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Full-Text Articles in Law

Behavioral Economics And Investor Protection: Reasonable Investors, Efficient Markets, Barbara Black Jan 2013

Behavioral Economics And Investor Protection: Reasonable Investors, Efficient Markets, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The judicial view of a “reasonable investor” plays an important role in federal securities regulation, and courts express great confidence in the reasonable investor’s cognitive abilities. Behavioral economists, by contrast, do not observe real people investing in today’s markets behaving as the reasonable investors that federal securities law expects them to be. Similarly, the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) has exerted a powerful influence in securities regulation, although empirical evidence calls into question some of the basic assumptions underlying EMH. Unfortunately, to date, courts have only acknowledged the discrepancy between legal theory and behavioral economics in one situation, class ...


A Behavioral Framework For Securities Risk, Tom C.W. Lin Jan 2011

A Behavioral Framework For Securities Risk, Tom C.W. Lin

UF Law Faculty Publications

This article provides the first critical analysis and redesign of the existing securities risk disclosure framework given new insights from the emerging, interdisciplinary field of behavioral economics. Disclosure is the principle at the heart of federal securities regulation. Beneath that core principle of disclosure is the basic assumption that the reasonable investor is the idealized über-rational person of neoclassical economic theory. Therefore, once armed with the requisite information investors presumably can protect themselves through rational choice. Descriptively, however, real investors are not like their rational, neoclassical kin. This article examines this incongruence between the idealized rational investor and the imperfect ...


An Opt-Out Home Mortgage System, Michael S. Barr, Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir Jan 2008

An Opt-Out Home Mortgage System, Michael S. Barr, Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir

Other Publications

The current housing and financial crisis has led to significant congressional and executive action to manage the crisis and stem the harms from it, but the fundamental problems that caused the crisis remain largely unaddressed. The central features of the industrial organization of the mortgage market with its misaligned incentives, and the core psychological and behavioral phenomena that drive household financial decisionmaking remain. While the causes of the mortgage meltdown are myriad and the solutions likely to be multifaceted, a central problem that led to the crisis was that brokers and lenders offered loans that looked much less expensive and ...


Behaviorally Informed Financial Services Regulation, Michael S. Barr, Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir Jan 2008

Behaviorally Informed Financial Services Regulation, Michael S. Barr, Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir

Other Publications

Financial services decisions can have enourmous consequences for household well-being. Households need a range of financial services - to conduct basic transactions, such as receiving their income, storing it, and paying bills; to save for emergency needs and long-term goals; to access credit; and to insure against life's key risks. But the financial services system is exceedingly complicated and often not well-designed to optimize house-hold behavior. In response to the complexity of out financial system, there has been a long running debate about the appropriate role and form of regulation. Regulation is largely stuck in two competing models - disclosure, and ...


"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

"Contracting" For Credit, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

On a recent day, I used my credit cards in connection with a number of minor transactions. I made eight purchases, and I paid two credit card bills. I also discarded (without opening) three solicitations for new cards, balance transfer programs, or other similar offers to extend credit via a credit card. Statistics suggest that I am not atypical. U.S. consumers last year used credit cards in about 100 purchasing transactions per capita, with an average value of about $70. At the end of the year, Americans owed nearly $500 billion dollars, in the range of $1,800 for ...


Price, Path & Pride: Third-Party Closing Opinion Practice Among U.S. Lawyers (A Preliminary Investigation), Jonathan C. Lipson Mar 2005

Price, Path & Pride: Third-Party Closing Opinion Practice Among U.S. Lawyers (A Preliminary Investigation), Jonathan C. Lipson

ExpressO

This article presents the first in-depth exploration of third-party closing opinions, a common but curious – and potentially troubling -- feature of U.S. business law practice. Third-party closing opinions are letters delivered at the closing of most large transactions by the attorney for one party (e.g., the borrower) to the other party (e.g., the lender) offering limited assurance that the transaction will have legal force and effect.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of legal opinions are delivered every week. Yet, lawyers often complain that they create needless risk and cost, and produce little benefit. Closing opinions thus pose a basic ...