The CLS Blue Sky Blog

In recent decades, economies have become bound together through globalization, a phenomenon that integrates societies and creates business opportunities but also challenges tax policies. The amount of taxes corporations pay is a heatedly debated topic among policy makers, academics, and the media. An article in the Financial Times (Toplensky, 2018), for example, argues that multinational enterprises (MNEs) are paying significantly lower taxes now than they did prior the financial crisis. An important way MNEs reduce…
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in effect since May 2018. Although the French data protection authority (CNIL) has imposed the highest fine to date — €50 million on 21 January 2019 — German federal data protection authorities have already imposed fines for GDPR infringements in 41 cases nationwide and say that they have “very many” additional fine proceedings in progress. This first wave of fines has come from five German authorities, with…
In early 2009, with the financial crisis still raging, progressive policymakers  passed legislation upending the credit card industry. This legislation precluded card issuers from changing interest rates without sufficient warning or charging exorbitant late fees. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who sponsored the legislation in the U.S. House, deemed it “historic” protection for consumers from deceptive bank practices. Conversely, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, postulated that restrictions on repricing would cause his bank to stop providing credit…
Dissatisfaction with corporations is near the top of the political agenda for both the left and for the right. The Accountable Capitalism Act, a bill that would make all corporations with $1 billion or more of annual revenue subject to a federal corporate governance regime (by requiring them to be chartered as a United States corporation), was introduced this past August by Senator Elizabeth Warren.  Among other things, this regime would mandate that not less…
Contract formation in commercial transactions can be an expensive and intricate process involving multiple stages and players, as well as significant investments in expertise and information.  In complex asset purchases, leases, corporate acquisitions, or venture financing transactions, to name just a few types, it is practically impossible for the parties to execute a fully stipulated and binding contract in a single meeting or over a very short period of time.  Negotiations of these transactions are…
On January 24, former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager Mathew Martoma petitioned the Supreme Court to review his 2014 conviction for insider trading.  Martoma’s conviction stems from activity in 2008 when he paid a doctor from the University of Michigan for tips about clinical trials of a potential Alzheimer’s medication.  Before the results of the clinical trial were announced, Martoma caused SAC Capital to enter into substantial short-sale and options trades that resulted in approximately…
Innovation is the primary engine of growth in economies at the technological frontier, and a path to higher profits and growth for individual companies, as the likes of Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon make clear. CEOs play a crucial role in directing and overseeing their firms’ innovation efforts. This, however, creates a tension: The interests of the shareholders and the CEO might not be aligned, opening the door to agency frictions. In turn, such frictions…
Over the past three decades, shareholder proposals have transformed the corporate landscape in the U.S. by spurring the adoption of governance best practices. Annual director elections, majority vote rules for director elections, shareholder approval for poison pills, and proxy access bylaws are some of the critical governance practices that have become common practice thanks to investor support for shareholder proposal campaigns led by a wide variety of investors—some large; others small. Despite the advisory (non-binding)…
When it was enacted in August 2018, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA) overhauled the US law governing CFIUS national security reviews for the first time in 11 years. Many of FIRRMA’s most significant changes, however, await implementing regulations or other action by the Trump Administration before going into force, a process that likely has been stalled due to the US Government shutdown. This CFIUS update focuses on what has been…
Innovation and its main output, technology, are changing the way we work, socialize, vote, and live. New technologies have improved our lives and made firms more productive, raising living standards across the world. Thanks to progress in information technology, the rate of change is accelerating. Disruption and disequilibrium are now commonplace. Our recent paper, prepared for the first phase of the British Academy’s ‘The Future of the Corporation’ initiative and published in…