Skip to main content

At The Wall Street Journal, Prof. David Skeel reviews three books that explore the past and future of hedge funds

March 10, 2022

Skeel focuses his research and scholarship on bankruptcy, corporate law, financial regulation, Christianity and law, and other topics.

David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, recently wrote “Over the Hedge: Three Books on the Field’s Highs and Lows” for The Wall Street Journal.

The following are some excerpts:

On The Caesars Palace Coup: How a Billionaire Brawl Over the Famous Casino Exposed the Power and Greed of Wall Street by Max Frumes and Sujeet Indap:

The strength of the book is its vivid, behind-the-scenes footage of the insiders who now dominate the largest corporate bankruptcy cases, vignettes that will enliven many a law or business-school class in the next decade.

On Damsel in Distressed: My Life in the Golden Age of Hedge Funds by Dominique Mielle:

Ms. Mielle believes that the industry is in decline, successful hedge funds having grown so large that marketing has replaced innovative investing. Since 2008, she notes, they’ve beat the S&P’s yearly performance only once. She may well be right.

On Hedged Out: Inequality and Insecurity on Wall Street by Megan Tobias Neely:

Hedge funds should be ended, she implies, not mended. Although I’ve written highly critically of hedge funds, Ms. Neely’s argument makes me want to defend them. Some lend money to businesses that would not have access to it otherwise, for instance. Others shake up complacent behemoths like ExxonMobil.

Skeel is the author of True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World (InterVarsity, 2014); The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and Its (Unintended) Consequences (Wiley, 2011); Icarus in the Boardroom (Oxford, 2005); Debt’s Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton, 2001); and numerous articles on bankruptcy, corporate law, financial regulation, Christianity and law, and other topics.

He has also written commentaries for the New York Times, Books & Culture, The Weekly Standard, and other publications. He has received the Harvey Levin award three times for outstanding teaching, as selected by a vote of the graduating class, the Robert A. Gorman award for excellence in upper-level course teaching, and the University’s Lindback Award for distinguished teaching.

Read the full review at The Wall Street Journal.