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Full-Text Articles in Law

Mapping The Future Of Insider Trading Law: Of Boundaries, Gaps, And Strategies, John C. Coffee Jr. Dec 2012

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 arbitrary and unrationalized in its limited scope in a number of respects. 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 (i) that a ...


Interbank Discipline, Kathryn Judge Jan 2012

Interbank Discipline, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

As banking has evolved over the last three decades, banks have become increasingly interconnected. This Article draws attention to an effect of this development that has important policy ramifications yet remains largely unexamined – a dramatic rise in interbank discipline. The Article demonstrates that today’s large, complex banks have financial incentives to monitor risk taking at other banks, the infrastructure, competence, and information to be fairly effective monitors, and mechanisms through which they can respond when a bank changes its risk profile. This suggests that interbank discipline affects bank risk taking and merits more consideration than it has received thus ...


Reversible Rewards, Omri Ben-Shahar, Anu Bradford Jan 2012

Reversible Rewards, Omri Ben-Shahar, Anu Bradford

Faculty Scholarship

This article offers a new mechanism of private enforcement, combining sanctions and rewards into a scheme of “reversible rewards.” The enforcing party sets up a precommitted fund and offers it as reward to another party to refrain from violation. If the violator turns down the reward, the enforcer can use the money in the fund for one purpose only – to pay for punishment of the violator. The article shows that this scheme doubles the effect of funds invested in enforcement and allows the enforcer to stop violations that would otherwise be too costly to deter. It argues that reversible rewards ...


Towards A Legal Theory Of Finance, Katharina Pistor Jan 2012

Towards A Legal Theory Of Finance, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

This paper develops the building blocks for a legal theory of finance. LTF holds that financial markets are legally constructed and as such occupy an essentially hybrid place between state and market, public and private. At the same time, financial markets exhibit dynamics that frequently put them in direct tension with commitments enshrined in law or contracts. This is the case especially in times of financial crises when the full enforcement of legal commitments would result in the self-destruction of the financial system. This law-finance paradox tends to be resolved by suspending the full force of law where the survival ...


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 ...


Recoupment Under Dodd-Frank: Punishing Financial Executives And Perpetuating "Too Big To Fail", Joshua Mitts Jan 2012

Recoupment Under Dodd-Frank: Punishing Financial Executives And Perpetuating "Too Big To Fail", Joshua Mitts

Faculty Scholarship

In July 2011, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) promulgated new rules implementing Title II of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. These rules define a cause of action to recoup compensation paid to senior executives and directors of failed nonbank financial institutions placed into the FDIC's "orderly liquidation authority" receivership. An action for recoupment is based on a negligence theory of liability, but it does not require establishing that an executive's conduct caused the financial institution any harm. The rules presume liability merely for having held executive responsibility prior to the firm entering receivership ...


Mortgage Modification And Strategic Behavior: Evidence From A Legal Settlement With Countrywide, Christopher J. Mayer, Edward R. Morrison, Tomasz Piskorski, Arpit Gupta Jan 2012

Mortgage Modification And Strategic Behavior: Evidence From A Legal Settlement With Countrywide, Christopher J. Mayer, Edward R. Morrison, Tomasz Piskorski, Arpit Gupta

Faculty Scholarship

We investigate whether homeowners respond strategically to news of mortgage modification programs by defaulting on their mortgages. We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in modification policy induced by U.S. state government lawsuits against Countrywide Financial Corporation, which agreed to offer modifications to seriously delinquent borrowers with mortgages throughout the country. Using a difference-in-difference framework, we find that Countrywide's relative delinquency rate increased more than ten percent per month immediately after the program's announcement. The borrowers whose estimated default rates increased the most in response to the program were those who appear to have been the least likely to ...


Towards A Legal Theory Of Finance, Katharina Pistor Jan 2012

Towards A Legal Theory Of Finance, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

This paper develops the building blocks for a legal theory of finance. LTF holds that financial markets are legally constructed and as such occupy an essentially hybrid place between state and market, public and private. At the same time, financial markets exhibit dynamics that frequently put them in direct tension with commitments enshrined in law or contracts. This is the case especially in times of financial crises when the full enforcement of legal commitments would result in the self-destruction of the financial system. This law-finance paradox tends to be resolved by suspending the full force of law where the survival ...


On The Theoretical Foundations For Regulating Financial Markets, Katharina Pistor Jan 2012

On The Theoretical Foundations For Regulating Financial Markets, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

How we think about financial markets determines how we regulate them. Since the 1970s modern finance theory has shaped how we think about and regulate financial markets. It is based on the notion that markets are or can be made (more) efficient. Financial markets have been deregulated when they were thought to achieve efficient outcomes on their own; and regulation was designed to lend crutches to them when it appeared that they needed support. While modern finance theory has suffered some setbacks in the aftermath of the global crisis, defenders hold that improving market efficiency should still be the overriding ...


Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert Huang Jan 2012

Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert Huang

Faculty Scholarship

In our classic image of an American lawsuit, including class actions, the plaintiffs lawyer pays the upfront costs and then hopes to recoup them from a share of the winnings. But today, this picture is incomplete. It is no longer only the law firm's own war chest that finances a case – so can outside investors and lenders. As Judge Hellerstein has just reminded us, the 9/11 cases he presided over involved such third-party financing. The Ecuadorian plaintiffs' environmental case against Chevron, now pending in the Southern District of New York, is another prominent example in the news.


Fragmentation Nodes: A Study In Financial Innovation, Complexity, And Systemic Risk, Kathryn Judge Jan 2012

Fragmentation Nodes: A Study In Financial Innovation, Complexity, And Systemic Risk, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This Article resents a case study in how complexity arising from the evolution and proliferation of a financial innovation can increase systemic risk. The subject of the case study is the securitization of home loans, an innovation which played a critical and still not fully understood role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The Article introduces the term "fragmentation node" for these transaction structures, and it shows how specific sources of complexity inherent in fragmentation nodes limited transparency and flexibility in ways that undermined the stability of the financial system. In addition to shedding new light on the processes through which ...


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

Several commentators have argued that financial “reform” legislation enacted after a market crash is invariably flawed, results in “quack corporate governance” and “bubble laws,” and should be discouraged. This criticism has been specifically directed at both the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act. This article presents a rival perspective. Investors, it argues, are naturally dispersed and poorly organized and so constitute a classic “latent group” (in Mancur Olson’s terminology). Such latent groups tend to be dominated by smaller, but more cohesive and better funded special interest groups in the competition to shape legislation and influence regulatory policy. This domination ...


After The Great Recession: Regulating Financial Services For Low- And Middle-Income Communities, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2012

After The Great Recession: Regulating Financial Services For Low- And Middle-Income Communities, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This paper, prepared as a speech at Washington and Lee Law School, discusses regulatory strategies for lending to LMI households after the Great Recession. It argues that the CFPB's emphasis on behavioral economics is likely to lead it astray, especially if it relies on assumptions drawn from experience with middle-class behavior to interfere with the choices made by LMI households that face a different set of opportunities than the middle-class households more familiar to regulators. More generally, the paper suggests that most of the financial distress faced by LMI households is a result of broader social and institutional problems ...


Corporate Form And Social Entrepreneurship: A Status Report From California (And Beyond), Eric L. Talley Jan 2012

Corporate Form And Social Entrepreneurship: A Status Report From California (And Beyond), Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

In January 2012, amendments to California’s corporate code permitted a new type of corporate form designed around for-profit entities also wishing to commit to serving a broader “social purpose” (or purposes). Although not the first state to embrace such reforms, California’s experiment is unique, in that it allowed companies to opt for one of two different social benefit entity forms: the “Benefit Corporation” (BC) and the “Flexible Purpose Corporation” (FPC). This essay summarizes the reforms and presents basic descriptive data about the rate at which business organizations have embraced them. Thus far, both forms have had relatively modest ...


Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert I. Huang Jan 2012

Litigation Finance: What Do Judges Need To Know?, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

The growth of “litigation finance” — the funding of lawsuits by outside investors who are neither parties nor counsel — is being closely watched by academics, the press, and the bar. The practice poses risks of conflicting interests and improper influence; and yet if carefully managed it may in fact enhance party autonomy. What questions, then, should judges be asking when dealing with a case with outside funding? This symposium essay offers judges a starting point: a menu of questions to ask parties who receive such financing. These inquiries aim to pierce simplistic labels such as “loan” or “investment,” in order to ...


Stock Unloading And Banker Incentives, Robert J. Jackson Jr. Jan 2012

Stock Unloading And Banker Incentives, Robert J. Jackson Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Congress has directed federal regulators to oversee banker pay. For the first time, these regulators are now scrutinizing the incentives of risk-takers beyond the bank's top executives. Like most public company managers, these bankers are increasingly paid in stock rather than cash. The ostensible reason is that stock-based pay aligns manager and shareholder interests. But portfolio theory predicts that managers will diversify away, or "unload," stock-based pay unless they are restricted from doing so. One way to deter unloading may be to require managers to disclose it, as investors and colleagues will assume that managers are unloading because they ...