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.
Compliance Risks and Pitfalls in China
Gregory Wajnowski, GE Energy
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Boalt Hall 100; 12:45 - 1:45 pm
CLE credit available
The recent GlaxoSmithKline bribery scandal and other recent scandals in China underscore the need for companies doing business there to understand and manage the risks associated with common business practices that are prohibited by US and Chinese law. Mr. Wajnowski will take us through some of these risks and common practices and explain what companies are doing to ensure that they can compete effectively while still being compliant with applicable laws. Read more>
The Architecture of Legal ConsistencyLaw and Economics Workshop
Prof. Hillary Greene
University of Connecticut, School of Law
Monday, March 10, 2014
Boalt Hall 132; 12:40 - 1:55 pm
Cross-Border Mergers and Takeovers: A US-German Law and Practice Perspective
Dr. Joachim Rosengarten, LL.M. '92
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Boalt Hall 141; 12:45 - 1:45 pm
CLE credit available
Using a hypothetical example based on an actual event, Joachim Rosengarten will present and illuminate the steps required under both systems' legal regimes to carry out both friendly and hostile combinations in a transborder context. The case study (which will be available to the audience) illustrates in particular the transactional consequences of the application of German and US law in this context.
Pircher, Nichols & Meeks 2014 Joint Venture Challenge Award Ceremony
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Boalt Hall Warren; 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Join us in celebrating the conclusion of the Pircher, Nichols 2014 Joint Venture (JV) Challenge. The judges will present their analysis of the JV Challenge problem and announce the winners. The first place team will receive a $2,000 prize and the runner up team will receive a $1,000 prize. Judges are Phil Nichols and Stevens Carey, partners at the law firm of Pircher, Nichols & Meeks, and Josh Myerberg, Executive Director, at Morgan Stanley’s San Francisco office. The JV Challenge is organized by the Berkeley Center for Law, Business, and the Economy, with support from Pircher, Nichols & Meeks and Leo Pircher ‘57.
Regulation and the Future of Money:
Mobile Payments and Virtual Currencies
Technology is rapidly disrupting how people store and move value. Mobile communications and cryptography, in particular, are changing how we define value and authenticate transactions. Regulation, for better or worse, is playing and will continue to play a substantial role in how this industry evolves.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Boalt Hall Warren Room; 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
CLE credit available
Activist shareholders acquire significant stakes in publicly traded companies for reasons ranging from making short-term profits on share prices, increasing companies' profitability over the long-term, and changing companies' policies in order to comport with the shareholders' social and environmental goals. Read more>
BCLBE is currently looking for an Associate Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations to work closely with the BCLBE Executive Director and the Berkeley Law development team to secure grants and gifts to support BCLBE's research, education, and policy activities. This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic team at Berkeley Law. Go to Berkeley Jobs and search #16419 (no registration required).
NEWS AND PUBLICATIONS
Prof. Eric Talley comments on the antitrust case against Comcast-Time Warner Cable, which has brought to light issues surrounding monopsonies: single, dominant buyers that create imbalances in price purchasing power. Because monopsonists exert considerable influence as dominant buyers, sellers are adversely affected and undermined. According to Talley, Comcast-Time Warner Cable’s defense will likely center around suppliers’ (like Netflix’s) extensive market power, and the cable companies’ ability to translate the merger into more bargaining power for its consumers..
With deep sorrow we share the news that our colleague, Prof. Suzanne Scotchmer, passed away on January 30. She joined the Berkeley faculty in 1986 and, despite many offers from other universities, Suzanne remained a devoted and deeply distinguished member of the Berkeley faculty for almost her entire professional life. Suzanne was a brilliant, internationally-renowned economist who made significant contributions to basic as well as applied theory in the areas of game theory, club theory, and patent law and incentives for R&D. She wrote more than 20 books, served as a consultant to the Department of Justice on antitrust, was a fellow of the Econometrics Society, and was highly sought after as a lecturer and speaker at universities across the globe. Read more>
Berkeley Business Law Journal has recently published a new Journal (Volume 10.2). This issue includes articles from practitioners and educators, including:
"Is Self-Regulation the Answer?" - Ian Peck, Kirkland & Ellis; "Charitable Insolvency and Corporate Governance" - Reid Weisbord, Rutgers School of Law; "The Law of Corporate Purpose" - David Yosifon, Santa Clara Law
Download the Journal here.
Chhattisgarh's public distribution system (PDS) reforms have been lauded as a model for the National Food Security Act, and as one that other states can emulate. However, one-third of PDS rice consumption growth in Chhattisgarh took place before 2004, despite major reforms implemented by the Raman Singh government. Prof. Prasad Krishnamurthy's findings suggest that sustained reforms can improve PDS access.
The February 2014 Update is available.
BCLBE received a cy près award to fund the launch of its Financial Literacy Education and Research Institute. The Institute will research, create, and implement consumer financial education programs that address the complex array of social, psychological, and economic factors that have historically limited efforts to improve consumer financial literacy. The diverse skills of the Berkeley Law faculty and the school's close affiliation with the East Bay Community Law Center uniquely position the Institute for success. Read more>
In his new article in the Journal of Legal Studies, "Rules, Standards, and Complexity in the Cost Benefit Analysis of Capital Regulation", Prof. Prasad Krishnamurthy examines the extent to which cost-benefit analysis can contribute to resolving issues in the regulation of bank capital requirements. He discusses the current regulatory framework and the rationale behind minimum capital requirements, and the perceived failure of those rules to adequately account for risks that resulted in the addition of risk-weighted requirements under the Dodd Frank Act. Krishnamurthy argues that a proper cost-benefit analysis would have exposed some of the possible consequences of risk-based requirements, and perhaps have led to the adoption of simpler rules that would maintain systemic stability. The full paper is available here.
In a recent article, Profs. Aaron Edlin and Rebecca Haw contend that occupational licensing boards, which now license as much as one-third of the US workforce, operate in a manner similar to cartels, excluding competition and raising prices for consumers. Because licensing boards are created by the states, they have been considered exempt from antitrust scrutiny under the state action doctrine. A recent decision by the Fourth Circuit, however, allowed a suit by the FTC against a state licensing board, providing an opportunity for the Supreme Court to clarify doctrine in this area. The authors recommend that the Court allow antitrust action against state licensing boards whenever the boards are composed of industry competitors. Read more>
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.
The January 2014 Update is available.
Michael Halloran, partner at Pillsbury law firm, has received the 2013 award of the State Bar of California Business Law Section’s Lifetime Achievement. Mr. Halloran is a nationally-recognized authority on corporate and securities law.
California has embarked on an aggressive path to reduce greenhouse gases through curbing the energy consumption of buildings. In September 2013, the CPUC issued a landmark rule allowing state public ratepayer funds to help finance energy efficiency improvements by building owners. One of the most innovative financing mechanisms authorized is a version of On-Bill Repayment financing (OBR) for single-family homeowners, allowing repayment of a private financial institution energy efficiency loan via the utility bill. To help California decision-makers, BCLBE Senior Fellow Lori Bamberger assembled the very first publicly detailed OBR Single-Family Financing Program Chart that compares operating decisions made in Oregon/Washington, New York, Kansas City, and South Carolina.
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. Read more>
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>