The Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE) is the hub of Berkeley Law's research and teaching on the impact of law on business and the U.S. and global economies.
A great opportunity for Berkeley Law and Haas students to participate in a joint venture financing, structuring and drafting competition. The competition entails students being given a complex joint venture financing and structuring hypothetical case and being required to prepare a memo that responds to very specific questions that, to answer, requires the students to explore and understand the strategic, control and economic consequences of different joint venture structuring options. Details and sign-up information (first-come, first served) are here.
Gene Ludwig, Promontory Financial Group
Systemic Risk and the Financial Crisis: Protecting the Financial System as a “System”Steven L. Schwarcz, Duke University School of Law
How should the law help to control systemic risk—the risk that the failure of financial markets or firms harms the real economy by increasing the cost of capital or decreasing its availability. Many regulatory responses to systemic risk, like the Dodd-Frank Act in the United States, consist largely of politically motivated reactions to the global financial crisis, looking for wrongdoers (whether or not they exist). But those responses are misguided if they don’t address the reality of systemic risk. Read more>
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NEWS AND PUBLICATIONS
The November 2013 Update is available.
Ken Taymor recently co-authored a paper titled “Biosimilars And The European Experience: Implications For The United States.” Although biosimilars have been available since 2006 within the European Union, the US FDA has yet to finalize the regulatory processes for their approval in the United States. The authors look to the European experience with biosimilars to inform how the US biosimilars market will develop once the FDA acts. Read more>
BCLBE was awarded a grant by the US Department of State to undertake a “Survey of Russian Law Obstacles to Innovation in Russia” in collaboration with the Higher School of Economics, one of Russia's largest National Research Universities. The joint project aims to identify obstacles and lack of incentives in the current Russian Federation legislation that regulates innovation.
Private banks have been accused of deceiving consumers and investors, taking on excessive risks, and leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. The recent financial crisis and its aftermath have led some observers to ask whether we would be better off with a mix of public and private banks. Prof. Prasad Krishnamurthy discusses whether the Bank of North Dakota, a state-owned bank, could be taken as a model, and what the risks and implications the lending industry could face. Krishnamurthy believes that state-owned or public banks could play a useful role in stabilizing overall lending and mitigating some of the boom and bust cycle in credit markets. (Daily Journal, November 7, 2013 - registration required)
Prof. Stavros Gadinis weighs in on the legal crackdown in Wall Street's mortgage practices and the eventual pioneering use of the law Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA). (NYT, October 30, 2013)
On November 8, Prof. Eric Talley hosted a group of students from Alternatives in Action High School,
a college- and career-oriented charter school serving primarily
students of color, non-English speakers, and those struggling with
poverty. Talley gave an overview of legal careers, college admissions,
and law school, and gave them a taste of the experience by engaging the
students in a mock contracts class on a recent case filed by music
producer Quincy Jones against the estate of Michael Jackson.
The recent government shutdown proved how vital it is for the US to reform its budgetary processes. Currently, budgeting differs from almost every other area of federal policy. When Congress and the President cannot agree on other kinds of legislation, existing law remains in effect. But with budget-making, there is no automatic default policy in the absence of congressional action, causing the government to stop functioning. In an Op-Ed piece for the LA Times, Prof. David Gamage and co-author David Louk propose ways to prevent government shutdowns, explaining that if lawmakers fail to agree on a budget, the previous year's spending plan should carry over until a new one is passed. Read more>
On October 19, Profs. Robert Bartlett, Eric Talley and Prasad Krishnamurthy participated in the University of Chicago’s Sloan Conference on Benefit-Cost Analysis of Financial Regulation. The conference explored whether government agencies like the SEC and CFTC should be required to comply with a benefit-cost analysis when they issue financial regulations and, if so, how that benefit-cost analysis should be conducted. Participants contributed their insights into how valuations of the benefits and costs associated with financial regulation can be calculated, or whether they can. Agenda>
The 2012 LIBOR scandal may prove to be one of the most significant events associated with the global financial crisis. In an attempt to inflate profits and appear creditworthy, banks misreported the interest rate they paid when borrowing from other banks. The scandal played out over two “phases”: (1) the distortion of LIBOR reports because of banks’ derivatives positions, and (2) the under-reporting of the cost of debt to avoid external scrutiny by regulators and watchdogs wary of banks’ credit risks. In, “Financial Regulation and the World’s Most Important Number: LIBOR Reporting Behavior during the Credit Crisis,” Prof. Eric Talley focuses on the second phase. Read more>
On October 26, Profs. Robert Bartlett and Justin McCrary presented their paper “Shall We Haggle in Pennies at the Speed of Light or in Nickels in the Dark?” at the Empirical Legal Studies Conference in Philadelphia. Bartlett and McCrary demonstrated how recent proposals to modify the penny-based system of stock trading may have simultaneous and opposite effects on the incidence of high frequency trading and the trading of undisplayed, or “dark”, liquidity. Agenda>
Prof. Robert Bartlett spoke on KCBS Radio about what he calls a "huge legal change" in securities law. Companies are now able to raise equity money without taking the IPO route. Listen to the interview>
Prof. Aaron Edlin recently released a new research paper titled "Acivating Actavis," which provides an in-depth analysis of the Supreme Court's recent decision in FTC v. Actavis. You can download the paper here.
Prof. Eric Talley joins the BARBRI Legal Education Advisory Board. BARBRI formed the board to help the company analyze legal education trends and to identify potential solutions for industry challenges. Press release>
Berkeley Business Law Journal has been ranked the nation's top law journal in the discipline of commercial law by ExpressO, one of the top law review submissions companies. The 2013-2014 Submissions Guide has just been released, and can be viewed here. Congratulations to the students of BBLJ!
This year, 30 LL.M. recipients received the Certificate in Business Law as part of Berkeley Law's unique 2 summer Professional LL.M. Program. The program is designed for lawyers educated outside the US who want a Berkeley Law degree, but can’t leave professional commitments for an entire year. Read more>
Prof. David Gamage writes that key reforms are needed to prevent the Affordable Care Act from hurting low- and moderate-income workers. If not, he says businesses may shift some full-time workers to part-time and cut their salaries to circumvent the employer mandates.
The SEC passed a series of rules that would allow for easier and more accessible funding for startups. Prof. Robert Bartlett weighs in, saying that more platforms will emerge "that provide verification services for investors looking to invest in crowd-funded/angel deals." Read more>
In a recently-published LA Daily Journal article, Prof. Eric Talley weighs in on how the job market has changed over the years. Talley claims that the market is most promising for entering lawyers who have developed an appropriate skill set and who are less in need of rudimentary training while on the job.
Prof. Dwight Jaffee testified in Congress that the private market should relieve government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of their role in guaranteeing against mortgage borrower defaults.