Capital Markets and Corporate Governance Standards

Corporate governance has over time moved from being a peripheral to a central issue for capital markets regulation. Our recent research focuses on how that transformation has occurred in the UK and how it has adjusted the default provisions of UK corporate law.   We begin with the observation that corporate governance was not a significant […]

“Clickbait” Compliance and ISO Standard-Setting 

A curious development has emerged in the world of corporate compliance. In recent years, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the world’s leading private standard-setter, has been developing a flurry of new compliance-related international standards. These standards range from specific risk areas, such as anti-bribery (ISO 37001) and whistleblowing (ISO 37002), to broader concerns, such […]

Third-Party Litigation Finance and Public Capital Markets: The Case of the Muddy Waters Short Attack on Burford Capital

Imagine a company that invests in a portfolio of long-term financial assets. This company’s asset portfolio is, relative to the asset management industry, highly concentrated—a circumstance which naturally heightens the appetite of the company’s own investors to know more details of the assets in the portfolio. The company operates in an adolescent industry, and neither […]

Policy Uncertainty, Earnings Management, and the Role of Political Connections 

Political decisions shape the operating environment for the economy as well as the individual firm. Political and regulatory reactions to the Global Financial Crisis, government shutdowns, or major tax reforms number prominently among them. As reactions from political actors are rarely clear-cut ex ante, grave crises give rise to political uncertainty.  Political uncertainty affects economic […]

Secondary markets and the power of the enforcement of insider trading laws

To facilitate small and high growth firms in need of finance, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) introduced a secondary market, the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), in 1995. The AIM is a lightly regulated market, with minimum eligibility criteria and ongoing obligations, which was initially considered to be a stepping-stone to the traditionally regulated Main Market […]

The Media Goes Where They’re Needed: The Relation between Firms’ Investor Base and Media Coverage

The financial media provides information to investors by monitoring firms for malfeasance, such as fraud and excessive CEO pay (Miller, 2006; Core, Guay, and Larcker, 2008). The media also helps investors monitor more mundane corporate activities, such as periodic earnings announcements. However, it is unclear why certain firms get extensive media coverage, along with the resulting benefits, […]

Of standards and technology: ISDA and technological change in the OTC derivatives market

There is no lack of interest in new technologies such as distributed ledger technology (DLT) or smart contract technology (SCT). For enthusiasts, DLT and SCT are full of promise. Thanks to technology, the future is meant to be frictionless and more decentralized. However, interest in the “plumbing” underneath, which is required to implement the vision […]

Comments to the SEC on its Proposed Rule on Beneficial Ownership

The following post summarizes a comment letter to the SEC on its proposed rule to shorten the required filing time for disclosing the acquisition of more than five percent equity share in a public company. All comments can be found here. Under the Modernization of Beneficial Ownership Reporting (proposed rule), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeks to shorten […]

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s New Immunity Policy: An Evaluation

In 2021, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) launched an immunity policy for certain market misconduct offenses, including insider trading and market manipulation. The ASIC immunity policy grants a full exemption from civil and criminal sanctions (specifically immunity) to individuals who have colluded with others to contravene a provision of Part 7.10 of the Corporations Act 2001. […]

Doing Good and Doing it with (Investment) Style

A private foundation is an independent legal entity that provides a vehicle for charitable giving. Private foundations play an increasingly important role in modern society through their support of public charities and their own philanthropic programs. In tax year 2016, private foundations had roughly $900 billion in total assets and distributed nearly $65 billion to […]