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Category Archives: Securities Law

Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges

Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges. Michael V. Seitzinger, Legislative Attorney; Kathleen Ann Ruane, Legislative Attorney. October 15, 2014.

“Two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) require that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issue regulations to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and in resource extraction payments. Supporters of the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals statute and the SEC implementing rule believe that such disclosures could have an impact on the amount of violence involved with the mining of conflict minerals. Opponents of the statute and rule argue that they require disclosures that are arbitrary and capricious and that some of the required disclosures violate the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech. Supporters of the resource extraction statute and the SEC implementing rule believe that they are needed to achieve the goal of the transparency of payments made by resource extraction issuers to governments in order to foster reform and anti-corruption and to improve the tax collection process. Opponents believe that they are arbitrary and capricious and violate the First Amendment. Legal challenges to the statutes and regulations have occurred, based primarily on administrative law and First Amendment grounds.”

A Real Fix for Credit Ratings – Brookings

Ann Rutledge and Robert E. Litan: “The failure of credit ratings agencies to do their job – warn investors of the true risks entailed by the subprime mortgage securities they rated – was at the heart of the financial crisis. Policy makers since have wrestled with how to “fix” the ratings process going forward. Although the SecuritiesContinue Reading

Whistleblowers Silenced by Non-Disclosure Agreements – Focus on SEC

POGO – “On July 25, the Project On Government Oversight, along with more than 50 other organizations, sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) expressing concern over the growing problem of silencing whistleblowers. Many companies regulated by the SEC are now requiring employees reporting misconduct to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that undermine the forceContinue Reading

SEC Clamps Down On XBRL Filing Holdouts – InformationWeek

“The Securities and Exchange Commission is clamping down on public companies that fail to submit their financial disclosure statements as structured data, agency officials said. The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance sent letters on July 7 to an unspecified number of companies that are not submitting their financial disclosure statements as machine-readable, structured data. The move comesContinue Reading

High-Frequency Trading: Background, Concerns, and Regulatory Developments

CRS – High-Frequency Trading: Background, Concerns, and Regulatory Developments. Gary Shorter, Specialist in Financial Economics; Rena S. Miller, Specialist in Financial Economics. June 19, 2014. “On May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), a broad stock index, fell by nearly 1,000 points over the course of several minutes and then quickly rebounded. This was one of the largest intradayContinue Reading

UN Member States on the Record

“This site is about UN Documents related to UN Member States. It provides links to selected UN databases, websites, and other information resources, in order to make the record of Member States’ activities at the UN more accessible. Information available for each Member State includes: the key documents related to its membership in the UN; statements made before the principal organs; draft resolutions sponsored; periodic reportsContinue Reading

Disclosure Universes and Modes of Information: Banks, Innovation, and Divergent Regulatory Quests

Hu, Henry T. C., Disclosure Universes and Modes of Information: Banks, Innovation, and Divergent Regulatory Quests (May 26, 2014). Yale Journal on Regulation, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2442092 “In 2013, a new system for mandatory public disclosure came into effect, the first since the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Army Corps of Engineers, Defense Business Systems, Oil and Gas, USPS

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: Actions Needed to Further Improve Management of Hopper Dredging, GAO-14-290: Published: Apr 10, 2014. Publicly Released: May 12, 2014. CLEAR AIR FORCE STATION: Air Force Reviewed Costs and Benefits of Several Options before Deciding to Close the Power Plant, GAO-14-550: Published: May 12, 2014. Publicly Released: May 12, 2014. DEFENSE BUSINESS SYSTEMS: Further Refinements Needed to Guide theContinue Reading

Securities/Commodities/Exchange Civil Filings Jump 43%

“The latest available data from the federal courts show that during March 2014 the government reported a 43 percent jump in new securities/commodities/exchange civil filings. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), there were 93 new filings in March, up from 65 in February. It is too soon toContinue Reading

The Virtues of Private Securities Litigation: An Historic and Macroeconomic Perspective

Ramirez, Steven A., The Virtues of Private Securities Litigation: An Historic and Macroeconomic Perspective (April 18, 2014). Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2426661 “In the wake of the Great Depression, the federal securities laws operated to mandate disclosure of material facts to investors and extend broad private remediesContinue Reading

SEC Staff Analysis of Data and Academic Literature Related to Money Market Fund Reform

“The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission made available certain analyses of data and academic literature related to money market fund reform.  The analyses, which were conducted by the staff of the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, are available for review and comment on the Commission’s website as part of the commentContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – HHS National Preparedness, Social Security Death Data, Financial Audit of the SEC

NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS – HHS Is Monitoring the Progress of Its Medical Countermeasure Efforts but Has Not Provided Previously Recommended Spending Estimates, GAO-14-90, Dec 27, 2013 SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH DATA – Additional Action Needed to Address Data Errors and Federal Agency Access, GAO-14-46, Nov 27, 2013 FINANCIAL AUDIT – Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fiscal Years 2013 and 2012 Financial Statements [ReissuedContinue Reading