SEC Director of Enforcement Outlines Significant Changes Signaling Tougher, More Efficient Enforcement Environment (WilmerHale)
Friday, August 14, 2009 4:21 PM
The initiatives announced by the new Director portend an aggressive law enforcement climate for the foreseeable future. The challenge for the SEC will be not only to deliver on its “get tough” message, but to do so in a fashion that pays equal attention to fairness, consistency, and the overall costs and consequences from the exercise of its law enforcement powers. It is precisely in times of perceived crisis, and the inevitable law enforcement response that follows, that procedural fairness and discipline can suffer.
Madoff’s Lies Reveal It’s Not Easy Being Sleazy (Ann Woolner, Bloomberg News)
Friday, August 14, 2009 1:58 PM
However creative, however hard-working, however deceitful the Madoff-DiPascali team, it wasn’t only their work that kept the Ponzi going so long. It was the SEC’s failures at detection, even when told the operation looked amiss.
Overturning Stoneridge and the Symbolic Passing of an Era (theRacetotheBottom)
Friday, August 14, 2009 9:31 AM
Rather than talk about limitations on securities litigation, the legislation introduced by Senator Specter would expand the cause of action for fraud. While the Bill may never become law, it is, if nothing else, a symbol of the changed attitudes and atmosphere in connection with securities regulation.
Institutional Investors Have Greatly Strengthened Securities Litigation (PomTalk)
Thursday, August 13, 2009 2:53 PM
A recent academic study concludes that institutional investor involvement in securities litigation not only enhances investors’ success in seeking financial recovery, but also improves the quality of the companies’ corporate governance. It is an effective corporate monitoring tool for institutional investors.
Analysis: New approach to “insider” gains (SCOTUSblog)
Thursday, August 13, 2009 12:41 PM
A major dispute over how severely to punish a corporate “insider” who makes gains from trading in the company’s stock with information other investors don’t have seemed a likely bet for Supreme Court review. But that won’t happen now: the Justice Department has decided not to test the question further, after losing on it recently in the Tenth Circuit Court.
Want To Be A U.S. Attorney? (Main Justice)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 2:39 PM
Want To Be A U.S. Attorney? First, you’ll have to get through the all-important Washington interview at Main Justice. Here’s a peek at the process — and the gatekeepers to your future.
Should the SEC be Self-Funded? (Kathleen M. McBride, Wealth Manager)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:30 AM
Of the many complex regulatory questions being discussed in Washington, how to fund the SEC seems to fall lower on the priority list than many other issues. But should it? In an environment in which a stronger SEC is necessary, the drawbacks to being funded by Congress instead of self-funded may become clearer.
The SEC is still lame (Matthew Goldstein, Reuters blogs)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:24 AM
By allowing parties to pay a fine without “admitting or denying” the alleged regulatory offense, the SEC is nothing more than a collection agency. It’s high time for the SEC in signature cases to require a bank, broker or rogue Wall Street executive to admit some liability before settling a civil enforcement action. And if that condition is a dealbreaker, then go ahead and sue ‘em.
Stanford Financial Receiver Seeks D&O Insurance Proceeds (The D & O Diary)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:00 AM
In a move that recapitulates a classic dispute that has been brewing in bankruptcy court for years, the Stanford Financial Group receiver has asserted that the proceeds of Stanford’s D&O insurance policies are “receivership assets” and that his right to the proceeds “supersedes” the rights of insureds under the policy.
Clawbacks, outrage, and interpretation (The Conglomerate)
Monday, August 10, 2009 5:53 PM
I’m just not all that fussed. I mean you could interpret SOX 304 to say to executives, “If you get a bonus because you meet a goal, and it later turns out that the goal wasn’t really met because someone messed with the numbers, then you need to give the money back. Even if you didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t really earn that money.”
The End of Hank Greenberg’s Legal Trouble? (Peter Henning, WSJ Law Blog)
Monday, August 10, 2009 5:49 PM
The SEC’s settlement with former Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former CEO of AIG, signals the end is near for the accounting fraud investigations that toppled him from office in 2005 under the threat of indictment by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. The settlement even allows Greenberg to claim with a straight face that he wasn’t accused of securities fraud, even if he was in the neighborhood of it.
For Preet Bharara, Next U.S. Attorney, Politics and Prosecution Don’t Mix (Benjamin Weiser, NYT)
Monday, August 10, 2009 9:44 AM
Perhaps the most telling aspect about Preet Bharara, the next United States attorney in Manhattan, may be how he managed to win the trust and respect of even those who might have been his natural opponents.
Recent Securities Suit Filings Reinforce “Backlog” Theory (D & O Diary)
Monday, August 10, 2009 8:59 AM
My suggestion that the apparent second quarter securities lawsuit filing lull was due in part to the fact that plaintiffs’ lawyers have a backlog of cases outside the financial sector has proven controversial. All I can say that there is an increasing amount of evidence consistent with the backlog hypothesis.
More Heat Coming (FCPA Blog)
Monday, August 10, 2009 8:56 AM
The head of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Robert Khuzamii, said last week the agency will put more attention on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Among five specialized enforcement units to be created will be one devoted to the FCPA.
ALL BUSINESS: How tough is the SEC? (Rachel Beck, AP)
Saturday, August 08, 2009 11:16 AM
No one at Bank of America or GE has been ordered to pay for their misdeeds. If the Securities and Exchange Commission is serious about cracking down on illegal behavior, the people — not just companies — must be held accountable.
SEC To Launch “Specialized Unit” Devoted to FCPA (FCPA Professor)
Saturday, August 08, 2009 9:40 AM
Unlike the DOJ which has historically centralized all FCPA prosecutions at “main Justice” in DC, the SEC has traditionally given its regional offices the authority to independently prosecute FCPA cases. With Khuzami’s announcement, change appears to be in the works and it will be interesting to see whether this new approach will yield any noticeable differences in SEC prosecution of FCPA offenses.