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Category Archives: Securities Law

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 investors as they prepare for and enter into retirement.  The National Senior Investor Initiative report includes observations and practices identified in examinations that focused on how firms conduct business with senior investors.  The examinations by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) and FINRA focused on the types of securities purchased by senior investors, the suitability of recommended investments, training of brokerage firm representatives, marketing, communications, use of designations such as “senior specialist,” account documentation, disclosures, customer complaints, and supervision. According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2011, more than 13 percent of those living in the United States, or more than 41 million people, were 65 or older.  By 2040, that number is expected to exceed 79 million, more than twice as many as in the year 2000.  Given that, OCIE and FINRA staff are keenly focused on issues related to senior investors and regard compliance with laws, rules, and regulations applicable to senior investors to be a high regulatory priority.  At a time of historically low yields on traditional savings accounts and more conservative investments, OCIE and FINRA staff are concerned that some broker-dealers may be recommending riskier and possibly unsuitable securities to senior investors looking for higher returns and may be failing to adequately disclose the terms and risks of the securities they recommend.”

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

Bitcoin: Questions, Answers, and Analysis of Legal Issues

CRS – Bitcoin: Questions, Answers, and Analysis of Legal Issues. Craig K. Elwell, Specialist in Macroeconomic Policy; Maureen Murphy, Legislative Attorney; Michael V. Seitzinger, Legislative Attorney, January 28, 2015 “Bitcoin first appeared in January 2009, the creation of a computer programmer using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. His invention is an open-source (its controlling computer codeContinue Reading

OCC Issues Government Securities Act booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook

“The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued today the Government Securities Act” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook. This new booklet, part of the Securities Compliance series, consolidates certain guidance from the Comptroller’s Handbook for Compliance, “Securities Activities” booklet, issued in September 1991, and the Comptroller’s Handbook booklet “Investment Securities,” issued in MarchContinue Reading

Research Shows XBRL Filing Costs Lower than Expected

AICPA: “EXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is a global data standard used for reporting business information in a computer-readable format. The standardization of business reporting information eliminates the costs associated with manually processing this data or using proprietary products that lock data in incompatible formats.  When it enacted the Final Rule for XBRL, the U.S.Continue Reading

SEC to Simplify Analysis of Corporate Financial Data

Pilot Program Will Be Expanded Next Year to Include Data in Footnotes By MARIA ARMENTAL, WSJ.com – Dec. 30, 2014 “The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a program aimed at making it easier for investors to dig through and compare company financial filings. Under the program being tested, financial data the companies report will be organized into structuredContinue Reading

SEC Issues Annual Staff Reports on Credit Rating Agencies

[December 23, 2014] “the Securities and Exchange Commission issued its annual staff report on the findings of examinations of credit rating agencies registered as nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs) and submitted a separate report on NRSROs to Congress. “These reports provide the most current and comprehensive picture of the credit rating industry,” said SEC ChairContinue Reading

SEC Office of the Investor Advocate Report FY2014

REPORT ON ACTIVITIES FISCAL YEAR 2014 – Office of the Investor Advocate. “THE OFFICE OF THE INVESTOR ADVOCATE was established pursuant to Section 915 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), as codified under Section 4(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), 15 U.S.C. § 78d(g). Exchange Act SectionContinue Reading

Home Depot SEC Filing – Pretax Breach Cost $43 million

eSecurity Planet – “In a recent SEC filing, Home Depot stated that a recent data breach that exposed 56 million credit cards and 53 million email addresses cost the company $43 million in the third quarter of 2014 alone. Specifically, Home Depot says it “recorded $43 million of pretax expenses related to the data breach, partially offsetContinue Reading