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Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese Sep 2022

Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese

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Congress routinely enacts statutes that require federal agencies to adopt specific regulations. When Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, for example, it mandated that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopt an anti-corruption regulation requiring energy companies to disclose payments they make to foreign governments. Although the Dodd-Frank Act specifically required the SEC to adopt this disclosure requirement, the agency’s eventual regulation was also, like other administrative rules, subject to disapproval by Congress under a process outlined in a separate statute known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

After the SEC issued its …


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

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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 …


Block Rewards, Carried Interests, And Other Valuation Quandaries In Taxing Compensation, Henry M. Ordower Jan 2022

Block Rewards, Carried Interests, And Other Valuation Quandaries In Taxing Compensation, Henry M. Ordower

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In this article, Ordower contextualizes block rewards litigation with historical failures to tax compensation income paid in kind. Tax fairness principles demand current taxation of the noneconomically diluting block rewards’ market value.


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.

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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 …


Spactivism, Sharon Hannes, Adi Libson, Gideon Parchomovsky Dec 2021

Spactivism, Sharon Hannes, Adi Libson, Gideon Parchomovsky

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In this Essay, we propose a modified version of the SPAC designed to allow the public to participate in the world of corporate activism. Unlike existing SPACs, our version is designed for investments in public companies in order to change their course of action, not in private companies in order to make them go public, and overcomes many of the problems that pertain conventional SPACs. At present, direct investment in activism is reserved to affluent individuals and other professional investors of activist hedge funds. The public at large is barred from directly entering the activist arena. The current model comes …


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

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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) …


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

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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 …


Bankruptcy For Banks: A Tribute (And Little Plea) To Jay Westbrook, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2021

Bankruptcy For Banks: A Tribute (And Little Plea) To Jay Westbrook, David A. Skeel Jr.

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In this brief essay, to be included in a book celebrating the work of Jay Westbrook, I begin by surveying Jay’s wide-ranging contributions to bankruptcy scholarship. Jay’s functional analysis has had a profound effect on scholars’ understanding of key issues in domestic bankruptcy law, and Jay has been the leading scholarly figure on cross-border insolvency. After surveying Jay’s influence, I turn to the topic at hand: a proposed reform that would facilitate the use of bankruptcy to resolve the financial distress of large financial institutions. Jay has been a strong critic of this legislation, arguing that financial institutions need to …


Reversing The Fortunes Of Active Funds, Adi Libson, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2021

Reversing The Fortunes Of Active Funds, Adi Libson, Gideon Parchomovsky

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In 2019, for the first time in the history of U.S. capital markets, passive funds surpassed active funds in terms of total assets under management. The continuous growth of passive funds at the expense of active funds is a genuine cause for concern. Active funds monitor the management and partake of decision-making in their portfolio companies. Furthermore, they improve price efficiency and managerial performance by engaging in informed trading. The buy/sell decisions of active funds provide other market participants reliable information about the quality of firms. The cost of active investing is significant and it is exclusively borne by active …


Stewardship 2021: The Centrality Of Institutional Investor Regulation To Restoring A Fair And Sustainable American Economy, Leo E. Strine Jr. Oct 2020

Stewardship 2021: The Centrality Of Institutional Investor Regulation To Restoring A Fair And Sustainable American Economy, Leo E. Strine Jr.

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In this essay, which formed the basis for the luncheon keynote speech at the Rethinking Stewardship online conference presented by the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School and ECGI, the European Corporate Governance Institute, the essential, but not sufficient, role of regulation to promote more effective stewardship by institutional investors is discussed. To frame specific policy recommendations that align the responsibilities of institutional investors with the best interests of their human investors in sustainable wealth creation, environmental responsibility, the respectful treatment of stakeholders, and, in particular, the fair pay and treatment of …


Commercial Law Intersections, Giuliano Castellano, Andrea Tosato Apr 2020

Commercial Law Intersections, Giuliano Castellano, Andrea Tosato

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Commercial law is not a single, monolithic entity. It has grown into a dense thicket of subject-specific branches that govern a broad range of transactions and corporate actions. When one of these events falls concurrently within the purview of two or more of these commercial law branches - such as corporate law, intellectual property law, secured transactions law, conduct and prudential regulation - an overlap materializes. We refer to this legal phenomenon as a commercial law intersection (CLI). Some notable examples of transactions that feature CLIs include bank loans secured by shares, supply chain financing arrangements, patent cross-licensing, and blockchain-based …


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.

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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.

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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

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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 …


Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman Jan 2020

Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman

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Deals accomplished through software persistently residing on computer networks—sometimes called smart contracts, but better termed transactional scripts—embody a potentially revolutionary contracting innovation. Ours is the first precise account in the legal literature of how such scripts are created, and when they produce errors of legal significance.

Scripts’ most celebrated use case is for transactions operating exclusively on public, permissionless, blockchains: such exchanges eliminate the need for trusted intermediaries and seem to permit parties to commit ex ante to automated performance. But public transactional scripts are costly both to develop and execute, with significant fees imposed for data storage. Worse, bugs …


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

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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 …


Capital, An Elusive Tax Object And Impediment To Sustainable Taxation, Henry Ordower Jan 2020

Capital, An Elusive Tax Object And Impediment To Sustainable Taxation, Henry Ordower

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Sustainable taxation requires stability and predictability. Sustainable taxation is a tax or taxes that collect sufficient revenue to support the governmental goods and services the society needs and wants. The taxes must provide for 1) even-handedness -- something akin to horizontal equity, 2) distributional fairness -- a concept emerging from notions of vertical equity, 3) transparency in application so that the populace understands and accepts the tax and the need for it and 4) collection mechanisms that do not favor some societal groups, especially those with resources to secure creative tax advisors, over others who lack the resources. Narrow base …


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.

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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 …


Personal Property Security Law: International Ambitions And Local Realities, Giuliano G. Castellano, Andrea Tosato Dec 2019

Personal Property Security Law: International Ambitions And Local Realities, Giuliano G. Castellano, Andrea Tosato

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Personal property security law is a key element of “access to credit” and “financial inclusion”. The prevailing view is that a legal framework enabling the effective use of personal property as collateral markedly benefits both lenders and borrowers. Lenders can offer financing at a lower cost thanks to reduced credit risk; borrowers can access funding by leveraging the otherwise unavailable value of the assets integral to their operations.

Over the past century, the priorities of personal property security law have evolved fundamentally. As small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual entrepreneurs have become the growth engine of both developed and …


Intermediated Securities Holding Systems Revisited: A View Through The Prism Of Transparency, Thomas Keijser, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Mar 2019

Intermediated Securities Holding Systems Revisited: A View Through The Prism Of Transparency, Thomas Keijser, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

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This chapter explains several benefits of adopting transparent information technology systems for intermediated securities holding infrastructures. Such transparent systems could ameliorate various prevailing problems that confront existing tiered, intermediated holding systems, including those related to corporate actions (dividends, voting), claims against issuers and upper-tier intermediaries, loss sharing and set-off in insolvency proceedings, money laundering and terrorist financing, and privacy, data protection, and confidentiality. Moreover, transparent systems could improve the functions of intermediated holding systems even without changes in laws or regulations. They also could provide a catalyst for law reform and a roadmap for substantive content of reforms. Among potential …


The Impact Of The Durbin Amendment On Banks, Merchants, And Consumers, Vladimir Mukharlyamov, Natasha Sarin Jan 2019

The Impact Of The Durbin Amendment On Banks, Merchants, And Consumers, Vladimir Mukharlyamov, Natasha Sarin

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After the Great Recession, new regulatory interventions were introduced to protect consumers and reduce the costs of financial products. Some voiced concern that direct price regulation was unlikely to help consumers, because banks offset losses in one domain by increasing the prices that they charge consumers for other products. This paper studies this issue using the Durbin Amendment, which decreased the interchange fees that banks are allowed to charge merchants for processing debit transactions. Merchant interchange fees, previously averaging 2 percent of transaction value, were capped at $0.22, decreasing bank revenue by $6.5 billion annually. The objective of Durbin was …


Making Consumer Finance Work, Natasha Sarin Jan 2019

Making Consumer Finance Work, Natasha Sarin

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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 …


Behavioral Finance, Decumulation, And The Regulatory Strategy For Robo-Advice, Tom Baker, Benedict Dellaert Jan 2019

Behavioral Finance, Decumulation, And The Regulatory Strategy For Robo-Advice, Tom Baker, Benedict Dellaert

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This working paper surveys the decumulation services offered by investment robo-advisors as a case study with which to examine regulatory and market structure issues raised by automated financial advice. We provide a short introduction to decumulation, describing some of the uncertainties involved in identifying optimal decumulation strategies and sketching a few of the ‘rules of thumb’ that financial advisors have developed in this area in the face of this uncertainty. Next we describe behavioral effects that could inhibit consumers from following an optimal decumulation strategy, concluding that, left to their own devices, consumers are likely to make sub-optimal decumulation decisions. …


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

The Salience Theory Of Consumer Financial Regulation, Natasha Sarin

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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 …


Federalism Of Personal Finance: State & Federal Retirement Plans, William Birdthistle Jan 2018

Federalism Of Personal Finance: State & Federal Retirement Plans, William Birdthistle

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In this Article, I consider possible approaches that attempt to improve the plans through which millions of Americans tend to their life savings. I begin by considering the inadequacies of our current system of defined contribution accounts and then address two possible alternatives: the first being a federal account universally available to Americans based largely on the model of the Thrift Savings Plan; the second being a system of statebased retirement accounts like those that have already been developed in a handful of states. Though I conclude that a single, federal plan would be superior, either alternative approach would be …


Regulating Robo Advice Across The Financial Services Industry, Tom Baker, Benedict G. C. Dellaert Jan 2018

Regulating Robo Advice Across The Financial Services Industry, Tom Baker, Benedict G. C. Dellaert

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Automated financial product advisors – “robo advisors” – are emerging across the financial services industry, helping consumers choose investments, banking products, and insurance policies. Robo advisors have the potential to lower the cost and increase the quality and transparency of financial advice for consumers. But they also pose significant new challenges for regulators who are accustomed to assessing human intermediaries. A well-designed robo advisor will be honest and competent, and it will recommend only suitable products. Because humans design and implement robo advisors, however, honesty, competence, and suitability cannot simply be assumed. Moreover, robo advisors pose new scale risks that …


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.

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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 …


Horizontal Shareholding And Antitrust Policy, Fiona M. Scott Morton, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Horizontal Shareholding And Antitrust Policy, Fiona M. Scott Morton, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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“Horizontal shareholding” occurs when one or more equity funds own shares of competitors operating in a concentrated product market. For example, the four largest mutual fund companies might be large shareholders of all the major United States air carriers. A growing body of empirical literature concludes that under these conditions market output in the product market is lower and prices higher than they would otherwise be.

Here we consider how the antitrust laws might be applied to this practice, identifying the issues that courts are likely to encounter and attempting to anticipate litigation problems. We assume that neither the mutual …


The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin Jan 2018

The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin

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Bond workouts are a famously dysfunctional method of debt restructuring, ridden with opportunistic and coercive behavior by bondholders and bond issuers. Yet since 2008 bond workouts have quietly started to work. A cognizable portion of the restructuring market has shifted from bankruptcy court to out-of-court workouts by way of exchange offers made only to large institutional investors. The new workouts feature a battery of strong-arm tactics by bond issuers, and aggrieved bondholders have complained in court. The result has been a new, broad reading of the primary law governing workouts, section 316(b) of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 (“TIA”), …


Distributive Justice And Donative Intent, Alexander Boni-Saenz Jul 2017

Distributive Justice And Donative Intent, Alexander Boni-Saenz

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The inheritance system is beset by formalism. Probate courts reject wills on technicalities and refuse to correct obvious drafting mistakes by testators. These doctrines lead to donative errors, or outcomes that are not in line with the decedent’s donative intent. While scholars and reformers have critiqued the intent-defeating effects of formalism in the past, none have examined the resulting distribution of donative errors and connected it to broader social and economic inequalities. Drawing on egalitarian theories of distributive justice, this Article develops a novel critique of formalism in the inheritance law context. The central normative claim is that formalistic wills …