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Volume 39 • Issue 3

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Presidential Transitions: The New Rules

The Trump Administration was unusually aggressive in using an obscure set of tools to undo the Obama Administration’s regulatory legacy: Congressional Review Act disapprovals, requests that courts hold in abeyance pending cases challenging Obama-era regulations, and suspensions of final regulations. These actions could be seen as part of the Trump Administration norm-breaking approach to regulatory […]

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Cost-Based California Effects

The “California Effect” is a recurring trope in discussions about regulatory interdependence. This effect predicts that businesses active in multiple jurisdictions sometimes adopt the strictest regulatory standards that they face in any jurisdiction globally, even if the jurisdiction’s law does not require global compliance. As the argument goes, California Effects often occur because firms find […]

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Hidden Agendas in Shareholder Voting

Nothing in either corporate or securities law requires companies to notify investors what they will be voting on before the record date for a shareholder meeting. We show that, overwhelmingly, they do not. The result is “hidden agendas”: for 88% of shareholder votes, investors cannot find out what they will be voting on before the […]

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Democratizing Behavioral Economics

Behavioral law and economics (“BLE”)—arising from the insight that people make recognizable, systematic mistakes—has revolutionized policymaking. For example, in governments around the world, including the US, teams of experts seek to harness these insights, promising to do things like increase retirement savings. But there is a problem: economic experts do not look or think like […]

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The Dual-Class Spectrum

The debate over dual-class companies is longstanding and ongoing. However, scholars and regulators generally treat the question of whether a company is dual class as a binary one. If a company grants certain shareholders a separate class of stock with disproportionate voting rights, then the company is treated as a dual-class company. A company with […]

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Propertizing Environmental Attributes

Tangible environmental resources such as land and water have been the object of property rights and traded in markets for millennia. In a development largely unnoticed by legal scholars, technology now allows a new class of environmental resources that are much harder to see and touch to be measured and potentially sold—environmental attributes. Some of […]

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Why Robinhood Is Not a Fiduciary

This Note examines the theoretical and practical limitations of regulating broker-dealers under a fiduciary-duty paradigm. Drawing on a recent example of fiduciary regulation of broker-dealers in Massachusetts, as well as recent literature on the theoretical underpinnings of fiduciary relationships, this Note argues that fintech broker-dealers like Robinhood lack the elements of “discretion” and “best interest” […]