before any GCC jurisdiction had implemented a VAT, and in three instances even before the GCC ...


The New Gatekeepers: Private Firms As Public Enforcers, Rory Van Loo Apr 2020

The New Gatekeepers: Private Firms As Public Enforcers, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

The world’s largest businesses must routinely police other businesses. By public mandate, Facebook monitors app developers’ privacy safeguards, Citibank audits call centers for deceptive sales practices, and Exxon reviews offshore oil platforms’ environmental standards. Scholars have devoted significant attention to how policy makers deploy other private sector enforcers, such as certification bodies, accountants, lawyers, and other periphery “gatekeepers.” However, the literature has yet to explore the emerging regulatory conscription of large firms at the center of the economy. This Article examines the rise of the enforcer-firm through case studies of the industries that are home to the most valuable ...


In Defense Of Breakups: Administering A “Radical” Remedy, Rory Van Loo Jan 2020

In Defense Of Breakups: Administering A “Radical” Remedy, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Calls for breaking up monopolies—especially Amazon, Facebook, and Google—have largely focused on proving that past acquisitions of companies like Whole Foods, Instagram, and YouTube were anticompetitive. But scholars have paid insufficient attention to another major obstacle that also explains why the government in recent decades has not broken up a single large company. After establishing that an anticompetitive merger or other act has occurred, there is great skepticism of breakups as a remedy. Judges, scholars, and regulators see a breakup as extreme, frequently comparing the remedy to trying to “unscramble eggs.” They doubt the government’s competence in ...


Common Ownership And Executive Incentives: The Implausibility Of Compensation As An Anticompetitive Mechanism, David Walker Dec 2019

Common Ownership And Executive Incentives: The Implausibility Of Compensation As An Anticompetitive Mechanism, David Walker

Faculty Scholarship

Mutual funds, pension funds and other institutional investors are a growing presence in U.S. equity markets, and these investors frequently hold large stakes in shares of competing companies. Because these common owners might prefer to maximize the values of their portfolios of companies, rather than the value of individual companies in isolation, this new reality has lead to a concern that companies in concentrated industries with high degrees of common ownership might compete less vigorously with each other than they otherwise would. But what mechanism would link common ownership with reduced competition? Some commentators argue that one of the ...


Washington’S 'Cutting-Edge' Technology Solution To Combating Sales Tax Fraud: Real-Time Data (Now), Real-Time Remittance In The Future, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Robert Chicoine, Andrew Leahey, Sunder Gee Dec 2019

Washington’S 'Cutting-Edge' Technology Solution To Combating Sales Tax Fraud: Real-Time Data (Now), Real-Time Remittance In The Future, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Robert Chicoine, Andrew Leahey, Sunder Gee

Faculty Scholarship

Globally, consumption tax compliance (value added tax and retail sales tax) has gone digital – digital invoices are becoming mandatory, centralized monitoring of transactions and tax payments are increasingly common, and artificial intelligence is assessing fraud risks in real-time. When tax is collected, it is increasingly being remitted in near-real-time. This is the trajectory for the modern retail sales tax (RST) imposed by most states in the US. While this may appear to be revolutionary to the average American, it is a well-worn path among global nations using the value added tax (VAT). The RST will eventually be following suit. Washington ...


Data First – Tax Next: How Fiji’S Technology Can Improve New Zealand’S ‘Netflix Tax’ (Part 4), Richard Thompson Ainsworth Nov 2019

Data First – Tax Next: How Fiji’S Technology Can Improve New Zealand’S ‘Netflix Tax’ (Part 4), Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

This is the fourth paper examining the recent amendments to the New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST); amendments that are collectively known as the Netflix Tax. These papers assess the effectiveness of the Netflix provisions, and how they could be enhanced if New Zealand adopted the technology and vision of Fiji’s VAT Monitoring System (VMS). The Netflix provisions were effective, July 1, 2017.

This final paper considers:

(a) the treatment of domestic agents when they are used by remote service providers to facilitate sales to New Zealand customers;

(b) how New Zealand intends to respond to resident consumers ...


The Missing Regulatory State: Monitoring Businesses In An Age Of Surveillance, Rory Van Loo Oct 2019

The Missing Regulatory State: Monitoring Businesses In An Age Of Surveillance, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

An irony of the information age is that the companies responsible for the most extensive surveillance of individuals in history—large platforms such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google—have themselves remained unusually shielded from being monitored by government regulators. But the legal literature on state information acquisition is dominated by the privacy problems of excess collection from individuals, not businesses. There has been little sustained attention to the problem of insufficient information collection from businesses. This Article articulates the administrative state’s normative framework for monitoring businesses and shows how that framework is increasingly in tension with privacy concerns. One ...


Data First – Tax Next: How Fiji’S Technology Can Improve New Zealand’S 'Netflix Tax' (Electronic Marketplaces) Part 3, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Chang Che Oct 2019

Data First – Tax Next: How Fiji’S Technology Can Improve New Zealand’S 'Netflix Tax' (Electronic Marketplaces) Part 3, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Chang Che

Faculty Scholarship

This is the third paper examining the recent amendments to the New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST) that are commonly known as the Netflix Tax. A fourth paper will follow.

The importance and complexity of dealing with electronic marketplaces has made an independent paper on electronic marketplaces necessary. Taken together this set of four papers assess the effectiveness of the Netflix provisions, and how they can be enhanced by adopting the technology and vision of Fiji’s VAT Monitoring System (VMS). The Netflix provisions were effective, July 1, 2017.

This paper considers rules that allocate the responsibility for collecting ...


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 ...


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 ...


Data First – Tax Next: How Fiji’S Technology Can Improve New Zealand’S 'Netflix Tax' (Part 2), Richard Thompson Ainsworth May 2019

Data First – Tax Next: How Fiji’S Technology Can Improve New Zealand’S 'Netflix Tax' (Part 2), Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

This is the second in a four-part series addressing VAT/GST avoidance schemes involving remote sales of services. These schemes have been growing in importance. The IMF reports that the services component of cross-border trade has been on the rise for fifty-years or more, making the Internet a serious threat to revenue. Technology has accelerated tax avoidance.

Statutory draftsmen in New Zealand have looked at this problem directly with what has been called the Netflix Tax. Technologist in Fiji have been struggling with similar problems and have developed technology-based security systems that would seem to address remote sales of services ...


Data First – Tax Next: How Fiji’S Technology Can Improve New Zealand’S 'Netflix Tax' (Part 1), Richard Thompson Ainsworth Apr 2019

Data First – Tax Next: How Fiji’S Technology Can Improve New Zealand’S 'Netflix Tax' (Part 1), Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past decade the VAT in the South Pacific has been changing. More change is coming. Change is needed in both the larger economies (Australia and New Zealand) and the smaller ones (the Pacific Island Countries or PICs). The changes we see currently are propelled by cross-border remote sales of services and low-value goods.

The government response in the South Pacific is not uniform. The larger economies have relied on statutory remedies; the smaller economies are turning to technology. The larger economies are crafting complex, extra-territorial compliance provisions targeting remote sellers. The smaller economies are mandating secure digital invoices ...


The Supreme Court Bar At The Bar Of Patents, Paul Gugliuzza Mar 2019

The Supreme Court Bar At The Bar Of Patents, Paul Gugliuzza

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past two decades, a few dozen lawyers have come to dominate practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. By many accounts, these elite lawyers—whose clients are often among the largest corporations in the world—have spurred the Court to hear more cases that businesses care about and to decide those cases in favor of their clients. The Supreme Court’s recent case law on antitrust, arbitration, punitive damages, class actions, and more provides copious examples.

Though it is often overlooked in discussions of the emergent Supreme Court bar, patent law is another area in which the Court ...


Serial Collusion By Multi-Product Firms, Michael Meurer, William Kovacic, Robert Marshall Aug 2018

Serial Collusion By Multi-Product Firms, Michael Meurer, William Kovacic, Robert Marshall

Faculty Scholarship

We provide empirical evidence that many multi-product firms have each participated in several cartels over the past 50 years. Standard analysis of cartel conduct, as well as enforcement policy, is rooted in the presumption that each cartel in which a given firm participates is a singular activity, independent of other cartel conduct by the firm. We argue that this analysis is deficient in many respects in the face of serial collusion by multi-product firms. We offer policy recommendations to reign in serial collusion, including a mandatory coordinated effects review for any merger involving a serial colluder, regardless of the apparent ...


Zappers, Phantomware And Other Sales Suppression Software In The State Of Washington, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Robert Chicoine Mar 2018

Zappers, Phantomware And Other Sales Suppression Software In The State Of Washington, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Robert Chicoine

Faculty Scholarship

Electronic sales suppression (ESS) is a fraud that has been a (prominent) feature of the North American retail business since at least 1996. The first EES case in the US dates from 1981. ESS is a global problem. Depending on the jurisdiction, and the research study consulted, ESS is estimated to be present in 34% (of Canadian), 50% (of German – two studies), and 70% (of Swedish and Slovenian) businesses. It may be the case today, that “you cannot leave home without” encountering (or participating in) ESS.

The most common types of sales suppression technology are Zappers and Phantomware programming. In ...


Basic (Non-Technical) Requirements – Electronic Monitoring Agreement For Zappers, Phantomware, And Other Sales Suppression Devices Appendix A, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Robert Chicoine Mar 2018

Basic (Non-Technical) Requirements – Electronic Monitoring Agreement For Zappers, Phantomware, And Other Sales Suppression Devices Appendix A, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Robert Chicoine

Faculty Scholarship

The State of Washington v. Wong, Wash. Super. Ct., No. 16-1-00179-0 is the State of Washington’s first judicially resolved case involving an automated sales suppression device. Months of negotiations led to a plea agreement and the State’s first electronic sales monitoring agreement (August 30, 2017). The taxpayer violated RCW 82.32.290 (4)(a) by knowingly possessing, and knowingly using a Zapper to suppress sales.

The penalties in this case were severe. Not only were all taxes, penalties, and interest lawfully due required to be paid, but as a Class C felony incarceration of up to 5 years ...


A Vatcoin Solution To Mtic Fraud: Past Efforts, Present Technology, And The Eu’S 2017 Proposal, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi, Mike Cheetham, Camille Tirand Feb 2018

A Vatcoin Solution To Mtic Fraud: Past Efforts, Present Technology, And The Eu’S 2017 Proposal, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi, Mike Cheetham, Camille Tirand

Faculty Scholarship

On October 4, 2017, in an effort to recover some of the VAT lost annually, the European Commission proposed “far-reaching reforms.” The immediate target is a €50 billion slice of an estimated €150 billion overall annual loss. In its proposal the Commission is looking only at Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud in goods.

Goods (alone) are targeted.

If we have learned anything about MTIC fraud since January 1, 1993, it is that fraudsters engaged in this activity are exceptionally agile. MTIC frauds migrate and mutate on command. For example, MTIC fraud in cell phones quickly migrated to computer chips in ...


Corporate Personhood And The History Of The Rights Of Corporations: A Reflection On Adam Winkler’S Book We The Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights, Jack Beermann Jan 2018

Corporate Personhood And The History Of The Rights Of Corporations: A Reflection On Adam Winkler’S Book We The Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights, Jack Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

Adam Winkler’s book We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights is an impressive work on several different levels. Because so much of the development of American constitutional law over the centuries has involved businesses, the book is a nearly comprehensive legal history of federal constitutional law. It certainly would be worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the constitutionality of economic regulation in the United States, spanning the controversies over the first and second Banks of the United States, through the Lochner era and present-day clashes over corporate campaign spending, and religiously-based exemptions to generally applicable laws ...


A Vatcoin Proposal Following On The 2017 Eu Vat Proposals - Mtic, Vatcoin, And Blockchain, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi, Michael Cheetham, Camille Tirand Dec 2017

A Vatcoin Proposal Following On The 2017 Eu Vat Proposals - Mtic, Vatcoin, And Blockchain, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi, Michael Cheetham, Camille Tirand

Faculty Scholarship

The following proposal for an EU VATCoin was presented at the Digital Tax Transformations Conference, December 18 & 19, 2017 in Vienna, Austria at WU Global Tax Policy Center (WU GTPC) at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law of Vienna University of Business and Economics.

The EU Commission has proposed “far-reaching reforms” to solve some of the fraud in the EU VAT. It hopes to capture €50 billion lost annually to MTIC fraud in goods. It hopes to do this without addressing tradable services, a MTIC mutation which by all accounts is running strong.

Fortunately, the Commission is open ...


The Technology Requirements Of The First Electronic Monitoring Agreement In Us For Zappers, Phantomware, And Other Sales Suppression Devices, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Robert Chicoine Oct 2017

The Technology Requirements Of The First Electronic Monitoring Agreement In Us For Zappers, Phantomware, And Other Sales Suppression Devices, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Robert Chicoine

Faculty Scholarship

On August 30, 2017, a plea was entered in the case of case of State of Washington v. Wong, Wash. Super. Ct., No. 16-1-00179-0, and as a result the first electronic monitoring agreement of sales transactions in the US (the “Monitoring Agreement”) was legislatively imposed on a retail business.

The Monitoring Agreement was negotiated between the State of Washington Department of Revenue (the “WA DOR”) and the taxpayer over a period of several months and is comprised of two parts: the basic agreement, which covered the obligations and rights of the parties, and an appendix, which defines the scope of ...


The First Real-Time Blockchain Vat - Gcc Solves Mtic Fraud, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi Jul 2017

The First Real-Time Blockchain Vat - Gcc Solves Mtic Fraud, Richard Thompson Ainsworth, Musaad Alwohaibi

Faculty Scholarship

Following years of study the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) appears ready to adopt the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and put in place a tax system that will stabilize revenue. A value added tax (VAT) and corporate income tax (CIT) are considered. A VAT Framework Agreement, that functions like the VAT Directive in the EU, has been agreed.

Although new, the GCC VAT is very worthy of attention. From a tax policy perspective, it is making notable improvements to EU VAT design. The GCC VAT is (potentially) the world’s first real-time, blockchain-secured, multi-jurisdictional VAT. This is a ...


Sales Suppression: The International Dimension, Richard Thompson Ainsworth Oct 2016

Sales Suppression: The International Dimension, Richard Thompson Ainsworth

Faculty Scholarship

Sales transaction taxes are highly susceptible to technology fraud, which is an inevitable result of today’s widespread reliance on technology to document taxed transactions. Technology can be (and is) manipulated to defeat the collection of these taxes. Both the U.S. retail sales tax (RST) and the European value added tax (VAT) are vulnerable to technology-based fraud. This Article concerns sales suppression — intentionally not recording sales — in the RST, and at the final stage of the VAT, the retail stage, when tax is collected from final consumers.

The modern electronic cash register (ECR)/point of sale (POS) system is ...