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Examining Success, Jonathan C. Lipson Feb 2015

Examining Success, Jonathan C. Lipson

Jonathan C. Lipson

Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code presumes that managers will remain in possession and control of a corporate debtor. This presents an obvious agency problem: these same managers may have gotten the company into trouble in the first place. The Bankruptcy Code thus includes checks and balances in the reorganization process, one of which is supposed to be an “examiner,” a private individual appointed to investigate and report on the debtor’s collapse.

We study their use in practice. Extending prior research, we find that examiners are exceedingly rare, despite the fact that they should be “mandatory” in large cases ...


Against Regulatory Displacement: An Institutional Analysis Of Financial Crises, Jonathan C. Lipson Aug 2014

Against Regulatory Displacement: An Institutional Analysis Of Financial Crises, Jonathan C. Lipson

Jonathan C. Lipson

This paper uses “institutional analysis”—the study of the relative capacities of markets, courts, and regulators—to make three claims about financial crises.

First, financial crises are increasingly a problem of “regulatory displacement.” Through the ad hoc rescues of 2008 and the Dodd-Frank reforms of 2010, regulators displace market and judicial processes that ordinarily prevent financial distress from becoming financial crises. Because regulators are vulnerable to capture by large financial services firms, however, they cannot address the pathologies that create crises: market concentration and complexity. Indeed, regulators may inadvertently aggravate these conditions through resolution tactics that consolidate firms, and the ...