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The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform

  • Philippe Aghion
  • Oliver Hart
  • John Moore

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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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0093.

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Date of creation: Aug 1992
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0093
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  1. 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.
  2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 233, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. 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.
  4. Ritter, Jay R., 1987. "The costs of going public," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 269-281, December.
  5. James, Christopher, 1991. " The Losses Realized in Bank Failures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1223-42, September.
  6. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:4:p:841-79 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. John J. McConnell & Henri Servaes, 1991. "The Economics Of Prepackaged Bankruptcy," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 93-98.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. White, Michelle J, 1983. " Bankruptcy Costs and the New Bankruptcy Code," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 477-88, May.
  14. 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.
  15. repec:oup:restud:v:59:y:1992:i:3:p:473-94 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. 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.
  17. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "Asset Sales and Debt Capacity," NBER Working Papers 3618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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