John C. Coffee, Jr., the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School and director of its Center on Corporate Governance, writes: Little doubt exists that there were private market failures in the credit crisis, as some CEOs recklessly increased leverage and concentrated their firm's assets in illiquid real estate investments. But what responsibility does the SEC bear for not resisting the steady slide of the major investment banks into insolvency? Some view the SEC as simply having been "captured" by the industry, while others view the crisis as the result of a bubble in the real estate sector for which no level of precautions would have sufficed. Both interpretations oversimplify.
New York Law Journal
November 20, 2008
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