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Full-Text Articles in Law

Will Tenure Voting Give Corporate Managers Lifetime Tenure?, Paul H. Edelman, Randall S. Thomas, Wei Jiang Jan 2019

Will Tenure Voting Give Corporate Managers Lifetime Tenure?, Paul H. Edelman, Randall S. Thomas, Wei Jiang

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Dual-class voting systems have been widely employed in recent initial public offerings by large tech companies, but have been roundly condemned by institutional investors and the S&P 500. As an alternative, commentators have proposed adoption of tenure voting systems, where investor voting rights increase with the length of time that they hold shares. In furtherance of this proposal, some Silicon Valley investors have requested that the SEC permit the creation of a new stock exchange where all of the companies will be required to use tenure voting systems.

Is tenure voting a better choice than dual-class stock for both ...


Too-Big-To-Fail Shareholders, Yesha Yadav Jan 2018

Too-Big-To-Fail Shareholders, Yesha Yadav

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

To build resilience within the financial system, post-Crisis regulation relies heavily on banks to fund themselves more fully by issuing equity. This reserve of value should buttress failing banks by providing a mechanism to pay off creditors and depositors and preserve the health of financial markets. In the process, shareholders are wiped out. Scholars and policymakers, however, have neglected to examine which equity investors, in fact, are purchasing bank equity and taking on the default risk of U.S. banks. This Article addresses this question. First, it shows that five asset managers - BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisors, Fidelity and ...


Shareholder Voting In An Age Of Intermediary Capitalism, Paul H. Edelman, Randall S. Thomas, Robert B. Thompson Jan 2014

Shareholder Voting In An Age Of Intermediary Capitalism, Paul H. Edelman, Randall S. Thomas, Robert B. Thompson

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Shareholder voting is a key part of contemporary American corporate governance. As numerous contemporary battles between corporate management and shareholders illustrate, voting has never been more important. Yet, traditional theory about shareholder voting, rooted in concepts of residual ownership and a principal/agent relationship, does not reflect recent fundamental changes as to who shareholders are and their incentives to vote (or not vote). In the first section of the article, we address this deficiency directly by developing a new theory of corporate voting that offers three strong and complementary reasons for shareholder voting. In the middle section, we apply our ...


Dodd-Frank's Say On Pay: Will It Lead To A Greater Role For Shareholders In Corporate Governance?, Randall S. Thomas, Alan R. Palmiter, James F. Cotter Jan 2012

Dodd-Frank's Say On Pay: Will It Lead To A Greater Role For Shareholders In Corporate Governance?, Randall S. Thomas, Alan R. Palmiter, James F. Cotter

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

"Say on pay" gives shareholders an advisory vote on a company's pay practices for its top executives. Beginning in 2011, Dodd-Frank mandated such votes at public companies. The first year of "say on pay" under the new legislation may have changed the dialogue and give-and-take in the shareholder-management relationship at some companies, particularly on the question of executive pay.

We study the evolution of shareholder voting on "say on pay" - beginning in 2006 as a fledgling shareholder movement to get "say on pay" on the corporate ballot, evolving as a handful of companies and later the financial firms receiving ...


Prediction Markets And Law: A Skeptical Account, Rebecca Haw Allensworth Jan 2009

Prediction Markets And Law: A Skeptical Account, Rebecca Haw Allensworth

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Enthusiasm for "many minds" arguments has infected legal academia. Scholars now champion the virtues of groupthink, something once thought to have only vices. It turns out that groups often outperform individuals in aggregating information, weighing alternatives, and making decisions. And although some of our legal institutions, such as Congress and juries, already harness the power of the crowd, others could be improved by multiplying the number of minds at work. "Multiplying" implies a simple mathematical formula for improving decisionmaking; modern many minds arguments are more sophisticated than that. They use incentive analyses, game theory, and statistics to study how and ...


Specific Investment: Explaining Anomalies In "Corporate Law", Margaret M. Blair, Lynn A. Stout Jan 2006

Specific Investment: Explaining Anomalies In "Corporate Law", Margaret M. Blair, Lynn A. Stout

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article has two goals: to praise Professor Robert Clark as a remarkable corporate scholar, and to explore how his work has helped to advance our understanding of corporations and corporate law. Clark wrote his classic treatise at a time when corporate scholarship was dominated by a principal-agent paradigm that viewed shareholders as the principals or sole residual claimants in public corporations and treated directors as shareholders' agents. This view naturally led contemporary scholars to believe that the chief economic problem of interest in corporate law was the "agency cost" problem of getting corporate directors to do what shareholders wanted ...


Reforming Corporate Governance: What History Can Teach Us, Margaret M. Blair Jan 2004

Reforming Corporate Governance: What History Can Teach Us, Margaret M. Blair

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In this Article, I turn to the history of corporate law for insight into the role that the corporate form plays in the organization of business enterprises. I then draw implications from this history for thinking about circumstances and situations in which corporate directors should have unimpeded control over business decisions, versus situations in which shareholders should have more input and control over business decisions. In Part I, I review historical evidence of the rapid growth in demand for the corporate form to organize businesses in the United States during the early nineteenth century. I compare the law that governed ...


Director's Duties In A Post-Enron World: Why Language Matters, Margaret M. Blair Jan 2003

Director's Duties In A Post-Enron World: Why Language Matters, Margaret M. Blair

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This essay observes that, in the face of corporate scandals of the last few years, a number of prominent advocates for shareholder primacy have retreated to the position that directors and officers should attempt to maximize long run share value performance, rather than short term value. But the mantra of share value maximization has no distinctive meaning and policy implications if it is not interpreted to mean maximization of short term value. This is because the actions required to maximize share value in the long run are indistinguishable in practice from actions taken in pursuit of other more broadly-stated goals ...


Team Production In Business Organizations: An Introduction, Margaret M. Blair, Lynn A. Stout Jan 1999

Team Production In Business Organizations: An Introduction, Margaret M. Blair, Lynn A. Stout

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

For the past two decades, legal and economic scholarship has tended to assume that the central economic problem addressed by corporation law is getting managers and directors to act as faithful agents for shareholders. There are other important economic problems faced by business firms, however. This article introduces a Symposium that explores one of those alternate economic problems: the problem of "team production". Team production problems can arise whenever three conditions are met: (1) economic production requires the combined inputs of two or more individuals; (2) at least some of these inputs are "team-specific," meaning they have a significantly higher ...