Business Scholarship Podcast

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.

Christina Sautter & Sergio Grammito Ricci on Retail Investors

Christina Sautter, professor of law at Louisiana State University, and Sergio Gramitto Ricci, lecturer at Monash University, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their article Corporate Governance Gaming: The Power of Retail Investors. Sautter and Grammito Ricci identify the rise of wireless investors, a cohort of Millennial and Gen Z investors who seek community and emphasize environmental, social, and governance factors. This new kind of investor is poised to shake up corporate governance, they explain, as seen in the “meme stock” phenomenon and growing retail-shareholder bases at companies favored by wireless investors.

Christine Abely on Consumer Debt and Judgment Interest

Christine Abely, faculty fellow at New England Law Boston, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Adjusting Pre- and Post-Judgment Interest Rates for Consumer Debt Collection Actions. In this article Abely explains that fixed statutory rates for pre- and post-judgement interest can result in windfalls for creditors that come at the expense of consumer debtors. Because consumers often cannot hedge against this risk—as non-consumer judgment debtors can—Abely recommends legislative reforms to protect consumers from paying above-market judgment interest rates.

Julian Arato on International Corporate Law

Julian Arato, professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article The Elastic Corporate Form in International Law. In this article, Arato confronts a tendency by arbitral panels in investor-state disputes to reach decisions that are inconsistent with domestic corporate laws. Examples include allowing shareholders to press claims for third-party harms to a corporation, something domestic laws ordinarily do not permit. This practice, Arato explains, could increase the cost of capital and thus undermine investment treaties’ goal of fostering efficient investment.

Amelia Miazad on Prosocial Antitrust

Amelia Miazad, faculty director of the Business in Society Institute at UC Berkeley, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Prosocial Antitrust. Miazad argues that antitrust agencies should become more accommodating to collaboration between competitors in areas of systemic risk, like climate change and environmental protection. Such collaborations could be especially compelling, Miazad explains, if the negative externalities they mitigate are greater than any reductions in consumer welfare.

Patrick Bolton, Mitu Gulati & Ugo Panizza on Sovereign Debt Crises

Patrick Bolton, professor of business at Columbia University; Mitu Gulati, professor of law at the University of Virginia; and Ugo Panizza, professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute Geneva, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their article Legal Air Cover. In the article, the authors consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on emerging-market sovereign debt, the risk of concurrent sovereign-debt crises, and potential interventions for managing that scenario.

Elisabeth de Fontenay and Eric Talley on Mistaken Payments

Elisabeth de Fontenay, professor of law at Duke University and Eric Talley, professor of law at Columbia University, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss Citibank’s mistaken payment of $900M to Revlon lenders, the resulting litigation, and the implications for the future of New York commercial and contract law. De Fontenay is the author of The $900 Million Mistake: In re Citibank August 11, 2020 Wire Transfers (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 16, 2021) and Talley is the organizer of a scholars’ amicus brief in the Second Circuit appeal of the case.

Steven Dean on Tax Havens

Steven Dean, professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss Ten Truths About Tax Havens: Inclusion and the ‘Liberia’ Problem and A Plea to President Biden to Stop Perpetuating Racist Tax Policy. In these pieces, Dean challenges prevailing culture stories around tax non-compliance and the Global South and instead identifies opportunities for the Global North to address tax compliance without casting aspersions on majority Black and Brown jurisdictions.

Lawrence Cunningham on Quality Shareholders

Lawrence Cunningham, research professor of law at George Washington University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his articles The Case for Empowering Quality Shareholders and Ask the Smart Money: Shareholder Votes by a “Majority of the Quality Shareholders”. In these articles, Cunningham examines the unique role that “quality shareholders”—concentrated, long-term investors—can play compared to indexed or transient investors. In considering these three cohorts, he concludes that majority-of-the-minority voting for conflicted corporate transactions is often inadequate to the purpose. As a private-ordering solution to this problem, Cunningham proposes that boards adopt majority-of-the-quality-shareholder voting, as well.

Anita Krug on Temporary Securities Regulation

Anita Krug, dean and professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Temporary Securities Regulation. Krug presents case studies of SEC temporary rulemaking in times of crisis, including those made in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks and at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on these case studies, she proposes that temporary rulemaking could encourage salutary regulatory experimentation. She cautions, however, that crisis rulemaking risks curtailing investor protections just when they are needed most.