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Joshua White - Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN, US

Joshua White

Assistant Professor of Finance | Vanderbilt University


A former SEC economist who studies financial regulation, cryptocurrency, and securities and investments.



A one-time Financial Economist for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Josh brings a wealth of regulatory experience to his research and the classroom. White's work has been featured in a variety of financial and legal publications, including the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Accounting & Economics, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Banking & Finance, Administrative Law Review Accord, and Georgia Law Review. Additionally, he has contributed to blog posts for Harvard and Columbia Law Schools and authored White Papers for the SEC. White studies how information asymmetries and divergent incentives among capital market participants affect corporate actions and value. His work focuses on the role of disclosure and securities regulation in addressing information disparities. Recent topics include mandatory and voluntary disclosure, institutional investors, boards of directors, subprime mortgages, and OTC stock promotions.

Areas of Expertise (6)

Financial Disclosure


Securities and Investments


Financial Regulation


Accomplishments (5)

Best Paper Award Finalist

2018 FMA European Conference

Best Paper Award Finalist

2017 FMA Annual Meeting

Outstanding Discussion Award

2017 AAA FARS Midyear Meeting

Excellence in Reviewing Award

2017 AAA FARS Midyear Meeting

Outstanding PhD Alumnus Award

University of Tennessee–Haslam

Education (3)

University of Tennessee: Ph.D.

University of Tennessee: B.S.

University of Tennessee: M.B.A.

Selected Media Appearances (10)

Where Musk’s Twitter Gambit Stands, Nearly Five Months In

The Wall Street Journal  online


“We call it the zone of insolvency, which is certainly where Twitter is: You’re not profitable and you have this huge amount of debt,” said Josh White, an assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University and a former Securities and Exchange Commission economist. “Now, he’s going to have to focus on new sources of revenue generation in order to continue servicing the debt and just not go bankrupt.”

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Elon Musk-led Twitter has been sued by at least six companies for failing to pay bills

CNBC  online


Vanderbilt University finance professor Josh T. White, a former SEC economist, agreed the moves are unusual, and said litigation over nonpayment to vendors could result from “incorrect and aggressive capital structure.”

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Dude, where's my bitcoin? Crypto sits out the Super Bowl after a miserable year

Los Angeles Times  online


“The FTX collapse has left a stigma on the industry, even though much of FTX’s alleged fraud is what I would refer to as plain vanilla fraud,” said Josh White, an assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University and a former financial economist at the Securities and Exchange Commission. “This stigma is leaving them facing high scrutiny from regulators and Congress … so the decline in ad spending is prudent.”

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The trials of Elon Musk

Vox  online


“If these investors purchased the stock at a price that was too high, which eventually did come back down in the near term, and then sold, then that purchase was made on false information,” said Josh White, a Vanderbilt University finance professor and former SEC economist.

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Tesla trial: did Musk’s tweet affect the firm’s stock price? Experts weigh in

The Guardian  online


“This seems like a weak defense,” based on the timeline evidence entered into the court record by expert witness Michael L Hartzmark, said Josh White, an assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University, who is a former financial economist for the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Microsoft layoffs suggest broader pain to come for the economy

The Washington Post  online


“The tech industry in general, and especially those focused highly on software and intellectual property like Microsoft, are facing especially strong macroeconomic pressure from the forecasted economic slowdown and especially the rapid rise in interest rates,” said Josh White, an assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University. “A large portion of their value is based on intellectual property rather than physical equipment. All companies will be looking to employ cost-cutting measures over the coming year, but for these companies that rely on IP, cost-cutting unfortunately means layoffs.”

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Job cuts in tech sector spread, Microsoft lays off 10,000

Associated Press  online


“A big part of this is just overexuberance in hiring,” said Joshua White, a finance professor at Vanderbilt University. White, the Vanderbilt professor, said all industries are looking to cut costs ahead of a possible recession but tech companies could be particularly sensitive to the rapid rise in interest rates, a tool that has been used aggressively in recent months by the Federal Reserve in its fight against inflation.

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Big Tech layoffs: Has Silicon Valley finally 'lost its mojo'?

Yahoo! Finance  online


If there's one thing we learned about tech history it's that busts are common – and inevitable. And so are the rebounds and the explosion of new industries entirely, said Vanderbilt University professor and former SEC economist Joshua White. “We had this decade of explosive growth in tech, and we moved to this app economy,” he said.

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Analysis: Musk's acrimonious Twitter bid heads for business school case study immortalisation

Reuters  online


Musk's attempt to take over Twitter is "a gift to professors and students", said Joshua White, a professor at Vanderbilt University, calling the situation "unprecedented".

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In major reversal, Elon Musk again proposes buying Twitter at full price

CNN  online


The ball will now be in Twitter’s court to determine how to respond to Musk’s proposal. Twitter’s board will likely agree to move forward with closing the deal, according to Josh White, assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University. “The very public saga has certainly taken a toll on them and Twitter employees,” White said. “It is best for all parties to finish the deal and make a quick and seamless transition. I suspect it will close quickly.”

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Selected Articles (5)

Qualified residential mortgages and default risk

Journal of Banking & Finance

Ioannis V Floros, Joshua T White

2016 The Dodd–Frank Act tasks regulators with defining a Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) as an exemption from risk retention for residential mortgage-backed securities. Congress instructs regulators to consider factors that result in lower levels of historic default in defining a QRM.

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Quantified cost-benefit analysis at the SEC

Administrative Law Review Accord

Joshua T White

2016 Following a number of high-profile judicial setbacks, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has devoted considerable resources towards enhancing its economic analyses in support of rulemaking activities.

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The evolving role of economic analysis in SEC rulemaking

Georgia Law Review

Joshua T White

2015 In economics literature, public policies are often compared to the benchmark of a benevolent regulator-one that maximizes social welfare while balancing the interests of all affected parties. 2 The result is the socially optimal choice of regulations with full economic justification.

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The effect of institutional ownership on firm transparency and information production

Journal of Financial Economics

Audra L Boone, Joshua T White

2015 We examine the effects of institutional ownership on firms׳ information and trading environments using the annual Russell 1000/2000 index reconstitution. Characteristics of firms near the index cutoffs are similar, except that firms in the top of the Russell 2000 have discontinuously higher proportional institutional ownership than firms in the bottom of the Russell 1000 primarily due to indexing and benchmarking strategies.

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Appointments of academic directors

Journal of Corporate Finance

Joshua T. White

2014 We examine the outside director selection process using unique data on appointments of academic directors. Overall, we find that academic directors tend to be appointed by small- and mid-cap firms expanding their boards. However, we find important differences in both the factors influencing academic appointments and the market's reaction when allowing for firm, board, and director heterogeneities.

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