Supersedes Working Paper 99-08 – Financial Contracts and the Legal Treatment of Informed Investors

The authors show that an optimally designed menu of claims for a large investor will include features resembling a U.S. version of lender liability doctrine, equitable subordination. This doctrine permits a firm's claimants to seek to subordinate a controlling investor's financial claim in bankruptcy court, but only under well-specified conditions. Specifically, the authors show that this doctrine allows a firm to strike an efficient balance between two concerns: (i) inducing the large investor to monitor, and (ii) limiting the influence costs that arise when claimants can challenge existing contracts in bankruptcy court.