We recently estimated the U.S. bankruptcy system’s ability to absorb an anticipated surge of financial distress among American consumers, businesses, and municipalities as a result of COVID-19.
An increase in the unemployment rate has historically been a leading indicator of the volume of bankruptcy filings that occur months later. If prior trends repeat this time, the May 2020 unemployment rate of 13.3 percent will lead to a substantial increase in all types of bankruptcy filings. Mitigation, governmental assistance, the unique features of the COVID-19 pandemic, and judicial triage should reduce the potential volume of bankruptcies to some extent, or make … Read more
To fully understand the modern corporation’s ownership, shape, and distribution of authority, one must attend to politics. Because basic dimensions of corporate organization can affect the interests of voters, because powerful concentrated interest groups seek particular outcomes that deeply affect large corporations, because those deploying corporate and financial resources from within the corporation to buttress their own interests can affect policy outcomes, and because the structure of some democratic governments fits better with some corporate ownership structures than with others, politics can and does determine core structures of the large corporation. Interest groups often seek to obtain via politics both … Read more
The following comes to us from Mark J. Roe, the David Berg Professor of Law at Harvard Law School:
Regulatory reaction to the 2008-2009 financial crisis focused on complex financial instruments that deepened the crisis. A consensus emerged that these risky financial instruments should move through safe, strong clearinghouses, which would be bulwarks against systemic risk, and that the destructive impact of the failures during the crisis of AIG, Lehman Brothers, and the Reserve Primary Fund could have been softened or eliminated were strong clearinghouses in place. A clearinghouse is an entity that takes over the trades that parties make, … Read more