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A Theory of Workouts and the Effects of Reorganization Law

  • Robert Gertner
  • David Scharfstein

We present a model of a financially distressed firm with outstanding bank debt and public debt. Coordination problems among public debtholders introduce investment inefficiencies in the workout process. In most cases, these inefficiencies are not mitigated by the ability of firms to buy back their public debt with cash and other securities--the only feasible way that firms can restructure their public debt. We show that Chapter 11 reorganization law increases investment and we characterize the types of corporate financial structures for which this increased investment enhances efficiency.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Technical Working Papers with number 0103.

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Date of creation: May 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Finance, Vol. 46, No. 4., pp. 1189-1222 September 1991
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0103
Note: ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1989. "Sovereign Debt Repurchases: No Cure for Overhang," NBER Working Papers 2850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1978. "The Insignificance of Bankruptcy Costs to the Theory of Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(2), pages 383-93, May.
  3. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  4. Aivazian, Varouj A. & Callen, Jeffrey L., 1983. "Reorganization in bankruptcy and the issue of strategic risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 119-133, March.
  5. Baird, Douglas G & Picker, Randal C, 1991. "A Simple Noncooperative Bargaining Model of Corporate Reorganizations," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 311-49, June.
  6. repec:att:wimass:8903 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1989. " LDC Debt: Forgiveness, Indexation, and Investment Incentives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1335-50, December.
  8. Kenneth A. Froot, 1988. "Buybacks, Exit Bonds, and the Optimality of Debt and Liquidity Relief," NBER Working Papers 2675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1990. "The role of banks in reducing the costs of financial distress in Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 67-88, September.
  10. 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.
  11. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  12. Summers, Lawrence H. & Cutler, David, 1988. "The Costs of Conflict Resolution and Financial Distress: Evidence from the Texaco-Pennzoil Litigation," Scholarly Articles 2689179, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  15. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Ben S. Bernanke & John Y. Campbell, 1988. "Is There a Corporate Debt Crisis?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 83-140.
  18. Stulz, ReneM. & Johnson, Herb, 1985. "An analysis of secured debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 501-521, December.
  19. Giammarino, Ronald M, 1989. "The Resolution of Financial Distress," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 25-47.
  20. Asquith, Paul & Mullins, David W, Jr & Wolff, Eric D, 1989. " Original Issue High Yield Bonds: Aging Analyses of Defaults, Exchanges, and Calls," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(4), pages 923-52, September.
  21. White, Michelle J, 1983. " Bankruptcy Costs and the New Bankruptcy Code," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 477-88, May.
  22. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
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