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Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

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The Dog That Didn't Bark: Private Investment Funds And Relational Contracts In The Wake Of The Great Recession, Robert C. Illig Jan 2012

The Dog That Didn't Bark: Private Investment Funds And Relational Contracts In The Wake Of The Great Recession, Robert C. Illig

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

In the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis, the contract rights of numerous hedge funds and venture capital funds were breached. These contracts were complex and sophisticated and had been negotiated at great time and expense. Yet despite all of the assumptions of neo-classical contracts theory, nothing happened. Practically none of these injured parties sued to enforce their rights. Professor Illig uses this dearth of litigation to conduct a form of natural experiment as to the value of contract law. Discrete market participants contracted before the crash and then pursued their rights in court afterwards, while relational market participants contracted …