Business Scholarship Podcast

Mihailis Diamantis on a Corporate Insanity Defense

Mihailis Diamantis, associate professor of law at the University of Iowa, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his forthcoming article The Corporate Insanity Defense. In this article, Diamantis complicates the respondeat superior doctrine of corporate criminal liability and considers whether a doctrine from individual prosecution–the insanity defense–could support more suitable responses to corporate crime and corporate-crime prevention.

Yerv Melkonyan on Reg BI and the States

Yerv Melkonyan, a student at Columbia Law School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his forthcoming note Regulation Best Interest and the State – Agency Conflict. In this note, Melkonyan considers the potential for conflicts between the SEC’s new standard for broker-dealer conduct and standards adopted by the states, including whether and, if so, to what degree, state standards have been preempted by Regulation BI.

Ann Eisenberg on Rural America

Ann Eisenberg, assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her forthcoming article Economic Regulation and Rural America. In this article, Eisenberg identifies a cycle of deregulation as leading to a decline in rural infrastructure and amenities. She explains, though, that rural America still has much to offer the nation, which recommends policy interventions to overcome rural diseconomies of scale.

Faith Stevelman on Information Governance

Faith Stevelman, professor of law at New York Law School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her forthcoming article Boards in Information Governance. In this article, Stevelman and co-author Sarah Haan explain why the paradigm of the “monitoring” board is challenged by secular economic and technological trends. In its place, they identify an emerging paradigm, “information governance,” in which boards focus on the coordination and strategic management of information.

Megan Shaner on Corporate Officers

Megan Shaner, professor of law at the University of Oklahoma, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article The Corporate Chameleon. In this article, Shaner identifies the conceptual difficulty of identifying with certainty just who a corporation’s “officers” are. In response to this difficulty, she proposes a prototype-centered definition of “officer” to aid courts, firms, and potential officers in making that assessment. 

Alexander Platt on Piggyback Securities Litigation

Alexander Platt, Climenko Fellow and lecturer on law at Harvard Law School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his forthcoming article Gatekeeping in the Dark: SEC Control over Private Securities Litigation Revisited. In this article, Platt considers the potential for SEC enforcement actions to catalyze “piggyback” litigation by private plaintiffs. To mitigate the potential for nonoptimal combinations of public plus private enforcement, he calls on the SEC to use its existing authority to account for potential “piggyback” effects in its own enforcement activities.

Brian Frye on Selling Art

Brian Frye, associate professor of law at the University of Kentucky, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his forthcoming article Against Deaccessioning Rules. In this article, Frye questions the bases for professional ethical rules that prohibit charitable art museums from selling works of art. Going further, as a matter of corporate governance, he explores situations in which museum directors may have a fiduciary duty to sell art, especially if doing so means the difference for the institution’s survival.

Hilary Allen on Regulating Fintech

Hilary Allen, associate professor of law at American University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her essay Experimental Strategies for Regulating Fintech. In this essay, Allen reviews the challenges of regulating financial innovation and proposes that to keep up, agencies must themselves innovate and adopt new technologies to support their regulatory functions, a concept she dubs “SupTech.”

Nakita Cuttino on Early Wage Access

Nakita Cuttino, visiting assistant professor of law at Duke University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her forthcoming article The Rise of ‘Fringetech’: Regulatory Risks in Early Wage Access. In this article, Cuttino evaluates and considers regulatory challenges related to early-wage-access programs, a new generation of tech-enabled financial services targeted at low-income workers.

Special Series on the 2020 Crisis

Ep. 1 (43): Yonah Freemak on the 2020 Crisis and Transit

March 23, 2020

Yonah Freemark, a PhD candidate in urban policy at MIT, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss the 2020 crisis, its impact on transit, and what should be done to preserve the economic role of transit.

Ep. 2 (45): David Zaring on the 2020 Crisis and Bank Regulators

April 7, 2020

David Zaring, professor of business studies and legal ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss the 2020 crisis and the role of banking regulators in this crisis and crises more broadly.

Ep. 3 (47): Daniel Schwarcz on the 2020 Crisis and Insurance

April 16, 2020

Daniel Schwarcz, professor of law at the University of Minnesota, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss the 2020 crisis and issues related to insurance coverage and regulation.

Ep. 4 (48): J.W. Verret & Gregory Shill on the 2020 Crisis and Congressional Insider Trading

April 17, 2020

J.W. Verret, associate professor of law at George Mason University, and Gregory Shill, associate professor of law at the University of Iowa, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss the 2020 crisis and congressional insider trading. Verret is the author of Applying Insider Trading Law to Congressmen, Government Officials, and the Political Intelligence Industry and Shill is the author of Congressional Securities Trading.

Check back for new installments in this special series!

Paul Mahoney on Soft Dollars

Paul Mahoney, distinguished professor of law at the University of Virginia, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his forthcoming article Soft Dollars, Hard Choices: Reconciling US and EU Policies on Sell-Side Research. In this article, Mahoney discusses the quandary U.S. broker-dealers find themselves in with respect to the EU’s MiFID II rule banning the bundling of brokerage services and sell-side research, on one hand, and the U.S. regulatory schemes for broker-dealers and investment advisers, on the other. He proposes a U.S. regulatory approach that allows broker-dealers to remain compliant with the two jurisdictions’ contradictory rules.

Kevin Douglas on Michael Milken

Kevin Douglas, visiting assistant professor of law at George Mason University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his forthcoming article Michael Milken: A Case Study in America’s Moral Schism. In this article, Douglas explores the life and times of Michael Milken as a financier and financial innovator and uses the competing views on Milken’s work as a case study for how Americans understand, and disagree about, economic inequality and fairness.

Verity Winship on Enforcement Networks

Verity Winship, professor of law at the University of Illinois, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her new article Enforcement Networks. In this article, Winship presents an empirical network analysis of acknowledgments in SEC litigation and press releases. These acknowledgments shed light on how the SEC sources enforcement actions, including through referrals from the FBI, FINRA, and even small-town police departments. In presenting these findings, Winship demonstrates a method that can be extended for reaching deeper understanding of cross-agency interactions.

Jeremy Kress and Matthew Turk on Community-Bank Deregulation

Jeremy Kress, assistant professor of business law at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and Matthew Turk, assistant professor of business law and ethics at Indiana University Kelly School of Business, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their forthcoming article Too Many to Fail: Against Community Bank Deregulation. In their article Kress and Turk identify myths about community banking that have been used to justify that sector’s deregulation and explain why deregulation increases the risk of future community-bank failures.

Michael Cappucci on Proxy Advisors

Michael Cappucci, managing director for compliance and sustainable investing at Harvard Management Company, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his new paper The Proxy War against Proxy Advisors. In this paper, Cappucci traces the growing influence of proxy advisors and addresses common criticisms about their business practices, accuracy, and role within U.S. corporate governance. He considers recent proposed regulations affecting the proxy-advisor industry and evaluates their likely effects on corporate governance and institutional shareholders and asset managers.

Letian Zhang on M&A and Workplace Equality

Letian Zhang, assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his working paper Shaking Things Up: Unintended Consequences of Firm Acquisitions on Racial and Gender Inequality. In this paper, Zhang uses EEOC data to examine the effects of mergers on racial and gender equality in acquired companies. He finds that although mergers may exacerbate inequality between high-skill and low-skill workers, they are associated with reductions in racial and gender inequality.

Citizens United at 10

On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Citizens United v. FEC. 558 U.S. 310. As sometimes happens when modest facts reach courts of last resort, Citizens United immediately eclipsed the controversy at hand. A case about a non-profit organization’s production of Hillary: The Movie, a little-seen documentary on then-Senator Hillary Clinton, became an early flashpoint in a decade of political conflict that coincided with, or that was perhaps fueled by, substantial increases in direct political spending by groups outside traditional campaign and party committees.

Late last year, Sarah Haan suggested marking on this show the ten-year anniversary of that momentous decision. That excellent suggestion led to this Citizens United at 10 podcast symposium. Of course, the seriatim-speakers-in-a-room structure of a traditional symposium required some adjusting for the podcast format. Instead, I pre-recorded seven interviews, to be released on this ten-year anniversary, with scholars who have spent part of the past decade working on Citizens United and its implications for corporate law, money in politics, and American democracy. Each guest brings a different set of insights and observations, and I am excited to share the full program with the listeners.

Political scientists Anna Harvey and Michael Rocca join to discuss empirical research and findings stemming from Citizens United. Five legal scholars–Kent Greenfield, Sarah Haan, Elizabeth Pollman, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, and Anne Tucker–join to discuss the case’s corporate-law and constitutional consequences. I ask the legal scholars a common set of questions: (1) tell me about your work in this area over the last decade, (2) what’s surprised you or not surprised you in that time, and (3) what are you watching for or predicting over the next ten years? Although common themes, and sometimes areas of disagreement, emerge in the answers, each guest speaks from a unique vantage and is watching for different developments over the next decade.

These differences–especially for the final prospective question–and a modest two-hour runtime recommend a full listen to the symposium. The interviews are available below this foreword and on all major podcast services. As always, if you like what you hear, please consider subscribing to the podcast or sharing with others who might like it too. And if you have ideas for future episodes, let me know at andrew@andrewkjennings.com. Thank you for listening.

–Andrew Jennings, Creator/Host, Business Scholarship Podcast

Kent Greenfield

Kent Greenfield, professor of law at Boston College, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast Citizens United at 10 podcast symposium to discuss his work on Citizens United and the decision’s implications for corporate law, money in politics, and American democracy. Works discussed include Corporations Are People Too (And They Should Act Like It).

In addition to discussing his scholarship, Greenfield reflects on the tenth anniversary of Citizens United, including what’s surprised him, what hasn’t, and what he is watching over the next ten years.

Sarah Haan

Sarah Haan, associate professor of law at Washington & Lee University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast Citizens United at 10 podcast symposium to discuss her work on Citizens United and the decision’s implications for corporate law, money in politics, and American democracy. Works discussed include Voter Primacy and Shareholder Proposal Settlements and the Private Ordering of Public Elections.

In addition to discussing her scholarship, Haan reflects on the tenth anniversary of Citizens United, including what’s surprised her, what hasn’t, and what she is watching over the next ten years.

Anna Harvey

Anna Harvey, professor of politics at New York University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast Citizens United at 10 podcast symposium to discuss her article Does Money Have a Conservative Bias? Estimating the Causal Impact of Citizens United on State Legislative Preferences. In this article, Harvey and her co-author find that after Citizens United not only did states whose campaign-finance laws were affected by the decision see flips in control of legislative seats, but also that elected Republican legislators held more conservative policy preferences.

Elizabeth Pollman

Elizabeth Pollman, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast Citizens United at 10 podcast symposium to discuss her work on Citizens United and the decision’s implications for corporate law, money in politics, and American democracy. Works discussed include Citizens Not United: The Lack of Stockholder Voluntariness in Corporate Political SpeechA Corporate Right to PrivacyThe Derivative Nature of Corporate Constitutional Rights, and Constitutionalizing Corporate Law.

In addition to discussing her scholarship, Pollman reflects on the tenth anniversary of Citizens United, including what’s surprised her, what hasn’t, and what she is watching over the next ten years.

Michael Rocca

Michael Rocca, associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast Citizens United at 10 podcast symposium to discuss his articles The Effects of Citizens United on Corporate Spending in the 2012 Presidential Election and The Impact of Citizens United on Large Corporations and Their Employees. In these articles, Rocca and his co-authors find that the Citizens United decision did not lead to observable increases in direct campaign spending by firms or their employees, although it did mark a substantial increase in expenditures by a small set of high-spending individuals.

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, professor of law at Stetson University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast Citizens United at 10 podcast symposium to discuss her work on Citizens United and the decision’s implications for corporate law, money in politics, and American democracy. Works discussed include Corporate Citizen? An Argument for the Separation of Corporation and State and Political Brands.

In addition to discussing her scholarship, Torres-Spelliscy reflects on the tenth anniversary of Citizens United, including what’s surprised her, what hasn’t, and what she is watching over the next ten years.

Anne Tucker

Anne Tucker, associate professor of law at Georgia State University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast Citizens United at 10 podcast symposium to discuss her work on Citizens United and the decision’s implications for corporate law, money in politics, and American democracy. Works discussed include Flawed Assumptions: A Corporate Law Analysis of Free Speech and Corporate Personhood in Citizens UnitedRational Coercion: Citizens United and a Modern Day Prisoner’s DilemmaThe Citizen Shareholder: Modernizing the Agency Paradigm to Reflect How and Why a Majority of Americans Invest in the Market, and Locked In: The Competitive Disadvantage of Citizen Shareholders.

In addition to discussing her scholarship, Tucker reflects on the tenth anniversary of Citizens United, including what’s surprised her, what hasn’t, and what she is watching over the next ten years.

Omari Scott Simmons on Executive-Search Firms and Governance

Omari Scott Simmons, professor of business law at Wake Forest University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his forthcoming article Forgotten Gatekeepers: Executive Search Firms and Corporate Governance. In this article, Simmons introduces the history, role, and practice of executive-search firms (ESFs), firms that help companies source and recruit senior executives and directors. He further makes the case that, similar to compensation consultants and proxy firms, ESFs are a significant player in a trend toward outsourcing corporate governance.

Menesh Patel on Merger Breakups

Menesh Patel, acting professor of law at UC Davis, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his recent article Merger Breakups. In this article, Patel considers whether and when antitrust agencies should challenge consummated mergers that were previously reviewed and cleared through the Hart-Scott-Rodino process. This question in turn interacts with contemporary conversations about antitrust enforcement, particularly in the technology sector.

Jessica Erickson on Automating Securities Class-Action Settlements

Jessica Erickson, professor of law at the University of Richmond, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Automating Securities Class Action Settlements. In the article, Erickson explores a contradiction in securities class-action settlements: although Civil Rule 23 defaults to opt-out class membership, the difficulty of identifying securities class members makes settlement administration effectively opt-in. She proposes two solutions for overcoming this problem: a market-based approach involving banks and brokers, and a regulatory approach using the SEC’s forthcoming consolidated audit trail.

Joseph Grundfest on Federal-Forum Provisions

Joseph Grundfest, professor of law and business at Stanford University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his recent article The Limits of Delaware Corporate Law: Internal Affairs, Federal Forum Provisions, and Sciabacucchi.

He explains that the Chancery Court’s Sciabacucchi decision erroneously held Securities Act claims to be external to a corporation’s governance, meaning that charters cannot require securities claims to be filed in federal, rather than state, court. He notes that this holding was not only wrong as a matter of Delaware law, but it also raises troubling federalism questions and could lead to higher D&O insurance premia.