The Code of Capital – Video of the book presentation at KU Leuven

At the invitation of Corporate Finance Lab, Professor Katharina Pistor (Columbia Law School) presented her book The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality at the KU Leuven in Brussels on November the 4th 2019. You can find the video’s of the introduction by Professor Dirk Heremans, the lecture by Professor Katharina Pistor and Belgian responses by Professor Ludo Cornelis, Professor Koen Geens and Professor Joeri Vananroye on YouTube.

Continue reading “The Code of Capital – Video of the book presentation at KU Leuven”

Next week: book presentation by Katharina Pistor in Brussels

The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality

The Code of Capital by Katharina Pistor has been creating a lot of buzz over the last months. As announced previously, Professor Pistor will present her book next Monday November 4 at 16h30 at the Brussels campus of KU Leuven. Please note that because of the high number of attendants the presentation has been moved to Auditorium 2215 (Stormstraat 2 / 2  rue d’Assaut,  1000 Brussels).

screen_shot_0A short overview of the book by Professor Pistor herself can be found here (ProMarket, the blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago). See here for an interview with her (Völkerrechtsblog). In a review on Law and Political Economy, Professor Samuel Moyn (Yale) writes: Continue reading “Next week: book presentation by Katharina Pistor in Brussels”

Agency Theory in the 21st Century

Conference at Maastricht University, October 25th. 2019

The Institute for Corporate Governance and Innovation Policies (ICGI) and Institute for Transnational Legal Research (METRO) at Maastricht University will host next Friday an interdisciplinary conference on ‘AGENCY THEORY IN THE 21st CENTURY’ at the Faculty of Law in Maastricht with Damla Bos (Maastricht University), David Cabrelli and Ewa Kruszewska (The University of Edinburgh), Joeri Vananroye (KU Leuven), Jean-Philippe Robé (SciencesPo Law School), Constantijn van Aartsen (Maastricht University) an Mieke Olaerts (Maastricht University).

Agency theory – the economic analysis of relationships between agents and principals – is influential and has spread well beyond its economic roots into a variety of disciplines, including law, political science, sociology, corporate governance and finance. It is used by scholars to design efficient institutions, structure individual incentives, prevent corporate corruption and compare institutional arrangements. Reliance on agency theory in these areas has, unfortunately, not prevented corporate scandals and suboptimal rates of trust in business and other institutions. The overarching aim of this conference is to address these issues in an interdisciplinary and international setting.


10.00-10.30 Registration & coffee
10.30-10.50 Introduction – Damla Bos, LLM – Maastricht University
10.50-11.40 Prof. David Cabrelli and Dr. Ewa Kruszewska – The University of Edinburgh
“The Limits of Agency Theory”
11.40-12.30 Prof. Joeri Vananroye – KU Leuven
“The Blind Spots of Agency Theory in Corporate Finance Law”
12.30-13.20 Lunch Break in room B0.006
13.20-14.10 Dr. Jean-Philippe Robé – SciencesPo Law School“Being Done with Milton Friedman”
14.10-15.00 Constantijn van Aartsen, LLM – Maastricht University“Agency Theory in the 21st Century: Legitimate, Reductionist and Overapplied”
15.00-15.30 Coffee break
15.30-17.00 Roundtable discussion
17.00-17.30 Closing – Prof. Mieke Olaerts – Maastricht University


Who’s afraid of the WTO?

A post by guest blogger Marie Parys

In August 2019, the US national security advisor visited the UK bearing the news of a trade deal. Perhaps not as conspicuous as it was odd was his statement that a future US-UK free trade agreement could be done on a “sector-by-sector-basis”. WTO rules decree that legal free-trade agreements must cover “substantially all trade”. This renders sectoral trade liberalization impossible. Or does it? Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson conceding that negotiating a UK-US free trade agreement will be a “tough old haggle”, he has stated that it is the “single biggest deal” the UK needs to do following Brexit. Would the UK and the US be willing to flaunt WTO rules to get to the golden goose of an albeit gradual free trade agreement? Are WTO rules binding and enforceable, and why do most Members follow recommendations of the WTO dispute settlement system? In other words: how sharp are the WTO’s teeth and why do they bite? Continue reading “Who’s afraid of the WTO?”

The Road Towards Good Bankruptcy Governance: A Comparative Law and Economics Perspective

Papers from the INSOL Europe Academic Forum Annual Conference Athens, Greece, 3-4 October 2018

In the recently issued conference proceedings booklet “Party-Autonomy and Third Party Protection in Insolvency Law”, I published a paper called “The Road Towards Good Bankruptcy Governance: A Comparative Law and Economics Perspective”. The paper seeks to start the discussion on the topic of good bankruptcy (or insolvency) governance and to inspire idealistic researchers to become involved in this discussion. Three key aspects of good bankruptcy governance were dealt with in this paper.

First, an attempt was made to define the concept of “good bankruptcy governance”. This was later narrowed down to the following question: “In whose interest should the management of a corporation or insolvency estate act?”. A short comparative analysis of the US, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands did not provide a clear answer.

However, some room for common ground could be found by Continue reading “The Road Towards Good Bankruptcy Governance: A Comparative Law and Economics Perspective”

‘Sometimes you need to talk to a three year old so you can understand life again’

Third anniversary of Corporate Finance Lab

Corporate Finance Lab celebrates today its third anniversary with a legacy of more than 500 posts.  For what it is worth, the most-read posts of all-time are:

In English:

In Dutch: 
Continue reading “‘Sometimes you need to talk to a three year old so you can understand life again’”

Limits to Group Structures and Asset Partitioning in Insolvency

The 800-Pound Gorilla. Limits to Group Structures and Asset Partitioning in Insolvency, Preadviezen / Reports 2018

The website of the Netherlands Association for Comparative and International Insolvency Law (NACIIL) has published in open access the reports (“preadviezen”) on Limits to Group Structures and Asset Partitioning in Insolvency.

This book contains reports prepared by prof. R. Squire (US), prof. J. Vananroye, A. van Hoe and dr. G. Lindemans (Belgium), prof. F.M.J. Verstijlen and A. Karapetian (Netherlands) and A.L. Jonkers (Netherlands). From the introduction to reports by the NACIIL board:

“In insolvency procedures, administrators have to accept the estate as they find it. Furthermore, administrators are commonly appointed in the proceeding as to a specific legal entity and have to respect the separate legal personality. By means of limited liability and separate legal personality, groups can incorporate in ways where liabilities and assets are allocated in different legal entities. This creates room for opportunism, especially in relation to creditors.

The 2018 NACIIL annual reports focus on the theme ‘Limits to Group Structures and Asset Partitioning in Insolvency’. This theme encompasses two related topics at the intersection of corporate law and insolvency law: (1) the artificial subdivision of enterprises over different legal entities (asset partitioning) and (2) selective perforation by means of guarantees. Continue reading “Limits to Group Structures and Asset Partitioning in Insolvency”