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John Coates

  • Illustration combining an eagle head and a person carrying a briefcase

    Tax Turnaround Time?

    November 24, 2014

    Proposals for reversing the corporate inversion trend bring home the need for tax reform.

  • Figuring Out if a Financial Institution Is Too Big to Fail

    November 17, 2014

    The insurance company MetLife is unhappy that it has been added to the list of firms that get special attention from regulators for being too big, or too interconnected, to fail. It appears to want to fight the designation by arguing that the government has not provided the numbers supporting its analysis, and that this failure to do the math makes the designation unreasonable, and, therefore, illegal....In short, the government did not use math to defend its designation. Should it be required to do so? Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s first regulatory czar and now a law professor at Harvard, has said he believes that agencies should make the quantitative case whenever possible. Another Harvard Law professor, John Coates, on the other hand, argues that the assumptions involved in assessing the costs and benefits of financial regulation look too much like ever-changing guesstimates.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin

    The U.S. Supreme Court: Reviewing last year’s decisions (video)

    October 17, 2014

    In a discussion moderated by Professor John Manning, five Harvard Law School professors, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, John Coates, Richard Fallon, Charles Fried and Intisar Rabb, assessed last year’s Supreme Court decisions and shared their thoughts on those rulings.

  • Four Years Later, Economic Cost of Dodd-Frank Remains Elusive

    July 28, 2014

    In a rare public exchange in June 2011, Jamie Dimon asked then Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke what the total economic costs of the year-old Dodd-Frank Act would be…As the regulatory reform law turns four on July 21, Dimon's question remains unanswered, despite being a recurring concern raised by the financial industry and many Republican lawmakers…"A cost-benefit analysis is an important element of decision-making," said Parkinson. "But as a practical matter, it's hard to quantify the benefits and it's hard to quantify the costs. Often the analysis doesn't provide as much insight as you'd like." Two papers by Jeffrey Gordon, a law professor at Columbia University and John Coates, a law and economics professor at Harvard University, also strongly support that claim.

  • 3 key questions: General Motors recall investigation results to be made public

    June 9, 2014

    Along rows of cubicles at the General Motors Technical Center in suburban Warren, engineers knew for years about faulty ignition switches in small cars. Safety officials in the same complex knew, too. So did the lawyers downtown...But John Coates, a professor at Harvard Law School, says often the only way to get investigation results quickly is to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the company. Corporate investigations don't always conform to the company's strategy, he says. Investigations happen more often now, creating a lucrative business line for law firms. If a firm finds no criminal wrongdoing, but it comes out later, "it is their personal reputation at stake," Coates says.

  • Coates named fellow in European Corporate Governance Institute

    Coates urges SEC to enact consumer protection rules

    November 13, 2013

    Professor John C. Coates IV Harvard Law School Professor John C. Coates spoke at a briefing on Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C., to urge…

  • Scott Westfahl '88

    Scott Westfahl ’88 will lead Exec Ed at HLS

    August 14, 2013

    Dean Martha Minow announced this week that Scott Westfahl ’88 will be the new director of Executive Education at Harvard Law School.

  • HLS Professor Mark Roe

    A roundtable at HLS on corporate time horizons

    October 22, 2012

    A group of senior corporate managers, finance practitioners, and academics from Europe and the U.S. gathered at HLS on Sept. 14-15 for a conference on the role of corporate governance in encouraging long-term value in public corporations.

  • Eight HLS faculty ranked in "High-Impact List" for corporate governance field

    August 30, 2012

    Eight Harvard Law School faculty members were recently ranked among the top 100 corporate governance scholars in the world, in all corporate areas, including management, law, economics, and finance. Included on the American Academy of Management’s list of 100 “high-impact scholars” were HLS Professors Lucian Bebchuk, John Coates, Reinier Kraakman, Mark Roe '75, Steven Shavell and Cass Sunstein '78. Former HLS Dean and current Visiting Professor Elena Kagan '86 and HLS Lecturer on Law Leo Strine also were featured on the list.

  • Case studies developed at HLS available through new website

    July 31, 2012

    Harvard Law School has launched a new program to develop and distribute case studies, role plays, hypothetical problems and other experiential tools for the classroom. The centerpiece of the program is a website designed as a one-stop-shop for all participant-centered teaching tools developed and sponsored by HLS.

  • Faculty Viewpoints: After Citizens United

    July 1, 2012

    The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision allowed unlimited political expenditures by corporations and unions, which have been used to help fund campaign commercials that have flooded the airwaves during this election season. In recent writings, several Harvard Law faculty members have explored how Citizens United affects a spectrum of stakeholders, including shareholders, corporations, unions and voters.

  • Bridging theory and practice in corporate law

    January 24, 2012

    For the last several years, former Harvard Law School Dean Robert C. Clark ’72 has broken with tradition in teaching his mergers and acquisitions course. It isn’t enough to read leading cases, he realized; students still may leave the classroom without any real understanding of how to structure a deal, identify and avoid pitfalls, and recognize why personalities matter—in short, how M&As work in the real world.

  • A Two-Way Street

    January 1, 2012

    The HLS Executive Education Program offers intensive courses, including Leadership in Law Firms, aimed at law firm managing partners and senior firm leaders, and Leadership in Corporate Counsel, aimed at general counsels and chief legal officers.

  • Coates testifies on Investor Risks

    Coates testifies on investor risks in capital raising (video)

    December 13, 2011

    On Wednesday, Dec. 14, Harvard Law School Professor John Coates testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment at an open-session hearing titled “Examining Investor Risks in Capital Raising.” 

  • Coates: Fulfilling the promise of Citizens United

    September 6, 2011

    In a recently released report, HLS Professor John C Coates and Taylor Lincoln, research director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, provide evidence that publicly held companies that disclose their electoral spending are more valuable than the politically active companies that fail to disclose their donors.

  • Professor John C. Coates

    Coates examines costs of corporate political activity to shareholders

    October 26, 2010

    Professor John C. Coates published “Corporate Governance and Corporate Political Activity: What Effect Will Citizens United Have on Shareholder Wealth?” in September, as part of the HLS Working Paper series.  

  • Coates named fellow in European Corporate Governance Institute

    Coates testifies before House committee in support of Disclose Act

    May 12, 2010

    Harvard Law School Professor John C. Coates IV testified before the Committee on House Administration yesterday regarding the Disclose Act (H.R. 5175), legislation that was created in the wake of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court ruling.

  • Coates named fellow in European Corporate Governance Institute

    Coates in The Financial Times: A costly lesson in the rule of ‘loser pays’

    November 2, 2009

     HLS Professor John Coates'  article “A costly lesson in the rule of ‘loser pays’ appeared in the Nov. 1, 2009, edition of The Financial Times. On September 3, Coates joined more than 20 other corporate law and finance professors in filing an amici curiae brief in the case of Jones et al. v. Harris Associates, now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • The Supreme Court

    HLS professors join amicus brief in Supreme Court Investment Advisor Case

    September 22, 2009

    On Sept. 3, four HLS professors joined more than 20 other corporate law and finance professors and scholars in an amici curiae brief filed in the case of Jones et al. v. Harris Associates, now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • HLS and HBS professors submit open letter to SEC

    August 21, 2009

    A group of Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School professors submitted an open letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission last week offering changes to a new SEC policy proposal that would allow shareholders to nominate directors.

  • Coates named fellow in European Corporate Governance Institute

    Coates testifies before Senate subcommittee on improving corporate governance

    July 31, 2009

    On July 29, HLS Professor John C. Coates testified during a hearing of the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  In the hearing titled “Protecting Shareholders and Enhancing Public Confidence by Improving Corporate Governance,” Coates offered his recommendations for corporate governance reform.

  • Coates named fellow in European Corporate Governance Institute

    Coates proposes tax and regulatory reforms for mutual funds

    July 9, 2009

    John C. Coates, the John F. Cogan, Jr. Professor of Law and Economics at HLS, issued a set of recommended reforms regarding the regulation of mutual funds, in June. The recommendations were made to the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, an independent and nonpartisan organization whose research is aimed at improving financial regulations and practices.

  • Coates named fellow in European Corporate Governance Institute

    How “the bailout is robbing the banks”

    May 8, 2009

    The bailout of financial institutions that was enacted by Congress in the Fall of 2008 didn't actually reach its intended recipients—the banks that control consumer lending—said Professor John C. Coates in a lecture at Harvard Law School in April.

  • Diversified Portfolio

    April 1, 2007

    Harvard Law School's corporate law scholars like to collaborate--across a global array of subjects.

  • Why Harvard Law School Needs Your Money

    April 1, 2004

    With newly launched $400 million campaign, HLS seeks to modernize its facilities, globalize its programs, and energize its students and faculty.

  • Teaching Lessons

    July 1, 2002

    Guided by their professors, students find HLS a training ground for academic careers.