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Spring 2022 Reading Group

Private Equity: Wall Street vs. Main Street?

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

Private equity represents a significant and growing share of investment and M&A activity worldwide, and is at the center of many pressing issues in finance and financial law. While traditionally lightly regulated, the private equity industry has received increasing regulatory scrutiny, particularly since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Legislative proposals such as the Stop Wall Street Looting Act link the industry to current debates over income inequality, the labor-capital conflict, and “short-termism” in the financial markets. This reading group will attempt to evaluate the major arguments concerning the social welfare effects—both positive and negative—of private equity. After gaining a working understanding of how the private equity industry operates, students will explore the conflicting perspectives of its key constituencies, including private equity sponsors, investors, workers, and regulators.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 1/31, 2/14, 2/28, 3/21, 4/4, and 4/18.