- Justin Pearson, Institute for Justice
- Professor Nat Stern, Florida State Law
For thirty years, the economic analysis of corporate law has been based on the assumption that shareholder value is a reliable proxy for social welfare. However, for some time now, the large majority of the shares in some public companies have been held by institutional investors, including pension funds and mutual funds. These investors have some incentive to favor short-term profits at the expense longer-term benefits. Can shareholder value still be reliably equated with social welfare? Or does the current incentive structure encourage the misallocation of resources and a net social loss?
The Federalist Society's Corporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice Groups presented this panel on "The Short-Termism Debate" on Thursday, November 13, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
Prof. Orin Kerr previews the upcoming Supreme Court case Yates v. United States, which concerns whether Mr. Yates was given fair notice that throwing undersized fish into the Gulf of Mexico would violate the "document shredding provision" of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
On Monday, June 23, 2014 the Supreme Court issued a 9-0 decision in the highly anticipated securities fraud case Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund. The case offered the Court an opportunity to revisit its 1988 decision in Basic v. Levinson, in which it adopted the “fraud on the market” doctrine. Fraud on the market is critical to modern securities fraud class action lawsuits -- the doctrine assumes that any misrepresentations of a security traded in an efficient market will affect that security’s market price and thus affect any shareholders trading in reliance of market price, an assumption that precludes consideration of whether potential class members actually heard and acted on fraudulent statements. The Court declined to overturn Basic; our expert discussed the reasoning and impact of the decision.