Frank Partnoy


In this essay, I want to illustrate how Adolf A. Berle Jr.’s Studies in the Law of Corporation Finance1 was prescient about the kinds of financial innovation that are central to today’s markets. For scholars who are not familiar with this publication, Corporation Finance is a compilation of edited versions of several of Berle’s articles, along with some new material, most of which is focused on 1920s corporate practice. My primary goal here is simply to shine a light on this work and to memorialize for scholars the key passages that echo many of today’s challenges. The punch line of this essay is straightforward: everything old is new again.