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Full-Text Articles in Law

Corporate Power Is Corporate Purpose I: Evidence From My Hometown, Leo E. Strine Jr. Dec 2016

Corporate Power Is Corporate Purpose I: Evidence From My Hometown, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper is the first in a series considering a rather tired argument in corporate governance circles, that corporate laws that give only rights to stockholders somehow implicitly empower directors to regard other constituencies as equal ends in governance. By continuing to suggest that corporate boards themselves are empowered to treat the best interests of other corporate constituencies as ends in themselves, no less important than stockholders, scholars and commentators obscure the need for legal protections for other constituencies and for other legal reforms that give these constituencies the means to more effectively protect themselves.

Using recent events in the ...


Wage-Setting Institutions And Corporate Governance, Matthew Dimick, Neel Rao Nov 2016

Wage-Setting Institutions And Corporate Governance, Matthew Dimick, Neel Rao

Journal Articles

Why do corporate governance law and practice differ across countries? This paper explains how wage-setting institutions influence ownership structures and investor protection laws. In particular, we identify a nonmonotonic relationship between the level of centralization in wage-bargaining institutions and the level of ownership concentration and investor protection laws. As wage setting becomes more centralized, ownership concentration within firms at first becomes more, and then less, concentrated. In addition, the socially optimal level of investor protection laws is decreasing in ownership concentration. Thus, as wage-setting institutions become more centralized, investor protection laws become less and then more protective. This explanation is ...


Corporate Power Is Corporate Purpose Ii: An Encouragement For Future Consideration From Professors Johnson And Millon, Leo E. Strine Jr. Oct 2016

Corporate Power Is Corporate Purpose Ii: An Encouragement For Future Consideration From Professors Johnson And Millon, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper is the second in a series considering the argument that corporate laws that give only rights to stockholders somehow implicitly empower directors to regard other constituencies as equal ends in governance. This piece was written as part of a symposium honoring the outstanding work of Professors Lyman Johnson and David Millon, and it seeks to encourage Professors Johnson and Millon, as proponents of the view that corporations have no duty to make stockholder welfare the end of corporate law, to focus on the reality that corporate power translates into corporate purpose.

Drawing on examples of controlled companies that ...


Hedge Fund Activism, Poison Pills, And The Jurisprudence Of Threat, William W. Bratton Aug 2016

Hedge Fund Activism, Poison Pills, And The Jurisprudence Of Threat, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter reviews the single high profile case in which twentieth century antitakeover law has come to bear on management defense against a twenty-first century activist challenge—the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision to sustain a low-threshold poison pill deployed against an activist in Third Point LLC v. Ruprecht. The decision implicated an important policy question: whether a twentieth century doctrine keyed to hostile takeovers and control transfers appropriately can be brought to bear in a twenty-first century governance context in which the challenger eschews control transfer and instead makes aggressive use of the shareholder franchise. Resolution of the ...


Solving The Puzzle Of Corporate Governance Of State-Owned Enterprises: The Path Of Temasek Model In Singapore And Lessons For China, Christopher C. H. Chen Apr 2016

Solving The Puzzle Of Corporate Governance Of State-Owned Enterprises: The Path Of Temasek Model In Singapore And Lessons For China, Christopher C. H. Chen

Research Collection School Of Law

The purpose of this Article is to examine the corporate governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the Asian context by empirically surveying the influence of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, on its portfolio of government-linked companies in Singapore. Overall, the Temasek model seems to be a promising one. This Article shows that the top listed government-linked companies in which Temasek has a stake have greater board independence than the other top listed companies in Singapore. This illustrates that a high quality of corporate governance could be aligned with public interests associated with SOEs. While this research offers hope ...


The Stewardship Of Trust In The Global Value Chain, Kishanthi Parella Jan 2016

The Stewardship Of Trust In The Global Value Chain, Kishanthi Parella

Scholarly Articles

Global governance has not yet caught up with the globalization of business. As a result, our headlines provide daily accounts of the extent and consequences of these "governance gaps." The ability of corporations to evade state control also contributes to an unusual, even frightening, phenomenon: corporations are governing like states. Some governance functions traditionally delivered by state actors are now increasingly undertaken by transnational corporations. One area that is experiencing this substitution is dispute resolution of human rights. Corporations and other business enterprises, individually or collectively, are creating a variety of grievance mechanisms to address human rights and other conflicts ...


Disciplining Corporate Boards And Debtholders Through Targeted Proxy Access, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2016

Disciplining Corporate Boards And Debtholders Through Targeted Proxy Access, Michelle M. Harner

Faculty Scholarship

Corporate directors committed to a failed business strategy or unduly influenced by the company’s debtholders need a dissenting voice—they need shareholder nominees on the board. This article examines the bias, conflicts, and external factors that impact board decisions, particularly when a company faces financial distress. It challenges the conventional wisdom that debt disciplines management, and it suggests that, in certain circumstances, the company would benefit from having the shareholders’ perspective more actively represented on the board. To that end, the article proposes a bylaw that would give shareholders the ability to nominate directors upon the occurrence of predefined ...


The Social Relations Of Consumption: Corporate Law And The Meaning Of Consumer Culture, David Yosifon Jan 2016

The Social Relations Of Consumption: Corporate Law And The Meaning Of Consumer Culture, David Yosifon

Faculty Publications

A mature assessment of the society we are making for ourselves, and the legacy we are leaving to the future, must come to terms with consumer culture. Theoretical discourse, as well as common experience, betray persistent ambiguity about what consumerism means to and says about us. In this Article, I argue that this ambiguity can in part be explained by examining the social relations of consumption in contemporary society. These involve, crucially, the relationship between producer and consumer that is dictated by corporate governance law, and embodied in the decision-making dynamics of the directors who command corporate operations. The enigmatic ...


Shareholders Vs Stakeholders Capitalism, Fabian Brandt, Konstantinos Georgiou Jan 2016

Shareholders Vs Stakeholders Capitalism, Fabian Brandt, Konstantinos Georgiou

Comparative Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

With the growth of the economies worldwide the debate between shareholder and stakeholder capitalism has never been more intense than nowadays. Each country though incorporates this debate differently in its interior market since its corporate governance’s structures present distinguished characteristics. Thus, by bringing into this debate countries like Germany and the USA, the distinction between shareholders and stakeholders’ interests becomes clearer. Countries based on the Anglo-Saxon business model like the USA are in favor of a “shareholder primacy” based system setting as their optimal goal the maximization of shareholder value. On the other hand, countries like Germany seem to ...


Misalignment: Corporate Risk-Taking And Public Duty, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2016

Misalignment: Corporate Risk-Taking And Public Duty, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

This article argues for a “public governance duty” to help manage excessive risk-taking by systemically important firms. Although governments worldwide, including the United States, have issued an array of regulations to attempt to curb that risk-taking by aligning managerial and investor interests, those regulations implicitly assume that investors would oppose excessively risky business ventures. That leaves a critical misalignment: because much of the harm from a systemically important firm’s failure would be externalized onto the public, including ordinary citizens impacted by an economic collapse, such a firm can engage in risk-taking ventures with positive expected value to its investors ...


The Ownership Of Health Insurers, Peter Molk Jan 2016

The Ownership Of Health Insurers, Peter Molk

UF Law Faculty Publications

Spending by private health insurers exceeds $800 billion and is expected to rise. The Affordable Care Act provides $2 billion in subsidies to jump-start health insurers owned by their policyholders in an attempt to bring these costs under control. Firms with this corporate ownership structure have succeeded in other insurance markets, where Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual, and State Farm are just a few prominent examples. However, the potential of policyholder ownership in health insurance, which is dominated by investor and nonprofit ownership, is poorly understood. This Article applies theories of corporate ownership and control to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of ...


Modern-Day Monitorships, Veronica Root Jan 2016

Modern-Day Monitorships, Veronica Root

Journal Articles

When a sexual abuse scandal rocked Penn State, when Apple engaged in anticompetitive behavior, and when servicers like Bank of America improperly foreclosed upon hundreds of thousands of homeowners, each organization entered into a Modern-Day Monitorship. Modern-Day Monitorships are utilized in an array of contexts to assist in widely varying remediation efforts. They provide outsiders a unique source of information about the efficacy of the tarnished organization’s efforts to remediate misconduct. Yet despite their use in high-profile and serious matters of organizational wrongdoing, they are not an outgrowth of careful study and deliberate planning. Instead, Modern-Day Monitorships have been ...


Quieting The Sharholders' Voice: Empirical Evidence Of Pervasive Bundling In Proxy Solicitations, James D. Cox, Fabrizio Ferri, Colleen Honigsberg, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2016

Quieting The Sharholders' Voice: Empirical Evidence Of Pervasive Bundling In Proxy Solicitations, James D. Cox, Fabrizio Ferri, Colleen Honigsberg, Randall S. Thomas

Faculty Scholarship

The integrity of shareholder voting is critical to the legitimacy of corporate law. One threat to this process is proxy “bundling,” or the joinder of more than one separate item into a single proxy proposal. Bundling deprives shareholders of the right to convey their views on each separate matter being put to a vote and forces them to either reject the entire proposal or approve items they might not otherwise want implemented.

In this Paper, we provide the first comprehensive evaluation of the anti-bundling rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in 1992. While we find that the ...


Impact Investing As A Form Of Lobbying And Its Corporate-Governance Effects, Andrzej Rapaczynski Jan 2016

Impact Investing As A Form Of Lobbying And Its Corporate-Governance Effects, Andrzej Rapaczynski

Faculty Scholarship

Impact investment is attractive to many because it seems to combine support for progressive causes with an apparent commitment to the principles of a market economy. In fact, however, a rational impact investor is not simply creating demand for certain types of corporate actions; he/she is attempting to use corporate governance mechanisms to influence fiduciary decisions of the management. The cost of this tactic for the health of the capitalist economy is potentially very considerable. The American capitalist system relies heavily on a relatively fragile corporate governance arrangement in which the agency problems of a modern corporation are minimized ...


Corporate Darwinism: Disciplining Managers In A World With Weak Shareholder Litigation, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2016

Corporate Darwinism: Disciplining Managers In A World With Weak Shareholder Litigation, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas

Faculty Scholarship

Because representative shareholder litigation has been constrained by numerous legal developments, the corporate governance system has developed new mechanisms as alternative means to address managerial agency costs. We posit that recent significant governance developments in the corporate world are the natural consequence of the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of shareholder suits to address certain genre of managerial agency costs. We thus argue that corporate governance responses evolve to fill voids caused by the inability of shareholder suits to monitor and discipline corporate managers.

We further claim that these new governance responses are themselves becoming stronger due in part to the rising ...


How Corporate Governance Is Made: The Case Of The Golden Leash, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Sean J. Griffith, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jan 2016

How Corporate Governance Is Made: The Case Of The Golden Leash, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Sean J. Griffith, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article presents a case study of a corporate governance innovation—the incentive compensation arrangement for activist-nominated director candidates colloquially known as the “golden leash.” Golden leash compensation arrangements are a potentially valuable tool for activist shareholders in election contests. In response to their use, several issuers adopted bylaw provisions banning incentive compensation arrangements. Investors, in turn, viewed director adoption of golden leash bylaws as problematic and successfully pressured issuers to repeal them.

The study demonstrates how corporate governance provisions are developed and deployed, the sequential response of issuers and investors, and the central role played by governance intermediaries—activist ...