Posts from July 2015.

The SEC's administrative forum has been under increasing scrutiny over the past year. Now the SEC has removed an ALJ from a high-profile case, after he refused the Commission's "invitation" to provide a no-bias affidavit in similar case. In a May 6 article, "SEC Wins With In-House Judges," the Wall Street Journal reported that former ALJ Lillian McEwen felt pressured by the SEC's Chief Administrative Law Judge over her failure to rule more often in the Commission's favor. Respondents appealing an administrative case to the full Commission have alleged the process is unfair and ...

Posted in: SEC

The Department of Justice today appealed the Second Circuit's Newman decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, after several extensions. United States v. Newman, No. 15-137 (U.S. filed July 30, 2015). Last December's ruling narrowed the scope of tippee liability in insider-trading cases. The latest extension of the cert-petition deadline resulted in a bit of row, when the government hand-delivered the request June 15 and Justice Ginsburg granted it June 16, (extending the filing deadline to August 1). But Newman's counsel apparently wasn't even served with the government's request ...

Posted in: Supreme Court
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced last week that it is seeking comment on a proposal to create a new academic Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) data set. While academic researchers already use historic TRACE data, the data currently available to researchers does not include identifying information about dealer identities. The new data product, which would be available solely to institutions of higher education, would include masked dealer identities. FINRA's proposal, which is similar to a proposal recently made by the Municipal ...
Posted in: FINRA, MSRB
Last week the US Chamber of Commerce, through its Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, issued a white paper proposing wide-ranging changes to the SEC's enforcement process. Most of the 28 recommendations were refinements of existing processes or prior recommendations, but some likely would require congressional mandate. The report called for changes to five categories of enforcement policy, to Commissioners' oversight of the enforcement process and improvements to SEC investigations. The Center's objective is to ensure "vigorous, effective enforcement coupled ...
Posted in: SEC
In mid-June, SEC Commissioner Gallagher issued a strongly-worded public dissent from two enforcement actions against investment-adviser CCOs, accusing the Commission of "cutting off its nose to spite its face" by punishing CCOs upon whom regulators depend to help ensure legal and regulatory compliance. Our blog post covering the remarks is here. Commissioner Aguilar responded June 29 to Gallagher's remarks, "concerned [they] may have unnecessarily created an environment of unwarranted fear in the CCO community," and calling it "unhelpful." Aguilar cited agency ...
Posted in: SEC
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently proposed rules under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and related regulations that would require certain funds, including Exchange-Traded Funds, to provide additional information to the SEC relating to, among other things, certain types of investments, liquidity, pricing, and risk metrics. This additional information will assist the SEC with assessing potential risks to investors and allow investors to better understand their exposure and risk factors. The proposal requires that the information be reported in a ...
Posted in: SEC
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