F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium

Bankruptcy and Workers: Risks, Compensation and Pension Contracts

Richard A. Ippolito
One can view workers from the perspective of the portfolios they hold. For most workers, this portfolio, broadly defined, evinces a heavy concentration of assets in the firm that employs them. They stand to incur wage reductions if they move to some other company midway in the contract because much of the human capital that they hold is not fully transferable. In many cases, they also stand to lose substantial…
F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium

The Great Pension Grab: Comments on Richard Ippolito, Bankruptcy and Workers: Risks, Compensation and Pension Contracts

Richard Ippolito models and attempts to assign a value to assets that employees have at risk in their employer firms. Second, he documents and proposes to explain the significant changes that we have seen in the last two decades in the terms on which corporations provide pension benefits to their employees, when they provide them at all. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the Article documents some of the changes in…
F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium

An Approach to Intellectual Property, Bankruptcy, and Corporate Control

F. Scott Kieff and Troy A. Paredes
Corporate control is the central concern of corporate law, and, in addition to priority, has become a core concern of bankruptcy. The question of corporate control in bankruptcy is especially important for intellectual property (“IP”) rights. Bankruptcy proceedings do not compromise fundamentally the value of most tangible assets. Tangible assets generally retain their value both during and after bankruptcy proceedings, although there is always, the risk that the business will…
F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium

The Myth of the Residual Owner: An Empirical Study

Lynn M. LoPucki
Most bankruptcy scholars who have considered the residual owner approach have come away with a healthy skepticism. But despite its theoretical difficulties, the residual owner approach persists. I attribute this persistence to an empirical assumption that usually remains implicit. In spite of the theoretical difficulties in identifying the single residual owners of bankrupt firms, the scholars who employ residual owner approaches believe that in reality, residual owners exist and can…
F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium

An Empirical Investigation of Liquidation Choices of Failed High Tech Firms

Ronald J. Mann
The focus of this paper is on two topics. The first is about the use of a privately arranged assignment for the benefit of creditors (“ABC”) as a substitute for bankruptcy. In its most unqualified form, the argument is that California high-tech firms—an important group given the role of California in high-tech industries—systematically use bankruptcy less than firms in other states, and that this practice follows directly from California legal…
F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium

The Search for Hercules: Residual Owners, Directors, and Corporate Governance in Chapter 11

Robert K. Rasmussen
The Myth of the Residual Owner is vintage Lynn LoPucki. Befitting the leading empirical scholar on the Chapter 11 proceedings of large, publicly held companies, the piece rigorously exposes under-appreciated aspects of modern Chapter 11 practice. Myth enriches our understanding of reorganization practice by replacing the standard characterization of a business’s capital structure as consisting of secured debt, unsecured debt, and equity with a pattern that reveals a more complex…
F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium

Employees, Pensions, and Governance in Chapter 11

David A. Skeel Jr.
In Bankruptcy and Workers: Risks, Compensation and Pension Contracts, the excellent Article that anchors the section of this symposium concerning the treatment of employees in bankruptcy, Richard Ippolito explores the full range of pension risks that an employee faces in the event of a financial downturn. Focusing principally on defined benefit pension plans—that is, pensions that promise employees a specified return when they retire—Ippolito suggests that the best justification for…
F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium

The Over-Consumption Myth and Other Tales of Economics, Law, and Morality

Elizabeth Warren
As American families sink deeper into debt, they have endured nonstop criticism from multiple quarters. Economists and sociologists have set the pace, describing families’ collective lust for goods they could easily forgo. Powerful politicians and the popular press have picked up the theme, chiding families for their profligate ways. The accusations are sharp, the assertions are confident and unambiguous, and the tone of condemnation is unmistakable. The Over-Consumption Myth may…