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University of Michigan Law School

2010

Business Organizations Law

Law & Economics Working Papers

Securities Law

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Are Investors’ Gains And Losses From Securities Fraud Equal Over Time? Theory And Evidence, Alicia J. Davis Oct 2010

Are Investors’ Gains And Losses From Securities Fraud Equal Over Time? Theory And Evidence, Alicia J. Davis

Law & Economics Working Papers

Most leading securities regulation scholars argue that compensating securities fraud victims is inefficient. They maintain that because diversified investors that trade frequently are as likely to gain from trading in fraud-tainted stocks as they are to suffer harm from doing so, these investors should have no expected net losses from fraud over the long term. This assertion, which analogizes trading in fraud-tainted stocks to participating in a coin toss game in which players win $1 on heads and lose $1 on tails, is problematic for a number of reasons. First, even if we accept this analogy, probability theory holds that …