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Full-Text Articles in Securities Law

The Systemic Risk Paradox: Banks And Clearinghouses Under Regulation, Felix B. Chang Jan 2014

The Systemic Risk Paradox: Banks And Clearinghouses Under Regulation, Felix B. Chang

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Consolidation in the financial industry threatens competition and increases systemic risk. Recently, banks have seen both high-profile mergers and spectacular failures, prompting a flurry of regulatory responses. Yet consolidation has not been as closely scrutinized for clearinghouses, which facilitate trading in securities and derivatives products. These nonbank intermediaries can be thought of as middlemen who collect deposits to ensure that each buyer and seller has the wherewithal to uphold its end of the deal. Clearinghouses mitigate the credit risks that buyers and sellers would face if they dealt directly with each other.

Yet here lies the dilemma: large clearinghouses reduce ...


Broker-Dealers, Institutional Investors, And Fiduciary Duty: Much Ado About Nothing, Lin (Lynn) Bai Jan 2014

Broker-Dealers, Institutional Investors, And Fiduciary Duty: Much Ado About Nothing, Lin (Lynn) Bai

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Under the mandate of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the SEC is soliciting public opinions on whether broker-dealers should be subject to a fiduciary duty when advising retail and institutional investors. This paper focuses on the advisability of such a proposal for institutional investors. It shows that (1) a fiduciary duty could potentially enhance broker-dealers’ standard of conduct for only a subset of institutional investors who are well capitalized, capable of assessing risks independently, and acknowledge in writing their non-reliance on broker-dealers’ advice. Thus, the benefit of fiduciary duty is much narrower than what its ...


Curbing Broker-Dealers' Abusive Sales Practices: Does Professor Jensen's Integrity Framework Offer A Better Approach?, Barbara Black Jan 2013

Curbing Broker-Dealers' Abusive Sales Practices: Does Professor Jensen's Integrity Framework Offer A Better Approach?, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Retail investors, particularly senior citizens, need competent and careful investment advice more than ever before. Many must rely on the services provided by investment advice providers, including broker-dealers. Regulators have sounded the alarm about sales of risky, complex products to retail customers in search of better returns, especially senior citizens and retirees. Both the SEC and FINRA have identified abusive broker-dealer sales practices as priorities in their examinations of broker-dealers and have brought numerous enforcement actions against broker-dealers for sales practices that harm retail investors. These enforcement actions frequently allege both failures of the firms’ due diligence processes to assure ...


Behavioral Economics And Investor Protection: Reasonable Investors, Efficient Markets, Barbara Black Jan 2013

Behavioral Economics And Investor Protection: Reasonable Investors, Efficient Markets, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The judicial view of a “reasonable investor” plays an important role in federal securities regulation, and courts express great confidence in the reasonable investor’s cognitive abilities. Behavioral economists, by contrast, do not observe real people investing in today’s markets behaving as the reasonable investors that federal securities law expects them to be. Similarly, the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) has exerted a powerful influence in securities regulation, although empirical evidence calls into question some of the basic assumptions underlying EMH. Unfortunately, to date, courts have only acknowledged the discrepancy between legal theory and behavioral economics in one situation, class ...


Punishing Bad Brokers: Self-Regulation And Finra Sanctions, Barbara Black Jan 2013

Punishing Bad Brokers: Self-Regulation And Finra Sanctions, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Regulation of the broker-dealer industry by a self-regulatory organization (SRO) is an integral part of the federal regulatory scheme under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act). As a result, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the sole SRO for U.S. broker-dealers, plays an important role in protecting investors, especially retail investors, and bolstering investor confidence in the securities industry and capital markets. In 2012 FINRA brought 1,541 disciplinary actions against registered individuals and firms, levied fines totaling more than $68 million and ordered restitution of $34 million. It expelled 30 firms, barred 294 individuals and ...


Sec And The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Fighting Global Corruption Is Not Part Of The Sec's Mission, Barbara Black Jan 2012

Sec And The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Fighting Global Corruption Is Not Part Of The Sec's Mission, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

No abstract provided.


Arbitration Of Investors' Claims Against Issuers: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Barbara Black Jan 2012

Arbitration Of Investors' Claims Against Issuers: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court held that arbitration provisions contained in brokerage customers’ agreements were enforceable with respect to federal securities claims, proposals have been floated to include in an issuer’s governance documents a provision that would require arbitration of investors’ claims against the issuer. To date, however, publicly traded domestic issuers and their counsel have not seriously pursued these proposals, probably because of several legal obstacles to implementation. In addition to these legal obstacles, publicly traded issuers may not have perceived significant advantages to arbitration. Recent legal developments, however, make inclusion of an arbitration provision in ...


Investor Protection Meets The Federal Arbitration Act, Barbara Black Jan 2012

Investor Protection Meets The Federal Arbitration Act, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

In the past three decades, most recently in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, the United States Supreme Court has advanced an aggressive proarbitration campaign, transforming the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) into a powerful source of anti-consumer substantive arbitration law. In the aftermath of AT&T Mobility, which upheld a prohibition on class actions in a consumer contract despite state law that refused to enforce such provisions on unconscionability grounds, efforts have been made to prohibit investors from bringing class actions or joining claims, including claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act). In the most egregious ...


Can Behavioral Economics Inform Our Understanding Of Securities Arbitration, Barbara Black Jan 2011

Can Behavioral Economics Inform Our Understanding Of Securities Arbitration, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This paper contributes to the ongoing debate over FINRA arbitration by invoking behavioral economics principles to understand why PDAAs in securities arbitration continue to resist powerful market and political forces calling for their elimination.

Part II of the paper sets forth background information to put the issue in context. It first describes several important distinctions between securities arbitration and other forms of consumer arbitration. It next summarizes pertinent economic theory, first classical economic theory in support of PDAAs and then behavioral economics principles that challenge the classical approach.

Part III poses three questions regarding the staying power of PDAAs and ...


Stalled: Gender Diversity On Corporate Boards, Barbara Black Jan 2011

Stalled: Gender Diversity On Corporate Boards, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

In this essay, prepared for the University of Dayton College of Law’s Symposium on Perspectives on Gender and Business Ethics: Women in Corporate Governance, held on February 25, 2011, I discuss the lack of progress in achieving gender diversity on corporate boards.

I first review the numbers that demonstrate that progress is stalled, despite the attention and resources devoted to the issue by a number of well-respected organizations, legal scholars and institutional investors. I argue that, because this is an issue of equal opportunity, it is not really necessary to make a business case to justify increased efforts toward ...


Lying And Getting Caught: An Empirical Study Of The Effect Of Securities Class Action Settlements On Targeted Firms, Lin (Lynn) Bai, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas Jun 2010

Lying And Getting Caught: An Empirical Study Of The Effect Of Securities Class Action Settlements On Targeted Firms, Lin (Lynn) Bai, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Private suits have long been championed as a necessary mechanism not only to compensate investors for harms they suffer from financial frauds but also to enhance the deterrence of wrongdoing. But many critics have claimed that there is a hidden dark side to the successful prosecution of a securities class action. In this paper, we shed light on these issues by examining whether the revelation of earlier misstatements, the initiation of private suit, and the payment of a substantial settlement, weaken the defendant firm so that the firm is permanently worse off as a consequence of the settlement.

We find ...


Introduction: The Sec At 75, Barbara Black Jan 2010

Introduction: The Sec At 75, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This Introduction begins with a brief look back at the creation of the SEC and then examines the present-day agency's expression of its mission. It next reviews the Blueprint's assessment of the agency and its proposal for reform and then turns to the Obama Administration's Financial Regulatory Reform and its proposals relating to the SEC. Finally, this Introduction describes five issues to which the panelists paid particular attention: the SEC's mission, competition among financial markets, the proposal to merge the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the role of financial market networks in systemic ...


On Regulating Conflicts Of Interest In The Credit Rating Industry, Lin (Lynn) Bai Jan 2010

On Regulating Conflicts Of Interest In The Credit Rating Industry, Lin (Lynn) Bai

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This paper discusses issues giving rise to conflict of interest concerns in the credit rating industry and examines whether and how those issues are addressed in the current regulation that builds on the guidelines of the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act of 2006, the SEC rules that were initially adopted in 2007 and recently amended in 2009, and the internal code of conducts of rating agencies. The examination leads to a conclusion that conflict of interest at the individual rating analyst level and some concerns of conflict of interest at the agency level have been largely addressed in the current ...


The Performance Disclosures Of Credit Rating Agencies: Are They Effective Reputational Sanctions?, Lin (Lynn) Bai Jan 2010

The Performance Disclosures Of Credit Rating Agencies: Are They Effective Reputational Sanctions?, Lin (Lynn) Bai

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The SEC has recently added new provisions to the credit rating agency regulation. These provisions require credit rating agencies to disclose publicly their rating actions and performance measurements. The new requirements seek to achieve two goals: (1) deter conflicts of interest in the credit rating industry by invoking the reputational sanction power of performance statistics, and (2) help new entrants to the industry build a track record so they can compete with established agencies. This paper reveals empirical evidence that the current disclosure requirements cannot achieve these goals and makes recommendations on how the regulation should be improved in light ...


How To Improve Retail Investor Protection After The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act, Barbara Black Jan 2010

How To Improve Retail Investor Protection After The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act gives the Securities and Exchange Commission authority to address two issues especially important to retail investors. First, section 913 requires the SEC to conduct a six-month study on the effectiveness of existing standards of care for broker-dealers and investment advisers and specifically authorizes the SEC to establish a fiduciary duty for broker dealers. Second, section 921 grants the SEC authority to prohibit the use of predispute arbitration agreements that would require investors to arbitrate future disputes arising under the federal securities laws and regulations or the rules of a self-regulatory organization ...


The U.S. As Reluctant Shareholder: Government, Business And The Law, Barbara Black Jan 2010

The U.S. As Reluctant Shareholder: Government, Business And The Law, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Despite the likelihood of future bailouts, the government articulated a consistent policy to deal with private enterprise failure, and there is no rule book for how the government should act This is not surprising; the philosophy of free market capitalism, so deeply engrained in the U.S. economic system, is difficult to reconcile with government's rescue of businesses that fail in that system. Unlike some other countries, the U.S. government does not invest surplus funds or engage in entrepreneurial activities for economic gain. The phrase "nationalizing private business" conveys serious negative connotations.

Accordingly, how the government behaves when ...


Eliminating Securities Fraud Class Actions Under The Radar, Barbara Black Jan 2009

Eliminating Securities Fraud Class Actions Under The Radar, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

At least since Basic, Inc. v. Levinson, the business community and many influential scholars have challenged the existence of the securities fraud class action on a variety of grounds. Recently, two proposals have been advanced to "fix" the problem of "abusive" securities fraud class actions. One proposal requires arbitration of all securities fraud class actions; the other eliminates the corporate defendant in most actions. Proponents assert that shareholders should have the right to adopt these proposals through amendment of the company's certificate of incorporation. In reality, adoption of either proposal would substantially curtail, if not eliminate, the securities fraud ...


Deterring "Double-Play" Manipulation In Financial Crisis: Increasing Transaction Cost As A Regulatory Tool, Lin (Lynn) Bai, Rujing Meng Jan 2009

Deterring "Double-Play" Manipulation In Financial Crisis: Increasing Transaction Cost As A Regulatory Tool, Lin (Lynn) Bai, Rujing Meng

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The sub-prime mortgage crisis that originated in the United States has triggered a global credit crunch, threatening the solvency of emerging markets that have relied heavily on foreign debt, and resulting in the devaluation of their currencies. Currency market interventions by the central banks in countries with a currency board system lead to higher short-term interest rates and further declinations in the local stock market. This economic setting invites the double-play manipulation strategy that simultaneously attacks both the local currency and the stock market. History has shown that a central bank’s stock market intervention is costly and that sustaining ...


Do Differences In Pleadings Standards Cause Forum Shopping In Securities Class Actions?: Doctrinal And Empirical Analyses, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas, Lin (Lynn) Bai Jan 2009

Do Differences In Pleadings Standards Cause Forum Shopping In Securities Class Actions?: Doctrinal And Empirical Analyses, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas, Lin (Lynn) Bai

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Federal appellate courts have promulgated divergent legal standards for pleading fraud in securities fraud class actions after the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA). Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd. that could have resolved these differences, but did not do so. This Paper provides two significant contributions. We first show that Tellabs avoids deciding the hard issues that confront courts and litigants daily in the wake of the PSLRA's heightened pleading standard. As a consequence, the opinion keeps very much alive the circuits' disparate interpretations of ...


Protecting The Retail Investor In An Age Of Financial Uncertainty, Barbara Black Jan 2009

Protecting The Retail Investor In An Age Of Financial Uncertainty, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This essay, originating in a presentation made at the University of Dayton School of Law's Fallout from the Bailout Symposium on March 20, 2009, first sets forth some comparisons between other recent financial crises and the 2008 financial meltdown. It then provides an assessment of the SEC's role during the financial crisis and concludes with a review of the key provisions of the Obama Administration's proposed financial regulatory reform that affect the SEC and investor protection. The Obama proposal offers no redesign of the SEC, relying instead on SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro's commitment to re-energize and ...


Reputational Damages In Securities Litigation, Barbara Black Jan 2009

Reputational Damages In Securities Litigation, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This short paper, originating in remarks made at the Institute for Law and Economic Policy's 15th Annual Conference on Compensation of Plaintiffs in Mass Securities Litigation, addresses an issue that has surfaced post-Dura Pharmaceuticals: can investors recover damages resulting from declines in stock price attributable to the market's reassessment of the integrity of management or the corporation's internal controls? Some finance scholars label these damages as non-recoverable 'collateral damage' that are not attributable to the original fraudulent disclosure. I argue that this position is based on a mischaracterization of the original fraudulent disclosure and that there is ...


The Uptick Rule Of Short Sale Regulation: Can It Alleviate Downward Price Pressure From Negative Earnings Shocks?, Lin (Lynn) Bai Apr 2008

The Uptick Rule Of Short Sale Regulation: Can It Alleviate Downward Price Pressure From Negative Earnings Shocks?, Lin (Lynn) Bai

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This paper empirically examines the effect of the uptick rule (including the bid test applicable to NASDAQ stocks) of short sale regulations on stock prices and short selling activities immediately after negative earnings surprises that occurred during the period of May to November 2005. It compares price paths and short selling activities of stocks restricted by the uptick rule with stocks that were exempted from the rule as a result of the SEC's Pilot Program. The study has not found any evidence that prices of stocks subject to the rule declined at a slower speed than prices of exempted ...


Should The Sec Be A Collection Agency For Defrauded Investors?, Barbara Black Jan 2008

Should The Sec Be A Collection Agency For Defrauded Investors?, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

One of the important functions of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("the SEC") is enforcing the securities laws and punishing violators. Collecting damages for defrauded investors was not, historically, an important part of the agency's mission; rather that was the function of private securities fraud class actions. Section 308 (the "Fair Fund provision") of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 gives the SEC a more prominent role in compensating investors and allows the agency, in some circumstances, to distribute civil penalties to defrauded investors. The SEC has established Fair Funds in a number of high-profile cases and has ...


There Are Plaintiffs And...There Are Plaintiffs: An Empirical Analysis Of Securities Class Action Settlements, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas, Lin (Lynn) Bai Jan 2008

There Are Plaintiffs And...There Are Plaintiffs: An Empirical Analysis Of Securities Class Action Settlements, James D. Cox, Randall S. Thomas, Lin (Lynn) Bai

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

In this paper, we examine the impact of the PSLRA and more particularly the impact the type of lead plaintiff on the size of settlements in securities fraud class actions. We provide insight into whether the type of plaintiff that heads the class action impacts the overall outcome of the case. Furthermore, we explore possible indicia that may explain why some suits settle for extremely small sums - small relative to the "provable losses" suffered by the class, small relative to the asset size of the defendant-company, and small relative to other settlements in our sample. This evidence bears heavily on ...


Working Toward Fair Treatment For Retail Investors, Barbara Black Jan 2008

Working Toward Fair Treatment For Retail Investors, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Twenty years ago, in Shearson/American Express, Inc. v. McMahon, the Supreme Court held that brokerage firms could require their customers to arbitrate all their disputes in industry-sponsored fora - a decision that had great significance for the law of arbitration as well as securities regulation. In 1996, a blue-ribbon task force released its report, assessing the securities arbitration process at National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD), the principal securities arbitration forum, and the report led to several symposia on the topic coinciding with the tenth anniversary of McMahon. Since then, arbitration scholars and practitioners have intensified the debate over ...


Tattlers And Trail Blazers: Attorneys' Liability For Clients' Fraud, Barbara Black Jan 2006

Tattlers And Trail Blazers: Attorneys' Liability For Clients' Fraud, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

No abstract provided.


The Elusive Balance Between Investor Protection And Wealth Creation, Barbara Black, Jill Gross Jan 2005

The Elusive Balance Between Investor Protection And Wealth Creation, Barbara Black, Jill Gross

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The enactment of federal securities legislation in the 1930s codified the principle that investors should be shielded from securities fraud, but scholars and policymakers continue to debate the appropriate balance between protecting investors and encouraging capital formation. Congressional activity of the past decade reflects this tension. In the 1990s, Congress enacted two major pieces of legislation to restrict securities fraud class actions because of its belief that frivolous class actions were a drain on entrepreneurism. In 2002, after the EnronIW orldCom et al. corporate scandals, reflecting perhaps a sense that the earlier legislation had tipped the pendulum too far, Congress ...


Brokers And Advisers-What’S In A Name?, Barbara Black Jan 2005

Brokers And Advisers-What’S In A Name?, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The article addresses two recent developments - the adoption by the SEC of a rule that allows brokerage firms to market fee-based accounts without registering as investment advisers and the increase in brokerage advertising that promotes the image of the broker as a trusted family friend and financial adviser. Professor Black argues that as a result of these developments investors are likely to be misled into believing that their brokers are investment advisers, with the fiduciary obligations the law requires of them, instead of brokers, whom the law generally treats as salespersons. She proposes two recommendations: (1) that brokers should not ...


Is Securities Arbitration Fair To Investors?, Barbara Black Jan 2004

Is Securities Arbitration Fair To Investors?, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Most disputes between customers and their brokerage firms are resolved through arbitration as a result of the Supreme Court's holding in Shearson/American Express, Inc. v. McMahon. McMahon was part of two larger trends of the Supreme Court: the Court's general pro-arbitration trend and its efforts to remove private securities fraud claims from federal court. Many investor advocates viewed McMahon as anti-investor, a view that continues to have support today.

This is an assessment of the current securities arbitration process from the perspective of an investor advocate. In my view, investors may fare better in arbitration than in ...


Entering The U.S. Securities Markets: Regulation Of Non-U.S. Issuers, Barbara Black Jan 2004

Entering The U.S. Securities Markets: Regulation Of Non-U.S. Issuers, Barbara Black

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The U.S. securities markets offer the greatest opportunities for businesses that wish to raise additional capital or expand their shareholder base. Large non-U.S. corporations regularly tap the U.S. market for infusions of capital, and the securities of many non-U.S. corporations are listed on the New York Stock Exchange or traded on NASDAQ. Smaller non-U.S. entities, however, may be deterred from entering the U.S. markets because of concerns about the burdens of U.S. securities regulation. These concerns are legitimate: a decision to enter the highly-regulated U.S. securities markets should not be made lightly ...