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Full-Text Articles in Securities Law

New Kids On The Blockchain: How Bitcoin's Technology Could Reinvent The Stock Market, Larissa Lee Jan 2016

New Kids On The Blockchain: How Bitcoin's Technology Could Reinvent The Stock Market, Larissa Lee

Larissa Lee

Bitcoin is the first and most successful digital currency in the world. It is polarized in the news almost daily, with either glowing reviews of the many benefits of an alternative and international currency, or doomsday predictions of anarchy, deflation, and another tulip bubble.This Article focuses on the truly innovative aspect of Bitcoin—and that which has gone mostly unnoticed since its inception—the technological platform used to transfer Bitcoin from one party to another. This technology is called the Blockchain. The Blockchain eschews a bank or other middleman and allows parties to transfer funds directly to one another ...


Puzzles In Controlling Shareholder Regimes And China: Shareholder Primacy And (Quasi) Monopoly, Sang Yop Kang Aug 2015

Puzzles In Controlling Shareholder Regimes And China: Shareholder Primacy And (Quasi) Monopoly, Sang Yop Kang

Sang Yop Kang

Professor Mark Roe explained that the shareholder wealth maximization norm (“the norm”) is not fit for a country with a (quasi) monopoly, because the norm encourages managers to maximize monopoly rents, to the detriment of the national economy. This Article provides new findings and counter-intuitive arguments as to the tension created by the norm and (quasi) monopoly by exploring three key corporate governance concepts that Roe did not examine—(1) “controlling minority structure” (CMS), where dominant shareholders hold a fractional ownership in their controlled-corporations, (2) “tunneling” (i.e., illicit transfer of corporate wealth to controlling shareholders), and (3) Chinese state-owned ...


Conflicted Counselors: Retaliation Protections For Attorney-Whistleblowers In An Inconsistent Regulatory Regime, Jennifer M. Pacella Aug 2015

Conflicted Counselors: Retaliation Protections For Attorney-Whistleblowers In An Inconsistent Regulatory Regime, Jennifer M. Pacella

Jennifer M. Pacella, Esq.

Attorneys, especially in-house counsel, are subject to retaliation by employers in much the same way as traditional whistleblowers, often experiencing retaliation and loss of livelihood for reporting instances of wrongdoing about their clients. Although attorney-whistleblowing undoubtedly invokes ethical concerns, attorneys who “appear and practice” before the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are required by federal law to act as internal whistleblowers under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and report evidence of material violations of the law within the organizations that they represent. An attorney’s failure to comply with these obligations will result in SEC-imposed civil penalties and disciplinary action. Recent ...


Democratizing Startups, Seth C. Oranburg Aug 2015

Democratizing Startups, Seth C. Oranburg

Seth C Oranburg

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 intends to “help entrepreneurs raise the capital they need to put Americans back to work and create an economy that’s built to last.” The goal is to “democratize startups” by making capital available to diverse entrepreneurs in new geographies. Yet the net effect of securities regulations and market conditions is the opposite. Startup companies are encouraged to stay private so capital is consolidating in large, mature firms instead of recycling into new startups. Evidence of consolidation is that once-rare “Unicorns” (billion-dollar startups) now number over 111. More money is going into ...


The Moral Undercurrent Beneath The Regulatory Regime Of Investor Protection, Huhnkie Lee May 2015

The Moral Undercurrent Beneath The Regulatory Regime Of Investor Protection, Huhnkie Lee

Huhnkie Lee

No abstract provided.


The Law And Ethics Of High-Frequency Trading, Steven R. Mcnamara Mar 2015

The Law And Ethics Of High-Frequency Trading, Steven R. Mcnamara

Steven R. McNamara

Michael Lewis’s recent book Flash Boys has resurrected the controversy concerning “high-frequency trading” (HFT) in the stock markets. While HFT has been important in the stock markets for about a decade, and may have already peaked in terms of its economic significance, it touched a nerve with a public suspicious of financial institutions in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008-2009. In reality, HFT is not one thing, but a wide array of practices conducted by technologically adept electronic traders. Some of these practices are benign, and some even bring benefits such as liquidity and improved price discovery ...


Bridgefunding Is Crowdfunding For Startups Across The Private Equity Gap, Seth C. Oranburg Feb 2015

Bridgefunding Is Crowdfunding For Startups Across The Private Equity Gap, Seth C. Oranburg

Seth C Oranburg

Title III of the JOBS Act of 2012, which attempts to encourage entrepreneurship by allowing startups and small business to sell stock to the general public over the Internet through “crowdfunding,” is completely backwards. Its ceiling should be a floor—the $1 million limit should be inverted. By capping startups at raising $1 million from crowdfunding, the JOBS Act does not address the private equity gap, a fundamental problem in startup markets, and exposes unsophisticated investors to risk and fraud. This Article presents a regulatory framework premised on “bridgefunding,” an approach that this article develops to protect new investors by ...


The Case For The Regulation Of Bitcoin Mining As A Security, Benjamin W. Akins, Jason M. Gordon, Jennifer L. Chapman Jan 2015

The Case For The Regulation Of Bitcoin Mining As A Security, Benjamin W. Akins, Jason M. Gordon, Jennifer L. Chapman

Benjamin W. Akins

Bitcoin is rapidly increasing in use throughout the world. Instrumental to the Bitcoin system, the process for introducing new bitcoin into the system is known as “mining.” Mining involves the use of powerful computer systems and complex, computational algorithms to verify or validate prior bitcoin transactions. The reward for successfully undertaking this process is the creation and award of new bitcoin to the miner. Bitcoin mining has become a tedious and difficult process. The race to verify transactions, and thereby earn bitcoin, necessitates more sophisticated processes for verification and greater computational power.

Many bitcoin miners band together in groups called ...


Halliburton, Basic And Fraud On The Market: The Need For A New Paradigm, Charles W. Murdock Sep 2014

Halliburton, Basic And Fraud On The Market: The Need For A New Paradigm, Charles W. Murdock

Charles W. Murdock

Summary: Halliburton, Basic and Fraud on the Market: The Need for a New Paradigm

If defrauded securities plaintiffs cannot bring a class-action lawsuit, there often will be no effective remedy since the amount at stake for individual plaintiffs is not sufficient to warrant the substantial costs of litigation. To surmount the problem of individualized reliance and establish commonality, federal courts for twenty-five years have been employing the Basic fraud-on-the-market theory which posits that, in an efficient market, investors rely on the integrity of the market price.

While class certification at one time was a matter of course, today it is ...


Insider Trading And Evolutionary Psychology: Strong Reciprocity, Cheater Detection, And The Expanding Boundaries Of The Law, Steven R. Mcnamara Aug 2014

Insider Trading And Evolutionary Psychology: Strong Reciprocity, Cheater Detection, And The Expanding Boundaries Of The Law, Steven R. Mcnamara

Steven R. McNamara

Insider trading law has expanded in recent years to cover instances of trading on non-public information that fall outside of the fiduciary duty framework set forth in the landmark cases of Chiarella and Dirks. The trend towards a broader insider trading law moves the law closer towards what evolutionary psychology tells us humans desire when engaging in collective action: that individuals benefit in proportion to the effort or investment they make in a common enterprise. Insider trading law can therefore be understood as a societal response to cheating in group activities, and the recent expansion of the law as reflecting ...


Remembering George Michaely, Lawrence J. Trautman, Stanley Sporkin, John A. Dudley Apr 2014

Remembering George Michaely, Lawrence J. Trautman, Stanley Sporkin, John A. Dudley

Lawrence J. Trautman Sr.

This short essay is a memorial tribute about George P. Michaely, Jr. (1926 to 2014). After graduating from both the University of Notre Dame and its law school, he began his legal career, serving for approximately seven years as attorney in the Office of General Counsel. He was then appointed Chief Counsel of the Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance, where he served for approximately the next four years and was responsible for advising the Commission and the public concerning the interpretation of the statutory provisions and rules relating to the registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and ...


Has The Cftc Gone Too Far In Trying To Keep The American Economy Safe From Cross-Border Swaps?, Gabriel Lau Feb 2014

Has The Cftc Gone Too Far In Trying To Keep The American Economy Safe From Cross-Border Swaps?, Gabriel Lau

Gabriel Lau

With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) in 2010, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) received the daunting task regulating swap markets. Following two iterations of proposed guidance and comment periods, the CFTC released its finalized “Interpretive Guidance and Policy Statement Regarding Compliance with Certain Swap Regulations” (“Guidance”) on July 26, 2013. In the Guidance, the CFTC gives its interpretation and policy outlook for promulgating rules with respect to the regulation of cross-border swaps. This paper examines both the critiques of the Guidance, including issues of international comity and rule promulgation procedures, and ...


Bounties For Bad Behavior: Rewarding Culpable Whistleblowers Under The Dodd-Frank Act And Internal Revenue Code, Jennifer M. Pacella Feb 2014

Bounties For Bad Behavior: Rewarding Culpable Whistleblowers Under The Dodd-Frank Act And Internal Revenue Code, Jennifer M. Pacella

Jennifer M. Pacella, Esq.

In 2012, Bradley Birkenfeld received a $104 million reward or “bounty” from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for blowing the whistle on his employer, UBS, which facilitated a major offshore tax fraud scheme by assisting thousands of U.S. taxpayers to hide their assets in Switzerland. Birkenfeld does not fit the mold of the public’s common perception of a whistleblower. He was himself complicit in this crime and even served time in prison for his involvement. Despite his conviction, Birkenfeld was still eligible for a sizable whistleblower bounty under the IRS Whistleblower Program, which allows rewards for whistleblowers who ...


Subjective Falsity Under Section 11 Of The Securities Act: Protecting Statements Of Opinion, Daniel H. Smith Feb 2014

Subjective Falsity Under Section 11 Of The Securities Act: Protecting Statements Of Opinion, Daniel H. Smith

Daniel H Smith

SUBJECTIVE FALSITY UNDER SECTION 11 OF THE SECURITIES ACT: PROTECTING STATEMENTS OF OPINION Daniel Hooper Smith Abstract Subjective Falsity Under Section 11 of the Securities Act: Protecting Statements of Opinion discusses the Sixth Circuit’s strict liability decision in Indiana State District Council of Laborers & Hod Carriers Pension & Welfare Fund v. Omnicare, Inc. for statements of opinion contained in registration statements, and its express departure from both the Second and Ninth Circuits. Consistent with the Second, Third, and Ninth Circuits, this Article proposes that both objective and subjective falsity should be the requisite pleading standard for section 11 opinion statement ...


Prudential Regulation And The Knowledge Problem: Towards A New Paradigm Of Systemic Risk Regulation, Michael T. Cappucci Jan 2014

Prudential Regulation And The Knowledge Problem: Towards A New Paradigm Of Systemic Risk Regulation, Michael T. Cappucci

Michael T Cappucci

In this article I examine the regulatory structure created by Title I of the Dodd-Frank Act and ask whether the prudential regulatory authority given to the Financial Stability Oversight Council is an effective tool for accomplishing the mission of identifying and containing risk in the financial system. Prudential regulation, the principal tool at the disposal of the FSOC, was developed in the 19th century to counteract moral hazard in the banking system. Over time, prudential supervision has become policymakers’ regulation of choice, to the point where it is now employed in the oversight and regulation of non-bank financial firms. However ...


Financial Institution Executive Compensation: The Problem Of Financially Motivated Excessive Risk-Taking, The Regulatory Response, And Common Sense Solutions, Jesse D. Gossett Jan 2014

Financial Institution Executive Compensation: The Problem Of Financially Motivated Excessive Risk-Taking, The Regulatory Response, And Common Sense Solutions, Jesse D. Gossett

Jesse D Gossett

This article addresses the issue of executive compensation at financial institutions as it relates to encouraging excessive risk-taking at these firms. First, I examine the economics of compensation and its relationship to risk-taking at financial firms. Next, I take a critical look at compensation provisions of Dodd-Frank (and to a lesser extent, Sarbanes-Oxley) and describe not only what Dodd-Frank does, but more importantly what it does not do. I then make specific recommendations for rules regulators should adopt under Dodd-Frank for the purpose of using compensation plans as a way of reducing excessive risk at financial institutions. I make these ...


Market Efficiency And The Problem Of Retail Flight, Alicia J. Davis Jan 2014

Market Efficiency And The Problem Of Retail Flight, Alicia J. Davis

Alicia Davis

In 1950, 91% of common stock in the U.S. was owned directly by individual investors. Today, that percentage stands at only 23%. The mass exodus of retail investors and their investment dollars has negative implications not only for capital formation and investor protection, but also for market efficiency. Individual investors are often assumed to be noise traders who distort stock prices and harm market functioning. Therefore, some argue that their withdrawal from the market should be of little concern; indeed, it should be celebrated. Recent empirical evidence calls this assertion of retail noise trading into doubt, and this paper ...


Admission Of Guilt: Sinking Teeth Into The Sec's Sweetheart Deals, Larissa Lee Jan 2014

Admission Of Guilt: Sinking Teeth Into The Sec's Sweetheart Deals, Larissa Lee

Larissa Lee

Throughout its existence, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has allowed defendants to settle cases without admitting to the allegations of wrongdoing. This “neither admit nor deny” policy has received heavy criticism by judges, Congress, and the public, especially in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. On June 18, 2013, SEC Chairman Mary Jo White announced the agency’s intention to require admissions of guilt in certain cases. While Chairman White did not articulate a clear standard of when admissions would be required, she did say that the agency would focus on the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct ...


Controlling Shareholders: Benevolent “King” Or Ruthless “Pirate”, Sang Yop Kang Jan 2014

Controlling Shareholders: Benevolent “King” Or Ruthless “Pirate”, Sang Yop Kang

Sang Yop Kang

Unfair self-dealing and expropriation of minority shareholders by a controlling shareholder are common business practices in developing countries (“bad-law countries”). Although controlling shareholder agency problems have been well studied so far, there are many questions unanswered in relation to behaviors and motivations of controlling shareholders. For example, a puzzle is that some controlling shareholders in bad-law countries voluntarily extract minority shareholders less than other controlling shareholders. Applying Mancur Olson’s framework of political theory of “banditry” to the context of corporate governance, this Article proposes that there are at least two categories of controlling shareholders. “Roving controllers” are dominant shareholders ...


A Preliminary Look At State Structures For Regulating Financial Services, Elizabeth F. Brown Jan 2014

A Preliminary Look At State Structures For Regulating Financial Services, Elizabeth F. Brown

Elizabeth F Brown

Within the past thirty-five years approximately fifty nations have consolidated their financial regulatory agencies into either a single integrated agency or into two semi-integrated agencies. The United States has resisted this trend, due in part to a concern that the costs of such significant consolidation would exceed its benefits. The existing studies that compare the costs of the consolidated regulators around the world with the United States regime have often been discounted because they have been unable to control for differences in culture and regulatory intensity between those other countries and the United States. This article attempts to address this ...


Gambling On Our Financial Future: How The Federal Government Fiddles While State Common Law Is A Safer Bet To Prevent Another Financial Collapse, Brian M. Mccall Dec 2013

Gambling On Our Financial Future: How The Federal Government Fiddles While State Common Law Is A Safer Bet To Prevent Another Financial Collapse, Brian M. Mccall

Brian M McCall

Many politicians and commentators agree that credit default swaps (CDS) played a significant role in the financial crisis of 2008. Yet, few who observe this role are aware that CDS were set loose on the economy by the federal pre-emption of thousands of years of public policy. Since the time of Aristotle law, philosophy and public policy have been hostile to gambling. Viewed as a socially unproductive zero sum wealth transfer, the law has generally refused to permit parties to use the courts to enforce wagers. Courts and legislatures worked in harmony to control and in some cases punish financial ...


Remic Tax Enforcement As Financial-Market Regulator, Bradley T. Borden, David J. Reiss Dec 2013

Remic Tax Enforcement As Financial-Market Regulator, Bradley T. Borden, David J. Reiss

David J Reiss

Lawmakers, prosecutors, homeowners, policymakers, investors, news media, scholars and other commentators have examined, litigated, and reported on numerous aspects of the 2008 Financial Crisis and the role that residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) played in that crisis. Big banks create RMBS by pooling mortgage notes into trusts and selling interests in those trusts as RMBS. Absent from prior work related to RMBS securitization is the tax treatment of RMBS mortgage-note pools and the critical role tax enforcement should play in ensuring the integrity of mortgage-note securitization.

This Article is the first to examine federal tax aspects of RMBS mortgage-note pools formed ...


E-Commerce And Electronic Payment System Risks: Lessons From Paypal, Lawrence J. Trautman Oct 2013

E-Commerce And Electronic Payment System Risks: Lessons From Paypal, Lawrence J. Trautman

Lawrence J. Trautman Sr.

What are the major risks perceived by those engaged in e-commerce and electronic payment systems? What development risks, if they become reality, may cause substantial increases in operating costs or threaten the very survival of the enterprise? This article utilizes the relevant annual report disclosures from eBay (parent of PayPal), along with other eBay and PayPal documents, as a potentially powerful teaching device. Most of the descriptive language to follow is excerpted directly from eBay’s regulatory filings. My additions include weaving these materials into a logical presentation and providing supplemental sources for those who desire a deeper look (usually ...


Surveillant And Counselor: A Reorientation In Compliance For Financial Firms, James A. Fanto Sep 2013

Surveillant And Counselor: A Reorientation In Compliance For Financial Firms, James A. Fanto

James A. Fanto

This Article argues that the compliance officer should play a major role in the ongoing reform of financial firms because compliance is now well established and accepted and compliance officers are close to decision-making at all levels of a firm. The contention is that the role of compliance must be rethought and reoriented if it is to contribute fully to the reform. Compliance officers now ensure that the firms and their employees comply with the numerous laws and regulations governing them and their activities, primarily by producing detailed compliance procedures and policies and then revising, and monitoring compliance with, them ...


Financial Armageddon Routs Law Again, Nicholas L. Georgakopoulos Aug 2013

Financial Armageddon Routs Law Again, Nicholas L. Georgakopoulos

Nicholas L Georgakopoulos

This essay, after highlighting the unique aspects of financial markets, offers a mostly rational account for financial crises, centering on the 2008 crisis as an example. The thesis is that market participants overestimate the duration of high productivity growth due to new technologies and produce occasional—and likely unavoidable—bubbles. Considering potential changes in the regulation of financial markets, the conclusion is grim. Regulators appear to have exhausted the effective legal levers against overestimations of continued high growth. The legislative responses to the last few crises were likely unproductive. The sole (but still unrealistic) effective protection would be the constitutional ...


Present At The Creation: Reflections On The Early Years Of The National Association Of Corporate Directors, Lawrence J. Trautman Jul 2013

Present At The Creation: Reflections On The Early Years Of The National Association Of Corporate Directors, Lawrence J. Trautman

Lawrence J. Trautman Sr.

Effective corporate governance is critical to the productive operation of the global economy and preservation of our way of life. Excellent governance execution is also required to achieve economic growth and robust job creation in any country. In the United States, the premier director membership organization is the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). Now over 36 years old, NACD plays a major role in fostering excellence in corporate governance in the United States and beyond. Over the past thirty-six years NACD has grown from a mere realization of the importance of corporate governance to become the only national membership ...


Will Law Firms Go Public?, Roberta S. Karmel Apr 2013

Will Law Firms Go Public?, Roberta S. Karmel

Roberta S. Karmel

Law in the United States is a big business and big law firms are a global business. Currently, under rules of the American Bar Association (ABA) and most states law, firms are not allowed either to include non-lawyers as partners or accept equity investments from non-lawyers. This Article will argue that (even if law firms retain the form of partnerships) they eventually will accept investments from third parties, and possibly even go public, but this development could lead to a loss of professionalism, as it has with other industries, and could also lead to the end of self-regulation. Among the ...


Transaction Cost-Benefit Analysis, With Applications To Financial Regulation, D. Bruce Johnsen Mar 2013

Transaction Cost-Benefit Analysis, With Applications To Financial Regulation, D. Bruce Johnsen

D. Bruce Johnsen

As Coase convincingly showed, transaction costs inhibit the ability of market participants to achieve first-best outcomes. This paper proposes a novel and relatively simple alternative to traditional cost-benefit analysis when regulated parties face sufficiently low transaction costs that they can bargain directly or rely on competitive markets to set efficient terms of trade. In these settings, the only informational burdens financial market regulators need bear to assess corrective rules is to identify the relevant parties, the “good” they hope to exchange, and the transaction costs that inhibit them from maximizing joint gains from trade. A rule is justified only if ...


The Stock Market Reaction To Class Action Filings Post Pslra, Mark S. Klock Feb 2013

The Stock Market Reaction To Class Action Filings Post Pslra, Mark S. Klock

Mark S Klock

Using a substantially larger sample than has been used before, and a sample that includes the Great Financial Crisis and its ensuing recession, I investigate the stock market reaction to securities class action filings following the enactment of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act through the first quarter of 2012. I find that on average, even after adjusting for market downturns, there is a statistically significant negative abnormal return at the time of filing. There is also a statistically significant negative abnormal return during the weeks preceding the filing indicating that the market partially, but not fully, anticipates these filings ...


Janus Capital Group, Inc. V. First Derivative Traders: The Culmination Of The Supreme Court’S Evolution From Liberal To Reactionary In Rule 10b-5 Actions, Charles W. Murdock Feb 2013

Janus Capital Group, Inc. V. First Derivative Traders: The Culmination Of The Supreme Court’S Evolution From Liberal To Reactionary In Rule 10b-5 Actions, Charles W. Murdock

Charles W. Murdock

“Political” decisions such as Citizens United and National Federation of Independent Business (“Obamacare”) reflect the reactionary bent of several Supreme Court justices. But this reactionary trend is discernible in other areas as well. With regard to Rule 10b-5, the Court has handed down a series of decisions that could be grouped into four trilogies. The article examines the trend over the past 40 years which has become increasingly conservative and finally reactionary.

The first trilogy was a liberal one, arguably overextending the scope of Rule 10b-5. This was followed by a conservative trilogy which put a brake on such extension ...