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Advancing a Framework for Regulating Cryptocurrency Payments Intermediaries

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This Article looks at competing models for regulating providers of services to individuals and businesses that take cryptocurrencies in payment for goods and services, including operators of online wallets and exchanges, and other cryptocurrency market intermediaries whose functions resemble “money service businesses” or “money transmission.” We conclude that, in addition to whatever “money services” or […]

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Fracking in Indian Country: The Federal Trust Relationship, Tribal Sovereignty, and the Beneficial Use of Produced Water

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Potentially toxic wastewater discharges from hydraulic fracturing–known as “produced water”–are not subject to RCRA’s or the CWA’s permitting requirements. This is because the EPA has categorized produced water as a “special waste” when put to “beneficial uses” in arid regions. Some chemical components in produced water, however, are patented trade secrets that may prove injurious […]

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The Ethics of Nudging

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All over the world, governments are using nudges as regulatory tools. Is this ethical? Much of the answer depends on whether nudges promote or instead undermine welfare, autonomy, and dignity. Many nudges, and those that deserve support, promote some or all of those ideals, and undermine none of them. If welfare is our guide, much […]

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Restructuring Failed Financial Firms in Bankruptcy: Selling Lehman’s Derivatives Portfolio

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Lehman Brothers’ failure and bankruptcy deepened the 2008 financial crisis whose negative effect on the United States’ economy lasted for several years. Yet, while Congress reformed financial regulation in hopes of avoiding another crisis, bankruptcy rules such as those that governed Lehman’s failure, have persisted unchanged. When Lehman failed, it lost considerable further value when […]

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The Institutions of Federal Reserve Independence

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The Federal Reserve System has come to occupy center stage in the formulation and implementation of national and global economic policy. And yet, the mechanisms through which the Fed creates that policy are rarely analyzed. Scholars, central bankers, and other policymakers assume that the Fed’s independent authority to make policy is created by law–specifically, the […]

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Other People’s Contracts

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Contract law does not adequately account for the harms that we can inflict on third parties by joint agreement. Some terms are prohibited, and some third party interests are protected by independent causes of action. But a wide variety of material interests that are otherwise recognized in law may be burdened by other people’s contracts. […]

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Curbing Lettermarks

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This Comment explores the troubling phenomenon of “lettermarking,” which occurs when Members of Congress write to personnel in administrative agencies to request appropriations that would benefit their donors and constituents. Although lettermarking has exploded in popularity since both houses of Congress adopted a moratorium on earmarking in 2011, nothing has been written about this practice […]

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Winning Losses: Trading Injunctions and the Treatment of Net Operating Loss Carryovers in Chapter 11

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Bankruptcy judges routinely enjoin debt and equity trading during Chapter 11 proceedings in order to protect bankrupt corporations’ net operating loss (NOL) tax credits. These credits disappear if a corporation changes ownership. Firms and judges reason that Chapter 11’s automatic stay prohibits any trading that would imperil NOL credits by causing a change in ownership. […]

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Licensee Patent Challenges

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We analyze contractual clauses which limit the ability of licensees to challenge patents at the basis of their licensing agreements. In particular, we study no-contest clauses, which prohibit licensees from contesting the validity of the patent, and challenge-penalty clauses, which penalize licensees for doing so. We develop a model that we use to compare three […]

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Managing Regulatory Blindspots: A Case Study of Leveraged Loans

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Leveraged loans have reached new peaks in the post-crisis period. This Article assesses U.S. leveraged loan regulation and highlights the ways in which the entity- or institution-based focus of regulation have been the source of critical blindspots that have limited the ability of regulators to monitor and address the risks of leveraged lending. First, the […]

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Adjudicating Corporate Auctions

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In light of recent developments in auction theory, this Article re-examines Delaware corporate law governing directors’ actions when structuring the sale of a corporation. A foundational doctrine of Delaware law is that when the board of directors resolves to sell a corporation, it must obtain the highest price reasonably available. Auction theory posits that, in […]

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The Flawed Mechanics of Mutual Fund Fee Litigation

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In this Article we identify a number of serious mechanical flaws in the statutes and judicial doctrines that govern fee liability for mutual fund managers. Originating in Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act, mutual fund fee liability allows investors to sue managers for charging fees above a judicially created standard. Commentators have extensively debated […]

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The Development of Opacity in U.S. Banking

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An examination of U.S. banking history shows that economically efficient private bank money requires that information-revealing securities markets for bank liabilities be closed. That is, banks are optimally opaque, which is why they are regulated and examined. This Article examines the transition from private bank notes, the predominant form of money before the U.S. Civil […]

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Shadowy Banking: Theft By Safety Net

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Shadowy Banking is financial activity that is engineered to extract implicit subsidies from government safety nets. It substitutes innovative corporate entities and products for activities that could be performed more straightforwardly within a traditional banking firm. The shadows obscure organizational forms and transaction strategies that circumvent regulatory restraints and extract subsidies by regulation-induced innovation. Because […]