IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Financial contracts and the legal treatment of informed investors

  • Mitchell Berlin
  • Loretta J. Mester

The authors explore the economic rationale for equitable subordination, a legal doctrine that permits a firm's claimants to seek to subordinate an informed investor's financial claim in bankruptcy court. Fear of equitable subordination is often cited as a reason that banks in the U.S. are wary of taking an active management role in their borrowing firms. The authors show that an optimally designed menu of claims for a large investor will include features that resemble equitable subordination. The authors' model provides a partial rationale for a financial system in which powerful creditors do not generally hold blended debt and equity claims.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 500 Can't connect to ( [302 Redirect]--> If this is indeed the case, please notify (Beth Paul)

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 99-8.

in new window

Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:99-8
Contact details of provider: Postal: 10 Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:4:p:1027-54 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Stulz, ReneM., 1990. "Managerial discretion and optimal financing policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-27, July.
  4. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-91, July.
  5. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management," NBER Working Papers 4886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Zender, Jaime F, 1991. " Optimal Financial Instruments," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1645-63, December.
  7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:4:p:1055-84 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. repec:oup:restud:v:59:y:1992:i:3:p:473-94 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Franklin Allen & Andrew Winton, . "Corporate Financial Structure, Incentives and Optimal Contracting (Reprint 049)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-94, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  10. Berlin, Mitchell & John, Kose & Saunders, Anthony, 1996. "Bank Equity Stakes in Borrowing Firms and Financial Distress," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(3), pages 889-919.
  11. Kalay, Avner & Zender, Jaime F., 1997. "Bankruptcy, Warrants, and State-Contingent Changes in the Ownership of Control," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 347-379, October.
  12. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1994. " Robust Financial Contracting and the Role of Venture Capitalists," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 371-402, June.
  13. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 5554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:3:p:693-728 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. David E. Weinstein & Yishay Yafeh, 1998. "On the Costs of a Bank-Centered Financial System: Evidence from the Changing Main Bank Relations in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 635-672, 04.
  16. Berkovitch, Elazar & Israel, Ronen & Zender, Jaime F., 1998. "The Design of Bankruptcy Law: A Case for Management Bias in Bankruptcy Reorganizations," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 441-464, December.
  17. Berkovitch, Elazar & Israel, Ronen, 1999. "Optimal Bankruptcy Laws across Different Economic Systems," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 347-77.
  18. Thakor, Anjan V., 1996. "The design of financial systems: An overview," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 917-948, June.
  19. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1995. "The Role of Games in Security Design," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(2), pages 327-67.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:99-8. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Beth Paul)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.