ACLE Law & Finance Seminar with Patrick Bolton (Columbia Business School). Amsterdam Business School, Room 3.02. Title "The End of the “Modern Corporation”: Deregulation and Ownership of Electric Utilities". Joint organization with Finance Group, University of Amsterdam.
Berle and Means (1932) claimed that “modern” corporations in the United States had diffuse ownership. Their claim characterizes regulated electric utilities until the mid-1990s. But following the 1992 EPACT deregulation, block ownership in utilities increased sharply, relative to a matched sample of non-utilities, which already had large blocks by the 90s. The post-EPACT blocks in utilities were not long-term investments by monitors butshort duration speculative investments. With the financial crisis of 2008, large active investors are replaced by asset managers. In sum, dispersed ownership arose through the regulatory protections introduced in the 1930s and disappeared following their repeal.
*Coauthored by Howard Rosenthal (New York University).