Friday, June 14, 2013
The Fourth Annual National Business Law Scholars Conference was held June 12-13 at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Organized by Steven Davidoff (OSU), Eric Chaffee (Toledo) and Barbara Black (Cincinnati), the NBLSC is a forum that provides a forum for scholars to present papers on corporate, securities, bankruptcy and related topics. OVer 40 professors participated in this year's program.
Lawrence Cunningham (George Washington) was the keynote speaker, speakinng about The AIG Story, a book co-authored with Maurice (Hank) Greenberg, the longtime AIG CEO whose employment was terminated because of pressure from Eliot Spitzer and Arthur Levitt to impose corporate governance reforms. Cunningham argues that "flavor of the day" corporate governance practices led to deterioration of internal controls, employee alienation, and chaos at AIG. Cunningham is careful to acknowledge correlation does not establish causation, but he notes that the government report on the AIG collapse attributed the collapse of AIG at least in part to weak internal controls after Greenberg's departure.
Cunningham's book is well worth reading. Chapter 18 of the book, on the government bailout of AIG, is available on SSRN.
Next year's Conference will be moving to one of the Coasts, east or west not yet decided. Stay tuned for details!