Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics

Publication Date


Publication Title

Law & Economics Working Papers


Traditional approaches to corporate governance focus exclusively on shareholders and neglect the large and growing role of creditors. Today’s creditors craft elaborate covenants that give them a large role in the affairs of the corporation. While they do not exercise their rights in sunny times when things are going well, these are not the times that matter most. When a business stumbles, creditors typically enjoy powers that public shareholders never have, such as the ability to replace the managers and install those more to their liking. Creditors exercise these powers even when the business is far from being insolvent and continues to pay its debts. Bankruptcy provides no sanctuary as senior lenders ensure that their powers either go unchecked or are enhanced. The powers that modern lenders wield rival in importance the hostile takeover in disciplining poor or underperforming managers. This essay explores these powers and begins the task of integrating this lever of corporate governance into the modern account of corporate law.



Additional Information

Chicago Unbound includes both works in progress and final versions of articles. Please be aware that a more recent version of this article may be available on Chicago Unbound, SSRN or elsewhere.

Included in

Law Commons