There is no debate that the first half of 2017 saw a significant fall-off in United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) enforcement activity. There have been no mega-cases and broken window policing seems to be on the decline. A temporary lull would not at all be surprising given the SEC’s leadership transitions and the record enforcement results posted by the SEC in 2016. These factors combined with the absence of market disruptions and other trigger events that typically expose frauds and accounting misconduct suggest that the decline in headline grabbing enforcement actions would be both natural and temporary. However, there are other indications that the shift may be policy-driven and thus likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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