10/20/2007

Wanted Insider Trading That's Legal

























Hedge Funds, Insiders, and the Decoupling of Economic and Voting Ownership: Empty Voting and Hidden (Morphable) Ownership

HENRY T.C. HU
University of Texas at Austin - School of Law
BERNARD S. BLACK
University of Texas at Austin School of Law; McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)


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Abstract:
Most U.S. public companies have a single class of voting common shares: voting power is proportional to economic ownership. Linking votes to shares is often thought to be desirable, because, as residual claimants, shareholders have an incentive to exercise voting power well. The linkage also facilitates the market for corporate control. On the other hand, decoupling is efficient in some situations. Equity derivatives and other capital market developments now allow shareholders to readily decouple voting rights from economic ownership of shares, often without public disclosure. Hedge funds are prominent users of decoupling. Sometimes they hold more votes than economic ownership (a situation we term empty voting). Sometimes they hold undisclosed economic ownership without votes, but often with the de facto ability to acquire votes if needed (a situation we term hidden (morphable) ownership). This Article analyzes empty voting and hidden (morphable) ownership, which we term the new vote buying. We offer a framework for unpacking its functional elements and assess its potential benefits and costs. Two companion legal articles (Hu and Black, 2006a, 2006b) provide more details on current disclosure rules and offer a disclosure reform proposal.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Gee, you must have pissed off CW at OTBL.net enough to write a nasty commentd. Or was he just typing out his fantasy where me are having sex. I suppose that's where your mind wanders when you are are surround by nuts.

Ink Stained Wretch said...

That's how we measure our success. If
we get CW REALLY pissed off. We know were doing REALLY good job. I rate yesterday a TEN.