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Category Archives: Securities Law

GAO Report – SEC Conflict Minerals Rule

SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Initial Disclosures Indicate Most Companies Were Unable to Determine the Source of Their Conflict Minerals. GAO-15-561: Published: Aug 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 2015.

“According to a generalizable sample GAO reviewed, company disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the first time in 2014 in response to the SEC conflict minerals disclosure rule indicated that most companies were unable to determine the source of their conflict minerals. Companies that filed disclosures used one or more of the four “conflict minerals”—tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold—determined by the Secretary of State to be financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or adjoining countries. Most companies were based in the United States (87 percent). Almost all of the companies (99 percent) reported performing country-of-origin inquiries for conflict minerals used. Companies GAO spoke to cited difficulty obtaining necessary information from suppliers because of delays and other challenges in communication. Most of the companies (94 percent) reported exercising due diligence on the source and chain of custody of conflict minerals used. However, most (67 percent) were unable to determine whether those minerals came from the DRC or adjoining countries (Covered Countries), and none could determine whether the minerals financed or benefited armed groups in those countries. Companies that disclosed that conflict minerals in their products came from covered countries (4 percent) indicated that they are or will be taking action to address the risks associated with the use and source of conflict minerals in their supply chains. For example, one company indicated that it would notify suppliers that it intends to cease doing business with suppliers who continue to source conflict minerals from smelters that are not certified as conflict-free.”

GAO Reports – SEC Conflict Minerals Rule, Unmanned Aerial Systems, U.S. Savings Bonds

SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Initial Disclosures Indicate Most Companies Were Unable to Determine the Source of Their Conflict Minerals, GAO-15-561: Published: Aug 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 2015. Unmanned Aerial Systems: FAA Continues Progress toward Integration into the National Airspace, GAO-15-610: Published: Jul 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 2015. U.S. Savings Bonds: FutureContinue Reading

Google Maps Streetview Player

Excellent work by Brian Folts – “The google maps streetview player will take in either a starting point and end point, or a provided file of a route and provide a playthrough of the google streetview images that are available.” Users may choose from a list of languages to enter origin and destination.

SEC and CFTC Turn to Swaps and Security-Based Swaps Enforcement

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation – July 5, 2015 – Annette L. Nazareth, Davis Polk & Wardwell:  “The week of June 15, 2015 saw two of the first publicly announced enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) to enforce security-based swapContinue Reading

SEC Re-Proposes Rules on Security-Based Swaps

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation:  SEC Re-Proposes Rules on Arranging, Negotiating or Executing Security-Based Swaps, Annette L. Nazareth, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP,  June 21, 2015 “On May 13, 2015, the SEC published proposed amendments and re-proposed rules on the application of certain Title VII requirements to cross-border security-based swap activitiesContinue Reading

Disclosure of Material Information: A Cross-National Comparison

Baker, H. Kent and Haslem, John A., Disclosure of Material Information: A Cross-National Comparison (June 4, 2015). International Journal of Accounting Education and Research, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 1-16, Fall 1977 (With Robert H.Chenhall and Roger H. Juchau). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2614537 “In recent years the controversy over disclosure and materiality inContinue Reading

New GAO Reports: Homeland Security, SEC’s Internal Controls, SEC Oversight of FINRA, Southwest Border, Needy Families, USAID

Homeland Security: Actions Needed to Better Manage Security Screening at Federal Buildings and Courthouses, GAO-15-445: Published: Mar 31, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2015. Management Report: Improvements Needed in SEC’s Internal Controls and Accounting Procedures, GAO-15-387R: Published: Apr 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2015. Securities Regulation: SEC Can Further Enhance Its Oversight Program ofContinue Reading

SEC Staff and FINRA Issue Report on National Senior Investor Initiative

“With the Social Security Administration estimating that each day for the next 15 years, an average of 10,000 Americans will turn 65, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today issued a report to help broker-dealers assess, craft, or refine their policies and procedures for investorsContinue Reading

Is the Price Right? An Empirical Study of Fee-Setting in Securities Class Actions

Baker, Lynn A. and Perino, Michael A. and Silver, Charles, Is the Price Right? An Empirical Study of Fee-Setting in Securities Class Actions (February 11, 2015). Columbia Law Review, 2015, Forthcoming; U of Texas Law, Law and Econ Research Paper; St. John’s Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-0003. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2584649 “Every year, feeContinue Reading

Role of Academics and Industry in Improving Equity Market Structure

The Role of Academics and Industry in Improving Equity Market Structure, Michael S. Piwowar, Commissioner, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, on March 21, 2015. “Editor’s Note: Michael S. Piwowar is a Commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This post is based on Commissioner Piwowar’s recent remarks at the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza CollegeContinue Reading

Insider Trading in Commodities Markets

Verstein, Andrew, Insider Trading in Commodities Markets (February 21, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2568140 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2568140 “In securities markets, insider trading is a crime. In commodities, insider trading is almost completely legal. This divergent treatment has long been accepted as appropriate, given perceived differences between the markets. For example, it has been thoughtContinue Reading

Who Regulates Whom and How? An Overview of U.S. Financial Regulatory Policy for Banking and Securities Markets

Who Regulates Whom and How? An Overview of U.S. Financial Regulatory Policy for Banking and Securities Markets. Edward V. Murphy, Specialist in Financial Economics. January 30, 2015. “Financial regulatory policies are of interest to Congress because firms, consumers, and governments fund many of their activities through banks and securities markets. Furthermore, financial instability can damageContinue Reading