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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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/t0103.pdf
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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. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. David M. Cutler & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "The Costs of Conflict Resolution and Financial Distress: Evidence from the Texaco-Pennzoil Litigation," NBER Working Papers 2418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. White, Michelle J, 1983. " Bankruptcy Costs and the New Bankruptcy Code," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 477-88, May.
  8. 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.
  9. Froot, Kenneth A, 1989. "Buybacks, Exit Bonds, and the Optimality of Debt and Liquidity Relief," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(1), pages 49-70, February.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1990. "The Role of Banks in Reducing the Costs of Financial Distress in Japan," NBER Working Papers 3435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Giammarino, Ronald M, 1989. "The Resolution of Financial Distress," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 25-47.
  16. 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.
  17. Stulz, ReneM. & Johnson, Herb, 1985. "An analysis of secured debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 501-521, December.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. repec:att:wimass:8903 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. 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.
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