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Fall 2024 Reading Group

Private Equity Public Policy Issues

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This Reading Group will consider the public policy and legal issues raised by the role of private equity in the American economy. Is private equity a positive force in capitalism that builds stronger companies and delivers compelling returns to its institutional and retail investors? Or is private equity the problem child of capitalism that fails to deliver on its promise of either being a good steward of companies or providing superior returns. Is the private equity model one that requires proscriptive legislation or are the adverse implications from private equity distorted? From the perspective of the investors in private equity, should the SEC regulate it more aggressively to protect investors or otherwise promote competition and efficiency? And even if the institutional marketplace were working effectively, are limits on the expansion of private equity offerings into the retail market appropriate? Similarly, is private equity’s foray into the insurance sector a welcome initiative to enhance returns for the benefit of annuity holders or an inordinate risk to policy holders? With respect to private assets outside of private equity, does private equity present particular antitrust risks worthy of regulation? Or are antitrust attacks on private equity ignoring the productivity and competition benefits of private equity? This Reading Group will rely on a mix of legislation, regulatory initiatives, scholarly articles and advocacy positions.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: TBD.