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The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform

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  • Philippe Aghion
  • Oliver Hart
  • John Moore

Abstract

We propose a new bankruptcy procedure. Initially, a firm's debts are cancelled, and cash and non-cash bids are solicited for the 'new" (all-equity) firm. Former claimants are given shares, or options to buy shares, in the new firm on the basis of absolute priority. Options are exercised once the bids are in. Finally, a shareholder vote is taken to select one of the bids. In essence, our procedure is a variant on the U.S. Chapter 7, in which non-cash bids are possible; this allows for reorganization. We believe our scheme is superior to Chapter 11 since it is simpler, quicker, market-based, avoids conflicts, and places appropriate discipline on management.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4097.

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Date of creation: Jun 1992
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Publication status: published as Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, vol. 8, no. 3, (October 1992), pp. 523-546
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4097

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  1. Jensen, Michael C. & Ruback, Richard S., 1983. "The market for corporate control : The scientific evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 5-50, April.
  2. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  3. Stuart C. Gilson, 1991. "Managing Default: Some Evidence On How Firms Choose Between Workouts And Chapter 11," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 62-70.
  4. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1980. "Takeover Bids, the Free-Rider Problem, and the Theory of the Corporation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 42-64, Spring.
  5. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," Working papers 592, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  7. Altman, Edward I, 1984. " A Further Empirical Investigation of the Bankruptcy Cost Question," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1067-89, September.
  8. James, Christopher, 1991. " The Losses Realized in Bank Failures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1223-42, September.
  9. White, Michelle J, 1983. " Bankruptcy Costs and the New Bankruptcy Code," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 477-88, May.
  10. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "Asset Sales and Debt Capacity," NBER Working Papers 3618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Franks, Julian R & Torous, Walter N, 1989. " An Empirical Investigation of U.S. Firms in Reorganization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 747-69, July.
  12. Ritter, Jay R., 1987. "The costs of going public," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 269-281, December.
  13. John J. McConnell & Henri Servaes, 1991. "The Economics Of Prepackaged Bankruptcy," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 93-98.
  14. Weiss, Lawrence A., 1990. "Bankruptcy resolution: Direct costs and violation of priority of claims," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 285-314, October.
  15. Gilson, Stuart C. & John, Kose & Lang, Larry H. P., 1990. "Troubled debt restructurings*1: An empirical study of private reorganization of firms in default," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 315-353, October.
  16. Eberhart, Allan C & Moore, William T & Roenfeldt, Rodney L, 1990. " Security Pricing and Deviations from the Absolute Priority Rule in Bankruptcy Proceedings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1457-69, December.
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