Charlotte Haendler and Rawley Heimer on Financial-Services Complaints

Charlotte Haendler, a PhD student in finance at Boston College, and Rawley Heimer, an assistant professor of finance at Boston College, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their article The Financial Restitution Gap in Consumer Finance: Insights from Complaints Filed with the CFPB. In this paper, Haendler and Heimer use data from customer complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to examine how financial-services providers treat customers of different socioeconomic statuses. After finding racial and income gaps in the likelihood that complaints result in restitution, the authors examine potential mechanisms, including financial industry reaction to changing presidential administrations.

Charles McClure on Disclosure and Managerial Learning

Charles McClure, assistant professor of accounting at the University of Chicago, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his paper Disclosure Processing Costs and Market Feedback Around the World, which was written with co-authors Shawn Shi and Edward Watts. In this paper, McClure and his co-authors exploit international introductions of centralized electronic disclosure systems, like the SEC’s EDGAR database, to examine how disclosure technologies affect managers’ learning from securities prices and investors’ information processing.

Amanda Dixon, Madison Sherrill & Hadar Tanne on Willful Breach in M&A

Amanda Dixon, Madison Sherrill, and Hadar Tanne, students at Duke University School of Law, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their article Damages as a Function of Fault: Willful Breach in M&A Contracts, which was written with co-authors Theresa Arnold and Mitu Gulati. In this article, Dixon, Sherrill, and Tanne investigate why sophisticated parties incorporate the concept of willful non-performance into contracts despite the black-letter doctrine that contract law follows strict liability for breaches.

This article is the third by the Duke contracts group. Their prior papers are The Myth of Optimal Expectation Damages and ‘Lipstick on a Pig’: Specific Performance Clauses in Action.

Gregory Burke on SEC Staff and Shareholder Proposals

Gregory Burke, a PhD student in accounting at Duke University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his paper SEC Rule 14a-8 Shareholder Proposals: No-Action Requests, Determinants, and the Role of SEC Staff. In this paper, Burke examines shareholder proposals submitted by firms to the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance for no-action relief. He tests whether four determinants (legal characteristics, pressure, proposal attributes, and individual staff) are associated with higher probabilities of no-action relief being granted and finds that there are statistically significant associations for each.

Laura Coordes on Bespoke Bankruptcy

Laura Coordes, associate professor of law at Arizona State University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Bespoke Bankruptcy. This article considers instances in which debtors require bankruptcy-like protections despite not fitting within the Bankruptcy Code’s existing chapters. Coordes offers examples of how Congress addresses these scenarios through “bespoke bankruptcy” provisions, which she concludes sometimes fill important needs even as they raise new concerns about the nature of bankruptcy law.

Emily Strauss on Everything as Securities Fraud

(Business Scholarship Podcast, and this episode, are available on all major podcast apps.)

Emily Strauss, clinical professor of law at Duke University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Is Everything Securities Fraud?. In this article, Strauss analyzes the extent to which corporate harms to non-shareholders—such as victims of oil spills, tainted medicines, or defective automobiles—come to serve as the basis for securities litigation. Based on her findings, she concludes that this event-driven securities litigation could have deterrent effects but is likely a suboptimal mechanism for mitigating harms to non-shareholder victims of corporate misconduct.

Asaf Raz on Arbitration and Corporate Law

Asaf Raz, a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Mandatory Arbitration and the Boundaries of Corporate Law. In this article, Raz considers whether case developments point toward mandatory arbitration clauses being incorporated into corporate charters and bylaws, which he predicts would have a negative impact on corporate governance. He further examines whether a contractarian view of the corporation—which, under the Federal Arbitration Act, could justify such provisions—should hold or whether corporate law should be viewed as a distinct body of law.

Kish Parella on Business and Human Rights

Kish Parella, associate professor of law at Washington & Lee University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her works Improving Social Compliance in Supply Chains and Compliance as an Exchange of Legitimacy for Influence. In these works, Parella examines the legal institutions and reputational mechanisms that foster human-rights compliance by transnational enterprises, as well as how that compliance might be influenced by developments like the draft UN business-and-human-rights treaty.

Carlos Berdejó on Financing Minority Entrepreneurship

Carlos Berdejó, professor of law at Loyola Law School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Financing Minority Entrepreneurship. In this article, Berdejó examines barriers faced by minority-owned businesses and frames information asymmetry as a cause of racial disparities in entrepreneurship. He also uses this framework in explaining why policy interventions designed to foster minority-owned businesses have failed to correct those disparities.

Anat Alon-Beck on Alternative Venture Capital

Anat Alon-Beck, assistant professor of law at Case Western Reserve University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Alternative Venture Capital: The New Unicorn Investors. In this article, Alon-Beck examines the emergence of “alternative” venture capitalists—including family offices, high-net-worth individuals, and sovereign-wealth funds—and how their participation in financing affects governance arrangements in high-growth unicorn startups.

Suneal Bedi and William Marra on Litigation Finance

Suneal Bedi, assistant professor of business law and ethics at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and William Marra, investment manager at Validity Finance, LLC, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their article The Shadows of Litigation Finance. In their article, Bedi and Marra present a normative framework for analyzing litigation finance’s welfare effects, including its effects on pre-dispute contracting and commercial behavior.

Symposium: Financial and Corporate Regulation in the Biden Administration

January 4, 2021

A new presidential administration doesn’t come along every day. To explore what the Biden-Harris administration might hold when it comes to business regulation―or what panelists believe it should hold―the Business Scholarship Podcast’s second annual symposium is focused on Financial and Corporate Regulation in the Biden Administration.

The symposium comprises five episodes broken into the following panels. Across each panel, guests are invited to identify failures or missed opportunities of prior administrations, to predict the potential course of the Biden administration in key regulatory areas, and to offer advice to the incoming administration and the 117th Congress.

  1. Banking & Financial Regulation
  1. Investor Protection & Corporate Finance
  1. Consumer Protection & Finance
  1. Corporate Power
  1. Enforcement & Policing

Panels are moderated by Andrew Jennings, Stanford University School of Law. They are available on major podcast apps and at andrewkjennings.com/biden-symposium.

Felix Chang on Ethnically Segmented Markets

Felix Chang, professor of law at the University of Cincinnati, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Ethnically Segmented Markets. In this article, Chang introduces the concept of ethnically segmented and misaligned markets (ESMs)–markets in which buyers and sellers are members of distinct ethnic communities–through a case study of the market for wigs and hair extensions. He observes that ESMs can be partly understood in terms of antitrust, and that they present challenges to antitrust doctrine and raise questions for interethnic equity and relations.

Yaron Nili and Kobi Kastiel on Corporate Gadflies

Yaron Nili, assistant professor of law at the University of Wisconsin, and Kobi Kastiel, assistant professor of law at Tel Aviv University, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their article The Giant Shadow of Corporate Gadflies. In this article Nili and Kastiel examine the work of a handful of retail investors who frequently submit shareholder proposals, a group they dub “corporate gadflies.” After presenting empirical findings on how gadflies influence corporate governance, Nili and Kastiel consider policy and regulatory implications for gadflies’ work.

Jenifer Varzaly on Australian Securities Enforcement

Jenifer Varzaly, assistant professor of commercial and corporate law at Durham University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article The Effectiveness of Disclosure Law Enforcement in Australia. In this article, Varzaly introduces novel datasets for disclosure-based public and private securities enforcement in Australia. In considering the joint effects of these enforcement modalities, she concludes that Australia has a moderately effective securities-enforcement system and identifies areas for improvement.

Christina Skinner on Presidential Financial Regulation

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 Presidential Pendulums in Finance. In this article, Skinner reviews the emerging role of the presidency in financial regulation, an area that was long the preserve of congressional and agency policymaking. After introducing evidence for presidential involvement in financial regulation, Skinner discusses the normative and pragmatic implications for this involvement on business cycles.

Ramsi Woodcock on Antitrust Skepticism

Ramsi Woodcock, assistant professor of law at the University of Kentucky, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article The Market as a Learning Algorithm: Consequences for Regulation and Antitrust. In this article, Woodcock questions the Chicago School’s reliance on skepticism and the metaphor of evolutionary biology to undermine pre-1970s antitrust enforcement. Rather than the evolutionary metaphor, he explains that machine learning more aptly describes how antitrust and other forms of economic regulation can foster social advancement and guard against social predation.

Brando Cremona and Maria Passador on Comparative Shareholder Activism

Brando Cremona, a PhD candidate at Bocconi University, and Maria Passador, an academic fellow at Bocconi University, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their recent article Shareholder Activism Today: Did Barbarians Storm the Gate?. In this article, Cremona and Passador trace the rise of shareholder activism in a comparative analysis of its practice and effects in the United States and European jurisdictions.

Sean Griffith and Abraham Cable on Deal Insurance

Sean Griffith, professor of law at Fordham University, and Abraham Cable, professor of law at UC Hastings, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their recent works on representation-and-warranty insurance in mergers and acquisitions. Griffith is the author of Deal Insurance: Representation & Warranty Insurance in Mergers and Acquisitions. Cable is the author of Comment on Griffith’s Deal Insurance: The Continuing Scramble Among Professionals.

Spencer Williams on Contracts as Systems

Spencer Williams, associate professor of law at Golden Gate University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Contracts as Systems. In this article, Williams considers complex-systems theory, which has its origins in fields like engineering, computer science, ecology, and economics, and extends it to contracts. In doing so he adds to a literature challenging reductionist interpretation of contract terms and offers a new account of contractual complexity that turns on interactions between individual contract terms.

David Hoffman and Cathy Hwang on the Social Cost of Contract

David Hoffman, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, and Cathy Hwang, professor of law at the University of Virginia, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their essay The Social Cost of Contract. In their essay, Hoffman and Hwang examine when unexpected changes would cause contracts, if performed, to produce intolerable public costs, such as when epidemics and pandemics render contracts too dangerous to perform. Hoffman and Hwang then apply a contract-law anti-canon to predict how courts would enforce such contracts and how parties should renegotiate under the shadow of courts’ likely enforcement behavior.

Afra Afsharipour on Bias, Identity, and M&A

Afra Afsharipour, professor of law at UC Davis, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her essay Bias, Identity and M&A. In this essay, Afsharipour considers the non-value maximizing behavioral biases that can influence M&A activity, with a particular focus on senior management and a board’s ability to monitor senior management in the deal process. As part of this discussion, Afsharipour reviews recent empirical research on the relationship between management identity and M&A behavior.

Eldar Maksymov & Matthew Ege on Audit Quality and M&A

Eldar Maksymov, assistant professor at Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business, and Matthew Ege, assistant professor at Texas A&M University Mays Business School, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their paper The Revival of Large Consulting Practices at the Big 4 and Audit Quality. In their paper, Maksymov, Ege, and their co-authors Dain Donelson and Andy Imdieke, use a multi-method approach to assess whether mergers and acquisitions of consulting firms by audit firms have positive or negative effects on the quality of audits conducted by the acquiring audit firms.

Aisha Saad on Corporate Waqfs

Aisha Saad, research scholar in law and Bartlett Research Fellow at Yale Law School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her recent article The Corporate Waqf in Law and Practice. In this article, Saad discusses the share waqf as a contemporary form of the waqf, a trust-like entity in Islamic law used for carrying out charitable purposes. Unlike waqfs that hold real estate or cash, share wafs hold significant, even controlling, stakes in firms. In offering case studies of corporate waqfs in Turkey, India, and Malaysia, Saad draws comparisons to northern European foundations. Together, these two institutions challenge agency-cost theory and U.S. concepts of corporate governance.

Aditi Bagchi on Interpreting Boilerplate

Aditi Bagchi, professor of law at Fordham University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her recent essay Risk Averse Contract Interpretation. In this essay, Bagchi argues that boilerplate does not require its own doctrine of contract interpretation, but rather it should incorporate external references in an approach that defies both interpretive contextualism and formalism.