Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 99

Full-Text Articles in Law

Gamestop And The Reemergence Of The Retail Investor, Jill E. Fisch Oct 2022

Gamestop And The Reemergence Of The Retail Investor, Jill E. Fisch

All Faculty Scholarship

The GameStop trading frenzy in January 2021 was perhaps the highest profile example of the reemergence of capital market participation by retail investors, a marked shift from the growing domination of those markets by large institutional investors. Some commentators have greeted retail investing, which has been fueled by app-based brokerage accounts and social media, with alarm and called for regulatory reform. The goals of such reforms are twofold. First, critics argue that retail investors need greater protection from the risks of investing in the stock market. Second, they argue that the stock market, in term, needs protection from retail investors. …


A Lesson From Startups: Contracting Out Of Shareholder Appraisal, Jill E. Fisch Jun 2022

A Lesson From Startups: Contracting Out Of Shareholder Appraisal, Jill E. Fisch

All Faculty Scholarship

Appraisal is a controversial topic. Policymakers have debated the goals served by the appraisal remedy, and legislatures have repeatedly revised appraisal statutes in an effort to meet those goals while minimizing the cost and potential abuse associated with appraisal litigation. Courts have struggled to determine the most appropriate valuation methodology and the extent to which that methodology should depend on case-specific factors. These difficulties are exacerbated by variation in the procedures by which mergers are negotiated and the potential for conflict-of-interest transactions.

Private ordering offers a market-based alternative to continued legislative or judicial efforts to refine the appraisal remedy. Through …


Third Party Moral Hazard And The Problem Of Insurance Externalities, Gideon Parchomovsky, Peter Siegelman Jan 2022

Third Party Moral Hazard And The Problem Of Insurance Externalities, Gideon Parchomovsky, Peter Siegelman

All Faculty Scholarship

Insurance can lead to loss or claim-creation not just by insureds themselves, but also by uninsured third parties. These externalities—which we term “third party moral hazard”—arise because insurance creates opportunities both to extract rents and to recover for otherwise unrecoverable losses. Using examples from health, automobile, kidnap, and liability insurance, we demonstrate that the phenomenon is widespread and important, and that the downsides of insurance are greater than previously believed. We explain the economic, social and psychological reasons for this phenomenon, and propose policy responses. Contract-based methods that are traditionally used to control first-party moral hazard can be welfare-reducing in …


Secured Transactions Law Reform In Japan: Japan Business Credit Project Assessment Of Interviews And Tentative Policy Proposals, Megumi Hara, Kumiko Koens, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Jan 2022

Secured Transactions Law Reform In Japan: Japan Business Credit Project Assessment Of Interviews And Tentative Policy Proposals, Megumi Hara, Kumiko Koens, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

This article summarizes key findings from the Japan Business Credit Project (JBCP), which involved more than 30 semi-structured interviews conducted in Japan from 2016 through 2018. It was inspired by important and previously unexplored questions concerning secured financing of movables (business equipment and inventory) and claims (receivables)—“asset-based lending” or “ABL.” Why is the use of ABL in Japan so limited? What are the principal obstacles and disincentives to the use of ABL in Japan? The interviews were primarily with staff of banks, but also included those of government officials and regulators, academics, and law practitioners. The article proposes reforms of …


Corporate Crime And Punishment: An Empirical Study, Dorothy S. Lund, Natasha Sarin Dec 2021

Corporate Crime And Punishment: An Empirical Study, Dorothy S. Lund, Natasha Sarin

All Faculty Scholarship

For many years, law and economics scholars, as well as politicians and regulators, have debated whether corporate criminal enforcement overdeters beneficial corporate activity or in the alternative, lets corporate criminals off too easily. This debate has recently expanded in its polarization: On the one hand, academics, judges, and politicians have excoriated enforcement agencies for failing to send guilty bankers to jail in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis; on the other, the U.S. Department of Justice has since relaxed policies that encouraged individual prosecutions and reduced the size of fines and number of prosecutions. A crucial and yet understudied …


Do Esg Funds Deliver On Their Promises?, Quinn Curtis, Jill E. Fisch, Adriana Z. Robertson Dec 2021

Do Esg Funds Deliver On Their Promises?, Quinn Curtis, Jill E. Fisch, Adriana Z. Robertson

All Faculty Scholarship

Corporations have received growing criticism for their role in climate change, perpetuating racial and gender inequality, and other pressing social issues. In response to these concerns, shareholders are increasingly focusing on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria in selecting investments, and asset managers are responding by offering a growing number of ESG mutual funds. The flow of assets into ESG is one of the most dramatic trends in asset management.

But are these funds giving investors what they promise? This question has attracted the attention of regulators, with the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) …


Pandemic Hope For Chapter 11 Financing, David A. Skeel Jr. Nov 2021

Pandemic Hope For Chapter 11 Financing, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

One of the biggest surprises of the recent pandemic from a bankruptcy perspective has been the ready availability of financing. A variety of factors—such as an estimated $2.5 trillion in available funding at the outset of the crisis and the buoyant stock market—may have contributed. In this Essay, I focus on a less widely appreciated factor, a striking shift in the capital structure of many corporate debtors. Rather than borrowing from one group of lenders, debtors now often borrow from multiple groups of diverse lenders. Although the new capital structure complexity has downsides, it also could counteract a longstanding problem …


Mutual Fund Stewardship And The Empty Voting Problem, Jill E. Fisch Oct 2021

Mutual Fund Stewardship And The Empty Voting Problem, Jill E. Fisch

All Faculty Scholarship

When Roberta Karmel wrote the articles that are the subject of this symposium, she was skeptical of both the potential value of shareholder voting and the emerging involvement of institutional investors in corporate governance. In the ensuing years, both the increased role and engagement of institutional investors and the heightened importance of shareholder voting offer new reasons to take Professor Karmel’s concerns seriously. Institutional investors have taken on a broader range of issues ranging from diversity and political spending to climate change and human capital management, and their ability to influence corporate policy on these issues has become more significant. …


Taking Stock Of Chapter 11, David A. Skeel Jr. May 2021

Taking Stock Of Chapter 11, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

In this Essay, written for a symposium honoring Sam Gerdano, I offer an assessment of current Chapter 11 theory and practice. The most distinctive feature of current Chapter 11 practice is the extent to which the parties now enter into intercreditor agreements, restructuring support agreements and other actual contracts governing their rights and responsibilities. One question raised by the dramatic shift in bankruptcy practice is whether the leading normative theory of bankruptcy, the Creditors’ Bargain Theory, is now obsolete, as some scholars have suggested. The Creditors’ Bargain Theory explains bankruptcy as a solution to coordination problems that might lead to …


Power And Statistical Significance In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2021

Power And Statistical Significance In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach

All Faculty Scholarship

Event studies, a half-century-old approach to measuring the effect of events on stock prices, are now ubiquitous in securities fraud litigation. In determining whether the event study demonstrates a price effect, expert witnesses typically base their conclusion on whether the results are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level, a threshold that is drawn from the academic literature. As a positive matter, this represents a disconnect with legal standards of proof. As a normative matter, it may reduce enforcement of fraud claims because litigation event studies typically involve quite low statistical power even for large-scale frauds.

This paper, written for …


Team Production Revisited, William W. Bratton Jan 2021

Team Production Revisited, William W. Bratton

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article reconsiders Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout’s team production model of corporate law, offering a favorable evaluation. The model explains both the legal corporate entity and corporate governance institutions in microeconomic terms as the means to the end of encouraging investment, situating corporations within markets and subject to market constraints but simultaneously insisting that productive success requires that corporations remain independent of markets. The model also integrates the inherited framework of corporate law into an economically derived model of production, constructing a microeconomic description of large enterprises firmly rooted in corporate doctrine but neither focused on nor limited by …


Synthetic Governance, Byung Hyun Anh, Jill E. Fisch, Panos N. Patatoukas, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jan 2021

Synthetic Governance, Byung Hyun Anh, Jill E. Fisch, Panos N. Patatoukas, Steven Davidoff Solomon

All Faculty Scholarship

Although securities regulation is distinct from corporate governance, the two fields have considerable substantive overlap. By increasing the transparency and efficiency of the capital markets, securities regulation can also enhance the capacity of those markets to discipline governance decisions. The importance of market discipline is heightened by the increasingly vocal debate over what constitutes “good” corporate governance.

Securities product innovation offers new tools to address this debate. The rise of index-based investing provides a market-based mechanism for selecting among governance options and evaluating their effects. Through the creation of bespoke governance index funds, asset managers can create indexes that correspond …


Uncertainty > Risk: Lessons For Legal Thought From The Insurance Runoff Market, Tom Baker Jan 2021

Uncertainty > Risk: Lessons For Legal Thought From The Insurance Runoff Market, Tom Baker

All Faculty Scholarship

Insurance ideas inform legal thought: from tort law, to health law and financial services regulation, to theories of distributive justice. Within that thought, insurance is conceived as an ideal type in which insurers distribute determinable risks through contracts that fix the parties’ obligations in advance. This ideal type has normative appeal, among other reasons because it explains how tort law might achieve in practice the objectives of tort theory. This ideal type also supports a restrictive vision of liability-based regulation that opposes expansions and supports cutbacks, on the grounds that uncertainty poses an existential threat to insurance markets.

Prior work …


Implicit Communication And Enforcement Of Corporate Disclosure Regulation, Ashiq Ali, Michael T. Durney, Jill E. Fisch, Hoyoun Kyung Jul 2020

Implicit Communication And Enforcement Of Corporate Disclosure Regulation, Ashiq Ali, Michael T. Durney, Jill E. Fisch, Hoyoun Kyung

All Faculty Scholarship

This study examines the challenge of implicit communication -- qualitative statements, tone, and non-verbal cues -- to the effectiveness of enforcing corporate disclosure regulation. We use a Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD) setting, given that the SEC adopted the regulation recognizing that managers can convey non-public information privately not just through explicit quantitative disclosures but also through implicit communication. In a high-profile enforcement action, however, the court focused on a literal examination of the manager’s language rather than his positive spin to conclude that the SEC had been “too demanding” in examining the manager’s statements and that its enforcement policy …


Lost In Transplantation: Modern Principles Of Secured Transactions Law As Legal Transplants, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Apr 2020

Lost In Transplantation: Modern Principles Of Secured Transactions Law As Legal Transplants, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

This manuscript will appear as a chapter in a forthcoming edited volume published by Hart Publishing, Secured Transactions Law in Asia: Principles, Perspectives and Reform (Louise Gullifer & Dora Neo eds., forthcoming 2020). It focuses on a set of principles (Modern Principles) that secured transactions law for personal property should follow. These Modern Principles are based on UCC Article 9 and its many progeny, including the UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions. The chapter situates the Modern principles in the context of the transplantation of law from one legal system to another. It draws in particular on Alan Watson’s pathbreaking …


An Essay On Pluralism In Financial Market Infrastructure Design: The Case Of Securities Holding In The United States, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Apr 2020

An Essay On Pluralism In Financial Market Infrastructure Design: The Case Of Securities Holding In The United States, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

This essay will appear as a chapter in a forthcoming edited volume published by Oxford University Press. It builds on the earlier article, Beyond Intermediation: A New (FinTech) Model for Securities Holding Infrastructures, 22 U. Pa. J. Bus. L. 386 (2020), which argues that serious consideration should be given to modifications of the deeply intermediated securities holding systems in the United States and elsewhere. Many of the costs and risks imposed by the intermediated holding systems fall within the domain of the regulation of securities markets (internal costs), such as impairments of shareholder voting and bondholder claims against issuers. …


Private Equity Value Creation In Finance: Evidence From Life Insurance, Divya Kirti, Natasha Sarin Feb 2020

Private Equity Value Creation In Finance: Evidence From Life Insurance, Divya Kirti, Natasha Sarin

All Faculty Scholarship

This paper studies how private equity buyouts create value in the insurance industry, where decentralized regulation creates opportunities for aggressive tax and capital management. Using novel data on 57 large private equity deals in the insurance industry, we show that buyouts create value by decreasing insurers' tax liabilities; and by reaching-for-yield: PE firms tilt their subsidiaries' bond portfolios toward junk bonds while avoiding corresponding capital charges. Previous work on affiliated or "shadow" reinsurance and capital management misses the important role that private equity buyouts play as recent drivers of these phenomenon. The trend we document is of growing importance in …


A Tale Of Two Markets: Regulation And Innovation In Post-Crisis Mortgage And Structured Finance Markets, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin Jan 2020

A Tale Of Two Markets: Regulation And Innovation In Post-Crisis Mortgage And Structured Finance Markets, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article takes the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the financial crisis to review recent developments in the structured products market, connecting the emergent pattern to post-crisis regulation.

The Article tells a tale of two markets. The financial crisis stemmed from excessive risk-taking and shabby practice in the subprime home mortgage market, a market that owed its existence to the private-label, originate to securitize model. But the pre-crisis boom in private label subprime mortgage-backed securities could never have happened absent back up financing from an array of structured products and vehicles created in the capital markets—the CDOs that found …


Beyond Intermediation: A New (Fintech) Model For Securities Holding Infrastructures, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Jan 2020

Beyond Intermediation: A New (Fintech) Model For Securities Holding Infrastructures, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

Publicly traded securities generally are held by investors in securities accounts with intermediaries such as stockbrokers and central securities depositories—intermediated securities. For many investors this is the only practical means of holding and dealing with securities. These intermediated holding systems (IHSs) impose a variety of risks and costs. Investors are exposed to intermediary risk (default or insolvency of an intermediary holding securities) as well as impediments to the exercise of rights such as voting and asserting claims against securities issuers. The nontransparency of IHSs imposes other social costs, such as obstacles to anti-money laundering enforcement. The emergence of FinTech and …


Distorted Choice In Corporate Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2020

Distorted Choice In Corporate Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

We ordinarily assume that a central objective of every voting process is ensuring an undistorted vote. Recent developments in corporate bankruptcy, which culminates with an elaborate vote, are quite puzzling from this perspective. Two strategies now routinely used in big cases are intended to distort, and clearly do distort, the voting process. Restructuring support agreements (RSAs) and “deathtrap” provisions remove creditors’ ability to vote for or against a proposed reorganization simply on the merits.

This Article offers the first comprehensive analysis of these new distortive techniques. One possible solution is simply to ban distortive techniques, as several scholars advocate with …


Private Company Lies, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2020

Private Company Lies, Elizabeth Pollman

All Faculty Scholarship

Rule 10b-5’s antifraud catch-all is one of the most consequential pieces of American administrative law and most highly developed areas of judicially-created federal law. Although the rule broadly prohibits securities fraud in both public and private company stock, the vast majority of jurisprudence, and the voluminous academic literature that accompanies it, has developed through a public company lens.

This Article illuminates how the explosive growth of private markets has left huge portions of U.S. capital markets with relatively light securities fraud scrutiny and enforcement. Some of the largest private companies by valuation grow in an environment of extreme information asymmetry …


Global Standards For Securities Holding Infrastructures: A Soft Law/Fintech Model For Reform, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Jan 2019

Global Standards For Securities Holding Infrastructures: A Soft Law/Fintech Model For Reform, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

Intermediaries such as stockbrokers and banks are ubiquitous in global securities markets, playing essential roles in markets, including trading, settling trades, and post-settlement holding of securities. This essay focuses in particular on the roles of intermediaries in securities holding systems. It proposes an IOSCO-led “soft-law-to-hard-law” approach to the development of Global Standards for reforms to these holding systems. States would be expected to adopt “hard law” reforms through statutory and regulatory adjustments to securities holding systems. The reforms would embrace not only important standards of a functional and regulatory nature, but also holistic standards relating to the private law, insolvency …


The New Titans Of Wall Street: A Theoretical Framework For Passive Investors, Jill E. Fisch, Asaf Hamdani, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jan 2019

The New Titans Of Wall Street: A Theoretical Framework For Passive Investors, Jill E. Fisch, Asaf Hamdani, Steven Davidoff Solomon

All Faculty Scholarship

Passive investors — ETFs and index funds — are the most important development in modern day capital markets, dictating trillions of dollars in capital flows and increasingly owning much of corporate America. Neither the business model of passive funds, nor the way that they engage with their portfolio companies, however, is well understood, and misperceptions of both have led some commentators to call for passive investors to be subject to increased regulation and even disenfranchisement. Specifically, this literature takes a narrow view both of the market in which passive investors compete to manage customer funds and of passive investors’ participation …


Making Consumer Finance Work, Natasha Sarin Jan 2019

Making Consumer Finance Work, Natasha Sarin

All Faculty Scholarship

The financial crisis exposed major faultlines in banking and financial markets more broadly. Policymakers responded with far-reaching regulation that created a new agency—the CFPB—and changed the structure and function of these markets.

Consumer advocates cheered reforms as welfare-enhancing, while the financial sector declared that consumers would be harmed by interventions. With a decade of data now available, this Article presents the first empirical examination of the successes and failures of the consumer finance reform agenda. Specifically, I marshal data from every zip code and bank in the United States to test the efficacy of three of the most significant post-crisis …


Startup Governance, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2019

Startup Governance, Elizabeth Pollman

All Faculty Scholarship

Although previously considered rare, over three hundred startups have reached valuations over a billion dollars. Thousands of smaller startups aim to follow in their paths. Despite the enormous social and economic impact of venture-backed startups, their internal governance receives scant scholarly attention. Longstanding theories of corporate ownership and governance do not capture the special features of startups. They can grow large with ownership shared by diverse participants, and they face issues that do not fit the dominant principal-agent paradigm of public corporations or the classic narrative of controlling shareholders in closely held corporations.

This Article offers an original, comprehensive framework …


The Salience Theory Of Consumer Financial Regulation, Natasha Sarin Aug 2018

The Salience Theory Of Consumer Financial Regulation, Natasha Sarin

All Faculty Scholarship

Prior to the financial crisis, banks’ fee income was their fastest-growing source of revenue. This revenue was often generated through nefarious bank practices (e.g., ordering overdraft transactions for maximal fees). The crisis focused popular attention on the extent to which current regulatory tools failed consumers in these markets, and policymakers responded: A new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was tasked with monitoring consumer finance products, and some of the earliest post-crisis financial reforms sought to lower consumer costs. This Article is the first to empirically evaluate the success of the consumer finance reform agenda by considering three recent price regulations: a …


The Modigliani-Miller Theorem At 60: The Long-Overlooked Legal Applications Of Finance’S Foundational Theorem, Michael S. Knoll Jan 2018

The Modigliani-Miller Theorem At 60: The Long-Overlooked Legal Applications Of Finance’S Foundational Theorem, Michael S. Knoll

All Faculty Scholarship

2018 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller’s The Cost of Capital, Corporation Finance, and the Theory of Investment. Widely hailed as the foundation of modern finance, their article, which purports to demonstrate that a firm’s value is independent of its capital structure, is little known by lawyers, including legal academics. That is unfortunate because the Modigliani-Miller capital structure irrelevancy proposition (when inverted) provides a framework that can be extremely useful to legal academics, practicing attorneys and judges.


Insolvency Law As Credit Enhancement And Enforcement Mechanism: A Closer Look At Global Modernization Of Secured Transactions Law, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Jan 2018

Insolvency Law As Credit Enhancement And Enforcement Mechanism: A Closer Look At Global Modernization Of Secured Transactions Law, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

This essay revisits earlier work on the relationship between insolvency law and secured credit, the role of secured transactions law reforms, and the benefits of secured credit. These complex relationships require a holistic approach toward reforms of secured transactions law and insolvency law. Merely enacting sensible secured transactions laws and insolvency laws may be insufficient to produce the intended benefits from either set of laws.

The essay is informed by an ongoing qualitative empirical study of business credit in Japan—the Japanese Business Credit Project. The JBCP involves interviews of representatives of Japanese financial institutions and governmental bodies and legal practitioners …


Who Bleeds When The Wolves Bite? A Flesh-And-Blood Perspective On Hedge Fund Activism And Our Strange Corporate Governance System, Leo E. Strine Jr. Apr 2017

Who Bleeds When The Wolves Bite? A Flesh-And-Blood Perspective On Hedge Fund Activism And Our Strange Corporate Governance System, Leo E. Strine Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

This paper examines the effects of hedge fund activism and so-called wolf pack activity on the ordinary human beings—the human investors—who fund our capital markets but who, as indirect of owners of corporate equity, have only limited direct power to ensure that the capital they contribute is deployed to serve their welfare and in turn the broader social good.

Most human investors in fact depend much more on their labor than on their equity for their wealth and therefore care deeply about whether our corporate governance system creates incentives for corporations to create and sustain jobs for them. And because …


A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr. Mar 2016

A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

Few still believe that Puerto Rico is capable of meeting all of its financial obligations and continuing to provide basic services. The territory is already in default, and conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Is there a way forward? We think there is. In this short article, we outline a two-part plan for correcting Puerto Rico’s most urgent fiscal and financial problems.

The first step is to create an independent financial control board that has authority over Puerto Rico’s budgets and related issues. Notwithstanding concerns that an externally imposed financial control board (FCB) may interfere with the decision making processes of democratically …