Afra Afsharipour & Darren Rosenblum on the C-Suite

Afra Afsharipour, professor of law at the University of California, Davis, and Darren Rosenblum, professor of law at McGill University, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their essay Power and Pay in the C-Suite. In this essay, Afsharpiour and Rosenblum extend the board-diversity literature to examine diversity in the next layer of the corporate hierarchy: the C-suite occupied by the chief executive, financial, legal, HR, and other senior officers.

Symposium: Local Journalism, Business, and Society

June 6, 2022

The press is a bedrock institution of American society and democracy, but in many corners of the country, the viability of local reporting is under question if not outright existential threat. To explore some of the causes, effects, and solutions to this problem, the Business Scholarship Podcast’s third annual symposium is focused on Local Journal, Business, and Society.

The symposium comprises three episodes broken into the following panels.

  1. Private Equity and Local Journalism
  1. Workplaces and Local Journalism
  1. Corporate Misconduct and Local Journalism

Panels are moderated by Andrew Jennings of Brooklyn Law School. They are available on major podcast apps, YouTube, and at andrewkjennings.com/localjournalism.

Tracey George, Eva Davis & Germaine Gurr on Gender, Credentials and M&A

Tracey George, professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Gender, Credentials and M&A, which she co-authored with Albert Yoon, professor of law and economics at the University of Toronto and Mitu Gulati, professor of law at the University of Virginia. George’s article offers an empirical examination of gender gaps in M&A deal leadership and how the signaling effects of attorney credentials influence those gaps. George is joined on the panel by practitioners Eva Davis, a partner and chair of the transactions department at Winston & Strawn, and Germaine Gurr, a partner in the M&A practice of White & Case.

Yesha Yadav on Bond Markets

Yesha Yadav, professor of law at Vanderbilt University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article The Broken Bond Market, which she co-authored with Jonathan Brogaard, professor of finance at the University of Utah. In this article, Yadav and Brogaard observe an inverse relationship between bond liquidity and governance bespokeness, which forces a tradeoff between tradability and investor protection. They recommend private-ordering solutions to reduce this dichotomy.

George Georgiev on the Public-Private Divide

George Georgiev, associate professor of law at Emory University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article The Breakdown of the Public–Private Divide in Securities Law: Causes, Consequences, and Reforms. In this article Georgiev traces a breakdown in the division between public and private capital markets as stemming from two decades of deregulatory developments. This breakdown, he contends, has reduced the explanatory value of the public-private divide in securities regulation, a condition that can likely only be remedied through congressional action.

Alexander Platt on Section 13(f) and Corporate Governance

Alexander Platt, associate professor of law at the University of Kansas, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Beyond “Market Transparency”: Investor Disclosure and Corporate Governance. In this article Platt explores twenty governance impacts driven by Exchange Act Section 13(f)—which requires institutional shareholders to periodically disclose their holdings to the public—including on common ownership and competition and shareholder activism. Drawing from these examples, Platt observes that far from a neutral transparency device, Section 13(f) has substantive effects on corporate governance.

Anat-Alon Beck and Darren Rosenblum on the Duty to Diversify

Anat Alon-Beck, assistant professor of law at Case Western Reserve University, and Darren Rosenblum, professor of law at McGill University, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their articles No More Old Boys’ Club: Institutional Investors’ Fiduciary Duty to Advance Board Gender Diversity and A Duty to Diversify, which were co-authored with Michal Agmon-Gonnen. In these articles, Alon-Beck and Rosenblum articulate directors’ and institutional investors’ fiduciary duties as including a duty to foster diversity in senior corporate leadership.

William Moon on Anonymous Companies

William Moon, associate professor of law at the University of Maryland, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Anonymous Companies. In this article Moon challenges the push for greater transparency of corporate ownership by recognizing legitimate economic, safety, anti-discrimination, and related interests that entrepreneurs might have in corporate anonymity.

Akshaya Kamalnath on Diversity Short-Termism

Akshaya Kamalnath, senior lecturer at Australian National University College of Law, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Social Movements, Diversity, and Corporate Short-Termism. In this article, Kamalnath investigates how social movements, often powered by social media, influence corporate commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She observes, however, that these commitments can suffer from corporate short-termism, particularly as social pressure wanes.

Richard Crowley on Executive Tweets

Richard Crowley, assistant professor of accounting at Singapore Management University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his paper Executive Tweets, which he co-authored with Wenli Huang of Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hai Lu of the University of Toronto. In the paper the co-authors find that larger market reactions follow financially relevant tweets posted to executives’ personal Twitter accounts compared to similar tweets posted to corporate accounts. This result is consistent with a person-to-person trust mechanism.

Christina Skinner on Central-Bank Activism

Christina Skinner, assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Central Bank Activism. In this article, Skinner critically analyzes demands that central banks like the Federal Reserve step beyond their traditional monetary mandates to tackle other fiscal and social challenges, such as climate change, income and racial inequality, or foreign and small-business aid.

Emmanuel Yimfor on Misconduct Synergies

Emmanuel Yimfor, assistant professor of finance at the University of Michigan, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his paper Misconduct Synergies, which was co-authored with Heather Tookes of Yale University. In this paper, Yimfor and Tookes conduct a study of M&A in the investment-advisory industry and find that following mergers, a large share employees of the acquired firm who have prior misconduct leave the combined firm. Contrary to some expectations in the literature, the authors find that firms with high or low misconduct tend to acquire firms with similar misconduct histories.

Paolo Saguato on Clearinghouses

Paolo Saguato, assistant professor of law at George Mason University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his articles Financial Regulation, Corporate Governance, and the Hidden Costs of Clearinghouses and article The Ownership of Clearinghouses: When ‘Skin in the Game’ Is Not Enough, the Remutualization of Clearinghouses. In these articles, Saguato conducts political-economy analyses of securities clearinghouses and their systemic risks.

Benjamin Ho on Corporate Apologies

Benjamin Ho, associate professor of economics at Vassar College, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his paper Do Investors Care about Corporate Apologies? Evidence from Chemical Disasters, which he co-authored with Sijia Fan, Qi Ge, and Lirong Ma. In this paper, Ho and his co-authors study impacts on stock prices when companies apologize after chemical disasters. They find that although admissions of error might help restore trust with the public and regulators, those apologies can also reduce investors’ perceptions of firm competence, leading to drops in stock price.

David Kershaw and Edmund Schuster on Purposeful Corporations

David Kershaw, dean and professor at the London School of Economics Law School, and Edmund Schuster, associate professor at the London School of Economics Law School, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their article The Purposive Transformation of Corporate Law. In this article Kershaw and Schuster frame the long-standing question of what is a corporation’s purpose in terms of aspirational mission-purpose. This frame, the authors argue, in turn requires either that shareholders be purposeful themselves or that corporate law insulate purpose from shareholders.

Panel on Unicorns

Four scholars join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their recent work on unicorn startups. Abraham Cable, professor of law at the University of California Hastings, is the author of Time Enough for Counting: A Unicorn RetrospectiveAlexander Platt, associate professor of law at the University of Kansas, is the author of UnicorniphobiaMatthew Wansley, assistant professor of law at Yeshiva University, is the author of Taming Unicorns; and Amy Deen Westbrook, professor of law at Washburn University, is the author of We(‘re) Working on Corporate Governance: Stakeholder Vulnerability in Unicorn Companies.

Tom Gosling on CEO Pay

Tom Gosling, executive fellow of finance at the London Business School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article CEO Compensation: Evidence From the Field, which he co-authored with Alex Edmans of the London Business School and Dirk Jenter of the London School of Economics. In their article, Gosling and his co-authors conduct an interview-based field study of public-company directors and investors on how boards set CEO compensation and under what constraints they make those decisions.

Harwell Wells on Civil-Rights Shareholder Activism

Harwell Wells, professor of law at Temple University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Shareholder Meetings and Freedom Rides: The Story of Peck v Greyhound. In this article, Wells recounts the efforts of Bayard Rustin and James Peck to use the proxy rules and their purchase of Greyhound shares to protest the bus company’s segregationist policies. These efforts were ultimately thwarted, Wells explains, by the SEC’s re-writing of the proxy rules to undermine civil-rights shareholder activism.

Afra Afsharipour on Women & M&A

Afra Afsharipour, professor of law at the University of California, Davis, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Women and M&A. In this empirical study Afsharipour highlights the dearth of women among lead lawyers in the largest public-company M&A deals. She relates this gap to prior literatures on board and executive gender diversity and proposes steps to help close it.

Jeremy Kress on Bank Boards

Jeremy Kress, assistant professor of business law at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Who’s Looking Out For The Banks?. Kress examines the risk of exploitation that national banks face when they are part of financial conglomerates whose nonbank affiliates might seek to benefit from banking subsidies. He locates this risk in director overlap between the boards of banks and their parent companies and proposes reforms to bolster the independence of bank subsidiaries’ boards.

Colleen Honigsberg on Broker Recidivism

Colleen Honigsberg, associate professor of law at Stanford University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Deleting Misconduct: The Expungement of BrokerCheck Records, which she co-authored with Matthew Jacob. In the article Honigsberg examines 6,660 requests for expungement of alleged misconduct by securities brokers, including what those requests and their outcomes mean for brokers’ subsequent careers and recidivism risk.

Steven Boivie & Scott Graffin on the Role of Directors

Steven Boivie, professor at Texas A&M University Mays Business School, and Scott Graffin, professor at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their article Corporate Directors’ Implicit Theories of the Roles and Duties of Boards. In this interview-based study, Boivie and Graffin, along with co-authors Michael Withers and Kevin Corley, find that contrary to agency-cost theory, corporate directors view their role as supporting, not monitoring, management.