Kenneth E. Scott

Kenneth E. Scott

Senior Research Fellow
Research Team: 

Kenneth E. Scott is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Ralph M. Parsons Professor of Law and Business Emeritus, Stanford University Law School. He has taught public regulation of banking institutions, corporation law, securities law, and administrative law. His current research focuses on legislative and policy developments related to the financial crisis, bank regulation, and deposit insurance. He has also studied the application of new economic perspectives to securities regulation, corporate law, and comparative corporate governance issues.

Scott is the author of four books: Bankruptcy Not Bailout (Hoover Institution Press, 2012), edited with John Taylor; Ending Government Bailouts (Hoover Institution Press, 2010), edited with George Shultz and John Taylor; Economics of Corporation Law and Securities Regulation (1980), edited with Richard Posner; and Retail Banking in the Electronic Age: The Law and Economics of Electronic Funds Transfer (1977), with William Baxter and Paul Cootner.

Recent articles include “The Financial Crisis: Causes and Lessons,” Journal of Applied Corporate Finance 22 (2010): 22, and (with Theo. Baums) "Taking Shareholder Protection Seriously? Corporate Governance in the US and Germany," American Journal of Comparative Law 53 (2005): 31.

Scott joined the Stanford law faculty in 1968. From 1963 to 1968, he served as general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Washington, DC, and from 1961 to 1963 was chief deputy savings and loan commissioner of California. Before those appointments, Scott was in private practice with the firms of Sullivan and Cromwell in New York and Musick, Peeler and Garrett in Los Angeles. He earned an AB in economics in 1949 from the College of William and Mary and attended Princeton University as a Woodrow Wilson fellow, receiving an MA in political science in 1953. He graduated from the Stanford Law School in 1956 with an LLB and is a member of the state bar in New York, California, and the District of Columbia.

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Recent Commentary

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The Magna Carta At 800

by Allan H. Meltzer, Kenneth E. Scottvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 15, 2015

The revolutionary document forms the basis of American constitutional government and should be celebrated by all freedom loving people. 

Designing a Better Bankruptcy Resolution

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Working Group on Economic Policy
Sunday, December 1, 2013

Working Group on Economic Policy: WP13112

This paper discusses the research that has been completed by the Resolution Project on developing a new chapter in the bankruptcy code: Chapter 14. The paper also discusses the financial crisis and the perceived shortcomings of the current bankruptcy code and the Dodd-Frank Act.

Failure Is an Option—A Very Good One

by Kenneth E. Scott, John B. Taylorvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 18, 2013

How to let "too big to fail" banks close up shop, predictably and fairly.

US Capitol
Analysis and Commentary

How to Let Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Fail

by Kenneth E. Scott, John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It is now almost three years since the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted to prevent the possibility that taxpayers would have to bail out "too-big-to-fail" banks. Yet there is serious concern that the legislation has not solved the problem.

Oil Drilling
Analysis and Commentary

Do oil companies deserve tax breaks?

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Arena (Politico)
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Is eliminating a special treatment exception in the tax code, or ending a direct subsidy, a "tax increase"? Sure, it is a wealth transfer from the taxpayer back to the government...

Economics Abstract

Resolution of Failed Financial Institutions: Orderly Liquidation Authority and a New Chapter 14

by Thomas Jackson, Kenneth E. Scott, Kimberly Anne Summe, John B. Taylorvia Analysis
Monday, April 25, 2011
Studies by the Resolution Project at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution Working Group on Economic Policy.
The purpose of this short collection of papers is to demonstrate why the "orderly liquidation authority" in Title II of the Dodd–Frank bill “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010” should be supplemented with a new and more predictable bankruptcy process designed specifically for large financial institutions. 
Debt Ceiling Ahead
Analysis and Commentary

Debt ceiling: Who blinks first?

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Arena (Politico)
Thursday, April 21, 2011

We are not likely to go back to a gold standard, but we are in desperate need of a more effective check, and that is what the debt ceiling debate is about...

The White House
Analysis and Commentary

The brackets presidency?

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Arena (Politico)
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The only one of the three issues that will likely reach a definitive outcome in a matter of days is Libya, and there his "dithering" is a decision...

Analysis and Commentary

Should states be allowed to declare bankruptcy?

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Arena (Politico)
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Taxpayers should not have to bail them out, which merely rewards (indeed, encourages) risk-taking or short-sighted mismanagement...

Analysis and Commentary

Are Dems being had in tax cut 'grand bargain'?

by Kenneth E. Scottvia Arena (Politico)
Monday, December 6, 2010

Since the midterms ended that happy time, compromise now becomes necessary, even if disappointing compared to having your own way...