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The Economics Of Bankruptcy: An Introduction To The Literature, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

The Economics Of Bankruptcy: An Introduction To The Literature, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

This essay surveys important contributions to the economics of bankruptcy. It is an introductory chapter for a forthcoming volume (from Edward Elgar Press) that compiles the work of legal scholars as well as economists working in the field of corporate finance. The essay begins with the foundational theories of Baird, Jackson, and Rea and then collects scholarly work extending, testing, or revising those theories. At various points I identify questions that merit further study, particularly empirical testing.


Enhancing Investor Protection And The Regulation Of Securities Markets, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2009

Enhancing Investor Protection And The Regulation Of Securities Markets, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

This is the congressional testimony of Professor John C. Coffee, Jr., before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, March 10, 2009.


Civil Liability And Mandatory Disclosure, Merritt B. Fox Jan 2009

Civil Liability And Mandatory Disclosure, Merritt B. Fox

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the efficient design of civil liability for mandatory securities disclosure violations by established issuers. An issuer not publicly offering securities at the time of a violation should have no liability. Its annual filings should be signed by an external certifier – an investment bank or other well-capitalized entity with financial expertise. If the filing contains a material misstatement and the certifier fails to do due diligence, the certifier should face measured liability. Officers and directors should face similar liability, capped relative to their compensation but with no indemnification or insurance allowed. Damages should be payable to the issuer ...


Creditor Control And Conflict In Chapter 11, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

Creditor Control And Conflict In Chapter 11, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze a sample of large privately and publicly held businesses that filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions during 2001. We find pervasive creditor control. In contrast to traditional views of Chapter 11, equity holders and managers exercise little or no leverage during the reorganization process. 70 percent of CEOs are replaced in the two years before a bankruptcy filing, and few reorganization plans (at most 12 percent) deviate from the absolute priority rule to distribute value to equity holders. Senior lenders exercise significant control through stringent covenants, such as line-item budgets, in loans extended to firms in bankruptcy. Unsecured creditors ...


Is The Bankruptcy Code An Adequate Mechanism For Resolving The Distress Of Systemically Important Institutions?, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

Is The Bankruptcy Code An Adequate Mechanism For Resolving The Distress Of Systemically Important Institutions?, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

The President and members of Congress are considering proposals that would give the government broad authority to rescue financial institutions whose failure might threaten market stability. These systemically important institutions include bank and insurance holding companies, investment banks, and other "large, highly leveraged, and interconnected" entities that are not currently subject to federal resolution authority. Interest in these proposals stems from the credit crisis, particularly the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. That bankruptcy, according to some observers, caused massive destabilization in credit markets for two reasons. First, market participants were surprised that the government would permit a massive market player to ...


Free Enterprise Fund V. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Free Enterprise Fund V. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This is the introductory essay in an electronically published roundtable sponsored by the Vanderbilt Law Review on the Supreme Court's forthcoming consideration of Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a case raising important separation of powers questions and thought by some to foreshadow overruling or limiting of such precedents as Humphrey's Executor v. United States (sustaining independent regulatory commissions) and Morrison v. Olson (sustaining the independent counsel). The PCAOB is an unusual independent government authority appointed by the Commissioners of the SEC and subject to its oversight; PCAOB members are only by the Commission, and ...


Debt, Bankruptcy, And The Life Course, Allison Mann, Ronald J. Mann, Sophie Staples Jan 2009

Debt, Bankruptcy, And The Life Course, Allison Mann, Ronald J. Mann, Sophie Staples

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay considers the significance of credit markets and bankruptcy for life course mobility. Comparing parallel data from the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) and the 2007 Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP), it analyzes use of the bankruptcy process as a function of the distribution of unplanned events, the ability of households to use credit markets to limit the adverse effects of such events, and barriers in access to the bankruptcy system. Our findings suggest two things. One, although the financial characteristics of filers vary markedly by age and race, bankrupt households generally come from the bottom quartiles of the ...


Locating Innovation: The Endogeneity Of Technology, Organizational Structure And Financial Contracting, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2009

Locating Innovation: The Endogeneity Of Technology, Organizational Structure And Financial Contracting, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

There is much we do not understand about the “location” of innovation: the confluence, for a particular innovation, of the technology associated with the innovation, the innovating firm’s size and organizational structure, and the financial contracting that supports the innovation. This Essay suggests that these three indicia are simultaneously determined and discusses the interaction among them through four examples of innovative activity whose location is characterized by tradeoffs between pursuing the activity in an established company; in a smaller, earlier stage company; or some combination of the two. It first considers the dilemma faced by an established company in ...


Optimization And Its Discontents In Regulatory Design: Bank Regulation As An Example, William H. Simon Jan 2009

Optimization And Its Discontents In Regulatory Design: Bank Regulation As An Example, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Economists and economically-trained lawyers tend to speak about regulation from a perspective organized around the basic norm of optimization. By contrast, an important managerial literature espouses a perspective organized around the basic norm of reliability. The perspectives are not logically inconsistent, but the economist’s view sometimes leads in practice to a preoccupation with decisional simplicity and cost minimization at the expense of complex judgment and learning. Drawing on a literature often ignored by economists and lawyers, I elaborate the contrast between the optimization and reliability perspectives. I then show how it illuminates current discussions of the reform of bank ...


Rethinking The "Law And Finance" Paradigm, Katharina Pistor Jan 2009

Rethinking The "Law And Finance" Paradigm, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

The label "Law and Finance" stands for a body of literature that has dominated policy-making and academic debates for the past decade. The literature has its origin in a series of papers co-authored by Andrei Shleifer, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes and a cohort of other researchers, including Robert Vishny, Simeon Djankov et al. (hereinafter referred to as LLS et al.). More than ten years after "Law and Finance" was first published, it seems appropriate to step back and consider the contribution this literature has made, but also to point out where it has gone astray and deviated attention from ...


Is The Bankruptcy Code An Adequate Mechanism For Resolving The Distress Of Systemically Important Institutions, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

Is The Bankruptcy Code An Adequate Mechanism For Resolving The Distress Of Systemically Important Institutions, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Lehman’s bankruptcy has triggered calls for new approaches to rescuing systemically important institutions. This essay assesses and confirms the need for a new approach. It identifies the inadequacies of the Bankruptcy Code and advocates an approach modeled on the current regime governing commercial banks. That regime includes both close monitoring when a bank is healthy and aggressive intervention when it is distressed. The two tasks – monitoring and intervention – are closely tied, ensuring that intervention occurs only when there is a well-established need for it. The same approach should be applied to all systemically important institutions. President Obama and the ...


Chrysler, Gm And The Future Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

Chrysler, Gm And The Future Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Although they caused great controversy, the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies broke no new ground. They invoked procedures that are commonly observed in modern Chapter 11 reorganization cases. Government involvement did not distort the bankruptcy process; it instead exposed the reality that Chapter 11 offers secured creditors – especially those that supply financing during the bankruptcy case – control over the fate of distressed firms. Because the federal government supplied financing in the Chrysler and GM cases, it possessed the creditor control normally exercised by private lenders. The Treasury Department found itself with virtually the same, unchecked power that the FDIC exercises with ...


Into The Void: Governing Finance In Central & Eastern Europe, Katharina Pistor Jan 2009

Into The Void: Governing Finance In Central & Eastern Europe, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

Twenty years after the fall of the iron curtain, which for decades had separated East from West, many countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are now members of the European Union and some have even adopted the Euro. Their readiness to open their borders to foreign capital and their faith in the viability of market self-governance as well as supra-national governance of finance is both remarkable and almost unprecedented. The eagerness of the countries in CEE to join the West and to become part of a regional and global regime as a way of escaping their closeted socialist past ...


Banking Reform In The Chinese Mirror, Katharina Pistor Jan 2009

Banking Reform In The Chinese Mirror, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the transactions that led to the partial privatization of China’s three largest banks in 2005-06. It suggests that these transactions were structured to allow for inter-organizational learning under conditions of uncertainty. For the involved foreign investors, participation in large financial intermediaries of central importance to the Chinese economy gave them the opportunity to learn about financial governance in China. For the Chinese banks partnering with more than one foreign investor, their participation allowed them to benefit from the input by different players in the global financial market place and to learn from the range of technical ...