June 20, 2011
Wrapping Up: Hastings Summer Camp for Corporate Law Professors
Posted by Fred Tung

UC Hastings' Roger Traynor Summer Program wrapped up last week.  We enjoyed 3 weeks of corporate and tax workshops by both new scholars and familiar names.  The short notes below on some of the various workshops illustrate the breadth of subject areas and the interesting questions that are being pursued in our field.

Eric Talley:  The Measure of a MAC:  A Quasi-Experimental Protocol for Tokenizing Force Majeure Clauses in M&A Agreements.  Eric's project (with Drew O'Kane of Boalt) develops a protocol for tokenizing and calibrating a machine learning algorithm for textual analysis, which they test on lawyer-coded databases of MAC clauses from acquisition agreements.  The ambition of the project is to supplement and potentially replace human coding of legal documents for empirical analysis.

Abe Cable:  Local governments are turning to venture development funds (VDFs) as an economic development tool.  These funds invest public money in startups, hoping to attract or retain local entrepreneurial talent.  Abe's project focuses on potential roadblocks to the achievement of VDFs' local development goals, including problems relating to startup mobility and exit events.

Mike Klausner:  Are Securities Class Actions “Supplemental” to SEC Enforcement?  An Empirical Analysis.  Mike tests the popular justification for securities class actions that they are supplemental to SEC enforcement of securities disclosure laws.  Mike evaluates the targeting and outcomes of securities class actions relative to the targeting and outcomes of SEC enforcement actions. 

Todd Henderson:  The Changing Demand for Insider Trading Law.  Todd traces the changes to insider trading law over the last two decades and adopts a public choice framework to explain this evolution. He suggests that interest group influences--the competing influences of corporate insiders and securities professionals in particular--may account for the various legal and regulatory changes.  RevisitingHaddock and Macey's famous 1987 private interest account of then-existing insider trading law, Todd argues for the continuing vitality of their framework in explaining changes in the law since then.

John Crawford:  Predicting Bailouts:  Toward Optimal Risk-Taking Incentives at Systemically Important Financial Institutions.  John proposes the establishment of a prediction market to estimate the probability that a SIFI will fail, and if it fails, that it will receive government assistance.  Such a market could supplement CDS as a tool to force managers to take account of the downside of risky strategies.  

We also enjoyed workshops by Heather Field, Bobby Bartlett, Susan Morse, Amanda Rose, and yours truly during the course of the program.  Thanks again to UC Hastings and the Roger Traynor Summer Professorship Fund for sponsoring this innovative and enriching program!

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