Business Scholarship Podcast

Todd Phillips on the Fracas at the FDIC

Todd Phillips, principal at Phillips Policy Consulting and former director of financial regulation and corporate governance at the Cato Institute, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his essay The Fracas at the FDIC. In this essay Phillips examines a power struggle in late 2021 between the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation board’s Republican chair and Democratic majority, including its implications for the possibility of fracases at the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.

Kish Parella on Corporate Foreign Policy in War

Kish Parella, professor of ethics and law at Washington & Lee University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Corporate Foreign Policy in War. Parella’s article uses the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a study in how multinational firms respond to war, including how public pressure, business models, and contractual arrangements drive firms’ decisional space and reactions.

Darian Ibrahim on Crypto Angels and Devils

Darian Ibrahim, professor of law at the College of William & Mary, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Angels and Devils: The Early Crypto Entrepreneurs. In this article Ibrahim provides a typology in which crypto entrepreneurs are “angels” or “devils” and explains why these categories are analytically useful for framing the regulation of crypto assets, including under the Howey test for investment-contract securities.

Evelyn Atkinson on Telegraph Torts

Evelyn Atkinson, an incoming professor at Tulane Law School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Telegraph Torts: The Lost Lineage of the Public Service Corporation. In this article, Atkinson recounts the history of the telegraph tort, a private action against telegraph companies for failure to deliver messages about a loved one’s death or illness. The telegraph tort, Atkinson observes, reflected affective relationships between telegraph companies and the public and points to early expectations that corporate purpose encompasses public service.

Joshua Blustein on Hyperinflation in the Łódź Ghetto

Joshua Blustein, a law student at the University of Chicago, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Hyperinflation in the Łódź Ghetto, which he co-authored with Jonah Bennett, Natalia Stefanska, Przemysław Galach, and Steven Hanke. In this article, Blustein and his co-authors offer an economic history of the Łódź Ghetto—the last ghetto to be liquidated by the Nazis during the Holocaust—with a focus on its internal currency and the causes and effects of the currency’s hyperinflation.

David Grenardo on Black Owners in Sports

David Grenardo, professor of law at the University of St. Thomas, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Getting to the Root of the Problem: Where Are All the Black Owners in Sports?. In this article Grenardo examines underrepresentation of people of color—particularly Black people—among owners, senior executives, and head coaches in professional sports teams. He theorizes explanations for these underrepresentations and proposes new league policies to reduce them.

Kristen Eichensehr and Cathy Hwang on National-Security Creep

Kristen Eichensehr and Cathy Hwang, professors of law at the University of Virginia, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their essay National Security Creep in Corporate Transactions. In this essay Eichensehr and Hwang document the expansion of national-security review in mergers and other corporate transactions. They consider the implications of this “national security creep” for contract theory and design and judicial deference to Congress and the executive branch in national-security matters.

Samantha Prince on Retirement Vesting

Samantha Prince, assistant professor of law at Penn State Dickinson Law, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Megacompany Employee Churn Meets 401(k) Vesting Schedules: A Sabotage on Workers’ Retirement Wealth. In this article Prince problematizes the use of vesting schedules in employer-sponsored 401(k) plans, especially at companies with employee-churn rates that make it likely that few employees ever actually receive promised 401(k) matching contributions. Given the disproportionate number of people of color working in such high-churn positions, Prince observes that the 401(k)-vesting problem has downstream effects on racial wealth inequality.

Brian Feinstein on White-Collar Favoritism

Brian Feinstein, assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article In-Group Favoritism as Legal Strategy: Evidence from FCPA Settlements, which he co-authored with William Heaston and Guilherme Siqueira de Carvalho. In this article, the authors offer empirical findings that corporate targets of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement tend to hire Democratic attorneys during Democratic administrations and vice versa during Republican administrations. This finding, in turn, raises questions about the potential role of in-group identity and homophily and the integrity of white-collar enforcement.

Joan MacLeod Heminway on Friends-and-Family Insider Trading

Joan MacLeod Heminway, professor of law at the University of Tennessee, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Criminal Insider Trading in Personal Networks. In this article, Heminway investigates insider trading occurring in the context of friendship, familial, or romantic relationships and presents findings from her empirical study of this friends-and-family insider trading.

Giovanni Patti and Peter Robau on SEC Regional Offices

Giovanni Patti, head of research for the Securities Enforcement Empirical Database (SEED) at NYU, and Peter Robau, senior professional fellow at NYU’s Pollack Center for Law & Business, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss their article article SEC Regional Offices. In the article Patti and Robau present the history of the SEC’s eleven regional offices, including their pragmatic and ideological origins, the gradual centralization of the SEC’s enforcement policy, and new developments in regional specialization. Patti and Robau use data from SEED to extend this historical account and situate the regional SEC offices in the literature on regional administration of federal power.

Andrew Granato, John Bowers, and Arisa Herman on Empirical Legal Scholarship

Andrew Granato, executive editor and empirical scholarship editor of the Yale Journal on Regulation; John Bowers, empirical scholarship editor of the Yale Law Journal; and Arisa Herman, senior articles editor of the Cornell Law Review, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss the state of empirical legal scholarship and the recently announced Joint Law Review Statement on Data and Code Transparency.

Call for Proposals: BSP Fourth Annual Symposium

The Business Scholarship Podcast is accepting proposals for its fourth annual symposium, which will be published in 2023. Topics should (1) be focused on business (broadly considered); (2) have the potential to garner academic and public, professional, or policy interest; and (3) accommodate panelists from business-academic fields (including, but not limited to, law, finance, accounting, marketing, economics, or management) and from practitioner, advocate, or policymaker backgrounds. Proposals may be sent to and will be accepted and reviewed until a symposium topic has been selected.

Please include the following information with a proposal:

  1. Name and institutional affiliation of proponent;
  2. Whether the proponent is interested in or willing to help organize the symposium;
  3. The topic and its relevance to academic, public, practitioner, and policy audiences; and
  4. Any proposed panels and panelists.

For reference, the first three Business Scholarship Podcast symposia are:

Marc Steinberg on Fiduciary Duty

Marc Steinberg, professor of law at SMU, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article To Call a Donkey a Racehorse — The Fiduciary Duty Misnomer in Corporate and Securities Law. In this article Steinberg considers the rhetoric and reality of corporate fiduciary duty and concludes that directors, officers, and controlling shareholders are not fiduciaries strictly speaking but rather should be understood as having corporate-law-specific duties.

Allison Herren Lee, Anat-Alon Beck, and John Livingstone on Public and Private Markets

Allison Herren Lee, former commissioner and acting chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Anat Alon-Beck, assistant professor of law at Case Western Reserve University; and John Livingstone, research fellow at Case Western Reserve University, join the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss special-purpose vehicles and the divide in public and private markets. Alon-Beck and Livingstone are the authors of Mythical Unicorns and How to Find Them: The Disclosure Revolution.

George Georgiev on Human-Capital Management

George Georgiev, associate professor of law at Emory University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article The Human Capital Management Movement in U.S. Corporate Law. In this article Georgiev gives an account of the move toward understanding workers as essential “assets” of a corporation, which in turn requires boards to consider workforces within their monitoring and oversight responsibilities. He evaluates recent SEC regulations mandating human-capital management (HCM) disclosures and previews future HCM regulatory developments.

Robert Anderson on the Sea Corporation

Robert Anderson, professor of law at Pepperdine University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article The Sea Corporation. In this article, Anderson traces the origins of “the sea corporation”—the separate legal personality of ships that partly parallels the legal and economic attributes of modern-day business corporations—and considers its implications for business-organization theory.

John Rice on Rainbow-Washing

John Rice, visiting assistant professor of law at Duquesne University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Rainbow-Washing. In this article Rice confronts the dichotomy between corporate expressions of support for the LGBTQIA+ community, on the one hand, and actions inconsistent with those commitments, on the other hand. Rice situates this problem in state-law fiduciary duties and federal securities-law obligations and identifies rainbow-washing litigation risks firms might face.

Christiana Ochoa on Deals in the Heartland

Christiana Ochoa, professor of law at Indiana University Bloomington, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Deals in the Heartland, which she co-authored with Kacey Cook and Hanna Weil. In this article, Ochoa and her co-authors conduct an ethnography around disputes over wind-farm construction in rural Indiana. Their findings suggest that contracting practices, including formality and transparency, affect the stability of relationships among members of tight-knit communities and the relationships between community members and outside parties. With implications for both contract theory and the race to adopt clean-energy technology, this contractual stability Ochoa and her co-authors identify can, in turn, help wind-farm operators overcome local regulatory barriers.

Lécia Vicente on Ownership Piercing

Lécia Vicente, who teaches business law at Louisiana State University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss her article Ownership Piercing. In this article, Vicente theorizes the unique aspects of the separation of ownership and control in limited liability companies (LLCs) and proposes that in manager-managed LLCs, courts should assess ownership through an evaluative “ownership piercing” process.

Jared Ellias on Bankruptcy Directors

Jared Ellias, professor of law at Harvard University, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article The Rise of Bankruptcy Directors, which he co-authored with Ehud Kamar and Kobi Kastiel of Tel Aviv University. In this article Ellias and his co-authors present an empirical study of the rise of independent directors—traditionally a corporate-law concept—in Chapter 11 bankruptcies. The study finds that although “bankruptcy directors” may be presented as neutral experts who help maximize creditor recoveries, their appointments are associated with on average 20% reductions in unsecured-creditor recoveries.

Joseph Pileri on Street Vending

Joseph Pileri, chief legal officer at Mission Driven Finance, joins the Business Scholarship Podcast to discuss his article Who Gets to Make a Living? Street Vending in America. Pileri outlines the history and place of street vending in America’s cities, how the business model works and why entrepreneurs pursue it, and the regulatory barriers to entry they face. He closes with proposed reforms to address the distributional and criminalization effects of current street-vending regulations.