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Securities Law

2019

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Compliance Officers: Personal Liability, Protections, And Posture, Jennifer M. Pacella Dec 2019

Compliance Officers: Personal Liability, Protections, And Posture, Jennifer M. Pacella

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

This Symposium Article will explore the evolving nature of the regulatory and enforcement landscape as it pertains to compliance officers, specifically regarding their susceptibility to personal liability. It will examine the posture of compliance officers in three contexts: i) as a possible target for enforcement activity by regulators; ii) as a quasi-professional subject to a current regime of “non-regulation”; and iii) as an employee in need of ample whistleblower protections, each of which create implications for a compliance officer’s risk of personal liability and protections as a constituent of the organization monitored. After considering the current guidance surrounding enforcement activity …


Artificial Intelligence & Artificial Prices: Safeguarding Securities Markets From Manipulation By Non-Human Actors, Daniel W. Slemmer Dec 2019

Artificial Intelligence & Artificial Prices: Safeguarding Securities Markets From Manipulation By Non-Human Actors, Daniel W. Slemmer

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

Securities traders are currently competing to use Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in order to make more profitable decisions in the marketplace. While A.I. provides superior abilities in recognizing market patterns, its complexity can obscure its decision-making process beyond human comprehension. Problematically, the current securities laws prohibiting manipulation of securities prices rest liability for violations on a trader’s intent. In order to prepare for A.I. market participants, both courts and regulators need to accept that human concepts of decision-making will be inadequate in regulating A.I. behavior. However, the wealth of case law in the market manipulation doctrine need not be cast aside. …


Aligning Investment Treaties With Sustainable Development Goals, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs, Nathan Lobel Dec 2019

Aligning Investment Treaties With Sustainable Development Goals, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs, Nathan Lobel

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Policy makers and other stakeholders are currently asking fundamental questions about whether and to what extent international investment agreements (IIAs) are consistent with and are helping to advance sustainable development objectives at home and abroad.

A 2019 paper from CCSI examines the alignment of IIAs with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, arguing that while FDI will play an important role in advancing development outcomes, existing treaties must be reformed and future IIAs reimagined in order to achieve deep alignment with the sustainable development goals.

The paper proposes that IIAs should be designed and evaluated with respect to their ability to …


A Practice Worth Ending: Eps Guidance Harming Long-Term Growth, Rachel G. Miller Dec 2019

A Practice Worth Ending: Eps Guidance Harming Long-Term Growth, Rachel G. Miller

Notre Dame Law Review

This Note focuses on one factor—earnings per share (EPS) guidance—that contributes to myopic behavior and short-termism within public companies. Part I discusses the history of the shareholder primacy norm and the need for management to act in the best interest of its shareholders. Additionally, this Part provides background on EPS guidance and the notion of short-termism. Part II lays out a framework for quarterly reporting and argues that the current disclosure requirements should remain intact. This Part addresses the importance of frequency in quarterly reporting and provides two examples—the United Kingdom and Regulation A—of practices with longer reporting frequencies that …


Index Funds And The Future Of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence, And Policy, Scott Hirst, Lucian Bebchuk Dec 2019

Index Funds And The Future Of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence, And Policy, Scott Hirst, Lucian Bebchuk

Faculty Scholarship

Index funds own an increasingly large proportion of American public companies. The stewardship decisions of index fund managers—how they monitor, vote, and engage with their portfolio companies—can be expected to have a profound impact on the governance and performance of public companies and the economy. Understanding index fund stewardship, and how policymaking can improve it, is thus critical for corporate law scholarship. In this Article we contribute to such understanding by providing a comprehensive theoretical, empirical, and policy analysis of index fund stewardship.

We begin by putting forward an agency-costs theory of index fund incentives. Stewardship decisions by index funds …


Equitable Fraud And Double Liability Of A Debtor Following Notice Of Equitable Assignment Of The Debt, Chee Ho Tham Dec 2019

Equitable Fraud And Double Liability Of A Debtor Following Notice Of Equitable Assignment Of The Debt, Chee Ho Tham

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

‘Equitable fraud’ is broader in its conception than fraud at common law. Notwithstanding ambiguities as to its precise boundaries, equitable fraud can help explain why a debtor who tenders payment to his or her creditor, despite having received notice that the money debt had been equitably assigned to an assignee, may be ordered to make payment to the assignee if the creditor-assignor were to abscond with the sums tendered, leaving the assignee out of pocket. Such liability can be explained on grounds of the debtor having committed a form of equitable fraud by dishonestly assisting in the creditor-assignor’s breach of …


Watching Insider Trading Law Wobble: Obus, Newman, Salman, Two Martomas, And A Blaszczak, Donald C. Langevoort Nov 2019

Watching Insider Trading Law Wobble: Obus, Newman, Salman, Two Martomas, And A Blaszczak, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

“The crime of insider trading,” Judge Jed Rakoff has said, “is a straightforward concept that some courts have managed to complicate.” In the last eight years or so, insider trading law has wobbled visibly (in the Second Circuit in particular) in applying the standard for tipper-tippee liability originally set in the Supreme Court’s Dirks decision in 1983: from Obus (2012) to Newman (2014), with a detour to the Supreme Court in Salman (2016), and then two Martoma opinions (2017 and 2018). Most recently, the court of appeals offered what to many was a major surprise in its Blaszczak …


Social Activism Through Shareholder Activism, Lisa M. Fairfax Nov 2019

Social Activism Through Shareholder Activism, Lisa M. Fairfax

Washington and Lee Law Review

This article is based on the author's keynote address at the 2018-2019 Lara D. Gass Annual Symposium: Civil Rights and Shareholder Activism at Washington and Lee University School of Law, February 15, 2019.

In 1952, the SEC altered the shareholder proposal rule to exclude proposals made “primarily for the purpose of promoting general economic, political, racial, religious, social or similar causes.” The SEC did not reference civil rights activist James Peck or otherwise acknowledge that its actions were prompted by Peck’s 1951 shareholder proposal to Greyhound for desegregating seating. Instead, the SEC indicated that its change simply reflected a codification …


Chancery’S Greatest Decision: Historical Insights On Civil Rights And The Future Of Shareholder Activism, Omari Scott Simmons Nov 2019

Chancery’S Greatest Decision: Historical Insights On Civil Rights And The Future Of Shareholder Activism, Omari Scott Simmons

Washington and Lee Law Review

This article builds upon the author's remarks at the 2018-2019 Lara D. Gass Annual Symposium: Civil Rights and Shareholder Activism at Washington and Lee University School of Law, February 15, 2019.

Shareholder activism—using an equity stake in a corporation to influence management—has become a popular tool to effectuate social change in the twenty-first century. Increasingly, activists are looking beyond financial performance to demand better corporate performance in such areas as economic inequality, civil rights, human rights, discrimination, and diversity. These efforts take many forms: publicity campaigns, litigation, proxy battles, shareholder resolutions, and negotiations with corporate management. However, a consensus on …


From Public Policy To Materiality: Non-Financial Reporting, Shareholder Engagement, And Rule 14a-8’S Ordinary Business Exception, Virginia Harper Ho Nov 2019

From Public Policy To Materiality: Non-Financial Reporting, Shareholder Engagement, And Rule 14a-8’S Ordinary Business Exception, Virginia Harper Ho

Washington and Lee Law Review

This article builds upon the author's remarks at the 2018-2019 Lara D. Gass Annual Symposium: Civil Rights and Shareholder Activism at Washington and Lee University School of Law, February 15, 2019.

In 2017, shareholder proposals urging corporate boards to report on their climate-related risk made headlines when they earned majority support from investors at ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, and PPL. The key to this historic vote was the support of Blackrock, State Street, and Vanguard, which broke with management and cast their votes behind the proposals. The 2018 proxy season saw several more climate-related proposals earn majority support, and in 2018 …


Abolish Ice . . . And Then What?, Peter L. Markowitz Nov 2019

Abolish Ice . . . And Then What?, Peter L. Markowitz

Faculty Articles

In recent years, activists and then politicians began calling for the abolition of the United States’s interior immigration-enforcement agency: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Many people have misinterpreted the call to “Abolish ICE” as merely a spontaneous rhetorical device used to express outrage at the current Administration’s brutal immigration policies. In fact, abolishing ICE is the natural extension of years of thoughtful organizing by a loose coalition of grassroots immigrant-rights groups. These organizations are serious, not only about their literal goal to eliminate the agency, but also about not replacing it with another dedicated agency of immigration police. Accordingly, …


Legal Frameworks & Foreign Investment: A Primer On Governments’ Obligations, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rumbidzaii Mawen Nov 2019

Legal Frameworks & Foreign Investment: A Primer On Governments’ Obligations, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rumbidzaii Mawen

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Legal frameworks, and how they interact, are often invisible in the day to day. Yet they are powerful forces that influence government actions and that help to shape who benefits and who loses from foreign investment. Understanding these legal frameworks, and how they interact, is critical for anyone concerned with how foreign investment can be better harnessed to support, rather than weaken, sustainable development and human rights.

This primer provides a brief overview of host government obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, domestic law, and relevant investor-state contracts. It also highlights some of the ways in which …


Inconsistency's Many Forms In Investor-State Dispute Settlement And Implications For Reform, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs Nov 2019

Inconsistency's Many Forms In Investor-State Dispute Settlement And Implications For Reform, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Attracting investment in agriculture has been a key policy goal of governments in the global south. Development partners have supported these policies. But what do governments hope to achieve by attracting investment in the agricultural sector? Why are companies interested in investing? What is in it for local communities? And what is the role of lawyers? This primer provides an introduction to some of the key issues that arise in the negotiation of contracts linked to investments in agriculture, and practical guidance for how to approach common issues. Section 1 of this primer outlines the typical goals of three important …


Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2019

Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

On September 27th, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Landesa, the New York City Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee, and Wake Forest Law School hosted a day-long conference on the intersection between land use, the climate crisis and clean energy transition, and human rights.

Held at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, the conference brought together individuals from civil society organizations, governments, and academia, as well as lawyers, climate scientists, land-rights experts, indigenous representatives and other stakeholder groups. The panelists analyzed the critical role that land plays in …


Securing Adequate Legal Defense In Proceedings Under International Investment Agreements: A Scoping Study, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven Nov 2019

Securing Adequate Legal Defense In Proceedings Under International Investment Agreements: A Scoping Study, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI prepared a Scoping Study for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Also available are:

  • A summary version of the study (33 pages)
  • A webinar (March 24, 2020), hosted by CCSI and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, discussed the Scoping Study and its findings (see also accompanying slides with speaking notes).
  • A webinar organized by UNCITRAL (April 21, 2020). CCSI presented the Scoping Study. A video link of the webinar along with CCSI’s slides are available in English (with speaking notes) and French at that link. CCSI Senior Fellow Karl Sauvant also presented his UNCITRAL …


Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine The Right To A Healthy Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill Nov 2019

Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine The Right To A Healthy Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Our planet faces unprecedented threats, including irreversible global warming, loss in biodiversity, and water pollution and water scarcity. The impacts of these environmental crises also threaten human rights and exacerbate inequality. Slowing these worsening environmental trends – and addressing the impacts of environmental change on populations – will require cumulative policy responses at the national and international level.


Oversight Failure In Securities Markets, Yesha Yadav Nov 2019

Oversight Failure In Securities Markets, Yesha Yadav

Cornell Law Review

According to statute, securities exchanges play an essential role in ensuring compliance with applicable laws and industry standards. Long imagined as unique in their institutional capacity to bring traders together, collect information and exclude problem participants from the marketplace, exchanges have offered an efficient source of private discipline for public regulators. The classic conception of the exchange, however, no longer holds true in today's markets. Rather than concentrate activity within a handful of exchanges, equity markets are fragmented across a network of thirteen exchanges and around forty lightly regulated, off-exchange alternative venues (colloquially, "dark pools"). This Article shows that the …


Information Asymmetry And The Protection Of Ordinary Investors, Kevin S. Haeberle Nov 2019

Information Asymmetry And The Protection Of Ordinary Investors, Kevin S. Haeberle

Faculty Publications

To some, the reductions in information asymmetry provided by the main securities-specific disclosure, fraud, and insider-trading laws help ordinary investors in meaningful ways. To others, whatever their larger social value, such reductions do little, if anything for these investors. For decades, these two sides of this investor-protection divide have mostly talked past each other.

This Article builds on economic theory to reveal something striking: The reductions in information asymmetry provided by the core securities laws likely impose a long-overlooked cost on buy-and-hold ordinary investors. More specifically, I explain why there is much reason to believe that the reductions take away …


Calculating Sec Whistleblower Awards: A Theoretical Approach, Amanda M. Rose Nov 2019

Calculating Sec Whistleblower Awards: A Theoretical Approach, Amanda M. Rose

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Dodd-Frank Act provides that Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) whistleblower awards must equal not less than ten and not more than thirty percent of the monetary penalties collected in the action to which they relate; SEC Rule 21F-6 provides criteria that the SEC may consider in determining the award percentage within the statutory bounds. When applying the Rule 21F-6 criteria, the SEC is required to think only in percentage terms, ignoring the dollar payout the award will actually yield. Last June, the SEC proposed to change this, at least in cases where the existing methodology would yield an award …


After Corwin: Down The Controlling Shareholder Rabbit Hole, Ann M. Lipton Nov 2019

After Corwin: Down The Controlling Shareholder Rabbit Hole, Ann M. Lipton

Vanderbilt Law Review

As Delaware has developed its doctrine with respect to controlling shareholders, its view of their relationship to directors has evolved. This evolution has produced some pronounced inconsistencies with respect to the weight placed on director approval of controlling shareholder action. The recent Delaware Supreme Court decisions in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, Kahn v. M & F Worldwide Corp., and C & J Energy Services, Inc. v. City of Miami General Employees’ and Sanitation Employees’ Retirement Trust introduced further uncertainty into the mix by making the determination as to whether a transaction involves a controlling shareholder practically outcome determinative …


The Social Costs Of Dividends And Share Repurchases, J.B. Heaton Oct 2019

The Social Costs Of Dividends And Share Repurchases, J.B. Heaton

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

A long-held view in the academy is that shareholders are "residual claimants” in the sense that shareholders are paid in full only after the corporation pays its creditors. The reality on the ground is far different. Corporations give assets away to their shareholders long before they have satisfied creditors, both voluntary contract creditors and involuntary tort creditors. In particular, existing U.S. corporate and voidable transfer laws allow corporations to pay dividends and make share repurchases up to the point where the corporation is insolvent or nearly so. Voluntary creditors can limit dividends and share repurchases by contract, but involuntary creditors …


Crashing The Boards: A Comparative Analysis Of The Boxing Out Of Women On Boards In The United States And Canada, Diana C. Nicholls Mutter Oct 2019

Crashing The Boards: A Comparative Analysis Of The Boxing Out Of Women On Boards In The United States And Canada, Diana C. Nicholls Mutter

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

This paper will first provide a critical, comparative look at the Canadian and the federal American responses to the under-representation of women on boards of large, publicly traded corporations. There will be a discussion about the competing conceptions which emerge in addressing the regulation of women on boards in the United States and Canada and why each jurisdiction implemented its policy when it did. The conceptions arising out of questions about under-representation of women on boards tend to fall within two categories: business case rationales and normative rationales. Given the competing conceptions of this issue, this paper will attempt to …


Cacs And Doorknobs, Anna Gelpern, Jeromin Zettelmeyer Oct 2019

Cacs And Doorknobs, Anna Gelpern, Jeromin Zettelmeyer

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In response to debt crises, policy makers often feature Collective Action Clauses (CACs) in sovereign bonds among the pillars of international financial architecture. However, the content of official pronouncements about CACs suggests that CACs are more like doorknobs: a process tool with limited impact on the incidence or ultimate outcome of a debt restructuring. We ask whether CACs are welfare improving and, if so, whether they are pillars or doorknobs. The history of CACs in corporate debt suggests that CACs can be good, bad or unimportant depending on their vulnerability to abuse and the available alternatives, including bankruptcy and debt …


Direct Listing: How Spotify Is Streaming On The Nyse And Why The Sec Should Press Play, Cody L. Lipke Oct 2019

Direct Listing: How Spotify Is Streaming On The Nyse And Why The Sec Should Press Play, Cody L. Lipke

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

This Note proposes that given Spotify’s successful launch on the NYSE, direct listings will become increasingly popular—primarily for start-ups but also as an exit strategy for VC and PE firms in their nonpublic investments. Part II of this Note will discuss the process of “going public” via an IPO or a direct listing. Part III will use Spotify as an illustrative example of the direct listing process. Part IV will consider the advantages and disadvantages of direct listing. Part V will conclude that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or the Commission) should embrace the direct listing process and will …


Agricultural Investments: A Primer For Host Government Lawyers And Local Lawyers In Private Practice, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye Oct 2019

Agricultural Investments: A Primer For Host Government Lawyers And Local Lawyers In Private Practice, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Attracting investment in agriculture has been a key policy goal of governments in the global south. Development partners have supported these policies. But what do governments hope to achieve by attracting investment in the agricultural sector? Why are companies interested in investing? What is in it for local communities? And what is the role of lawyers? This primer provides an introduction to some of the key issues that arise in the negotiation of contracts linked to investments in agriculture, and practical guidance for how to approach common issues. Section 1 of this primer outlines the typical goals of three important …


Linkages To The Mining Sector In Colombia, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano Oct 2019

Linkages To The Mining Sector In Colombia, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

At the request of the Colombian Government and with the support of GIZ, CCSI prepared a policy brief focused on linkages from the mining sector in Colombia. The brief gives an overview of existing regulatory requirements, government policies and company programs to foster economic and infrastructure linkages. Based on the findings, the brief provides suggestions for next steps if the government is to develop a more comprehensive linkage creation program.


Securities Regulation, Dale H. Lastman Oct 2019

Securities Regulation, Dale H. Lastman

Osgoode Course Casebooks

Course code: 2620.3


A New System Of Electronic Chattel Paper: Notification Of Assignment, Thomas E. Plank Oct 2019

A New System Of Electronic Chattel Paper: Notification Of Assignment, Thomas E. Plank

South Carolina Law Review

No abstract provided.


Breaking Up The Focus On Relationships For Nonpecuniary Insider Trading Personal Benefits, Bradley Larkin Oct 2019

Breaking Up The Focus On Relationships For Nonpecuniary Insider Trading Personal Benefits, Bradley Larkin

Fordham Law Review

In 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted the “personal benefit” requirement as an objective test for insider trading to help determine when confidential information is tipped for an improper purpose. Under this test, a tipper acts improperly by receiving a personal benefit for sharing confidential, nonpublic information, even if the tipper does not trade using the information. For instance, when a tipper leaks confidential information to a trading friend or relative, the tipper benefits personally because this amounts to trading on the confidential information and then gifting the profits. The personal benefit requirement is applied differently among the circuits, however, …


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Sep 2019

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.