Historical Perspectives

CFPB's Anti-Abuse Authority: A Promising Development in Substantive Consumer Protection

11/21/12

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is doing something promising with its anti-abuse authority under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  It is going after credit industry exploitation of consumers, particularly when business models involve using confusing terms that disclosure cannot adequately address.  See my paper on this topic. So I was not surprised to see George Will attacking this development.   We can't have smart, effective consumer protec

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Allied Bank revisited?

11/17/12

Last Friday was the filing deadline set by (a rather irked) Judge Griesa for Argentina and interested third parties in that country's long-running battle with NML and other restructuring holdouts.

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Race and the Housing Bubble

11/16/12

While we wait to see if the second Obama administration will do anything new to help homeowners hit by the lingering mortgage crisis (finally replace Bush-holdover Ed DeMarco at FHFA to make way for debt relief?), there’s time to review a recent development that didn’t get the full attention it deserved.

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Pesky holdouts, old-timey edition. (Or, more on why Argentina matters.)

11/08/12

"[T]he principal beneficiaries of the litigation were an unscrupulous body of commercial pirates, who had purchased ... bonds at a mere nominal price..."

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Crystal Ball Department: Bankruptcy Filings to Rise in a Few Years

11/02/12

Good times in the economy mean goods times a few years later for bankruptcy professionals who deal with consumer cases.  We saw this from the mid-1990s through the 2000s. The last big party in the bankruptcy world was in 2010 (1.5 million non-business cases filed!), a few years after the end of the last debt binge came to a crashing halt starting in 2007.  The reverse is also true.  Bad times in the economy make for fewer bankruptcy filings a few years later, which is what we have been seeing lately.

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In Defense of Bankruptcy Courts (or, Is Bankruptcy Really That Exceptional?)

09/18/12

Although not always acknowledged expressly, exceptionalism is pervasive in bankruptcy scholarship. Some work makes no attempt to contexualize bankruptcy within the federal courts, apparently assuming its unique qualities (for example, the disinterest in most bankruptcy venue scholarship about venue laws applicable to other multi-party federal litigation). But other projects are more deliberate in their exceptionalist pursuits.

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Why No Prosecutions

08/26/12

The NYTimes had a very good editorial today bemoaning, with resignation, that there will not be any serious prosecutions of senior bank executives or institutions for the financial crisis.  The biggest fish to be caught was Lee Farkas. Who? That's the point.

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About CDOs (But Were Afraid to Ask)

08/13/12

Bill Bratton and I have a new paper out, called A Transactional Genealogy of Scandal:  from Michael Milken to Enron to Goldman Sachs.

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Sovereign Debt

07/27/12

From the the second volumn of J.F. Molloy, Court Life Below Stairs (rev ed. 1885), regarding events after the death of George III's spouse, Queen Charlotte:

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Bankruptcy's Living History

06/13/12

The American College of Bankruptcy (ACB) in cooperation with the Biddle Law Library at the University of Pennsylvania has made available a great and often overlooked resource for scholars who prefer to study "law on the ground" instead of just the "law in the books." The National Bankruptcy Archives collects historical material regarding the development of bankruptcy, and

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