The Dealmaking State

The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation 2017-03-14

Posted by Steven Davidoff Solomon, UC Berkeley School of Law, and David Zaring, The Wharton School, on Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Editor's Note: Steven Davidoff Solomon is Professor of Law at the UC Berkeley School of Law and David T. Zaring is Associate Professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The following post is based on a recent paper by Professor Davidoff Solomon and Professor Zaring. Additional posts addressing legal and financial implications of the Trump administration are available here.

In The Dealmaking State, we consider the consequences if deals became a principal mechanism for the promulgation of government policy, overseen by an executive who promises to be the dealmaker in chief. We also recommend that some useful constraints on the practice be adopted.

We do so because with a deal-making president in the White House—an entrepreneur who co-wrote a book titled The Art Of The Deal, who uses the language of deals to describe his approach to policy, and who has identified a number of ways the private sector can be utilized to meet his goals—the state looks set for an expansion of dealmaking as an ordinary governance strategy.