Posts from December 2013.

Maybe I'm just getting a head start on my "bah humbug" mood for the holidays, I don't know. Did it strike anyone else as discordant that almost a third of the record-setting JPMorgan RMBS settlement was ear-marked to fund "affordable housing / erase urban blight" policy initiatives? Is it right to fund the Administration's social policies through the settlement of civil litigation brought by DOJ? On November 19th, the Justice Department and various state AG's (among others) announced a $13Bn global settlement -- "the largest settlement with a single entity in American history" -- of ...


The SEC announced November 12th that it has entered its first DPA (deferred prosecution agreement) with an individual respondent. In a DPA, the SEC rewards substantial assistance to an important investigation by agreeing not to prosecute so long as the cooperator complies with certain specified undertakings. DPAs are part of Enforcement's Cooperation Program, which adopted a suite of tools that are a long-standing part of the white-collar-crime canon. Those tools include:

  • Cooperation Agreements -recommending some credit for substantial assistance;
  • Deferred Prosecution ...
Posted in: DPA, SEC

PIABA, the securities-investor plaintiff's bar, issued an October 16th press release roundly criticizing industry self-regulatory rules allowing a broker to seek expungement of a customer-claim from her permanent record. PIABA's release relies on blunt statistics showing that about 60% of arbitration awards containing the word "expungement" granted that relief (with a higher 89-96% rate for awards entered on settlements). The group failed to mention, though, 2009 reforms requiring arbitrators to make an affirmative finding (after a hearing) that:

  • The claim was ...
Posted in: Expungement, FINRA, PIABA
On November 22, 2013, the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee voted to encourage the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt a fiduciary duty for broker-dealers giving investment advice. The recommendation came from the Investor as Purchaser Subcommittee, and proposes either that the SEC conduct rulemaking under the Investment Advisers Act to narrow the broker-dealer exclusion from the Investment Advisers Act or that the SEC create a new rule under § 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act. In either case, the Committee recommended that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ...
Posted in: SEC
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