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Securities Law

2017

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Unicorn Governance Trap, Renee M. Jones Dec 2017

The Unicorn Governance Trap, Renee M. Jones

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The recent trend of large-scale start-up companies delaying an IPO creates a new kind of corporate governance problem. The prevalence of “unicorns” – privately held companies with market valuations of $1 billion or more – means the disciplinary mechanisms on which investors traditionally relied no longer function to prevent misconduct or mismanagement by unicorn founders. High profile frauds by unicorns like Zenefits and Theranos, and the recent travails of Uber highlight the need to rethink unicorn governance structure. These burgeoning controversies call for reconsideration of legal reforms that allow unicorns to remain for protracted periods in an ill-defined limbo between private and ...


At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke Dec 2017

At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This Article explores how host governments’ legal obligations can affect or constrain their ability to address “land grievances,” which are defined as concerns raised by local individuals or communities in response to negative impacts of land-based investments. Obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, and investor-state contracts can be in tension or can directly conflict with one another, creating complexity for governments seeking to respond to land grievances. To explore the legal considerations that governments must navigate in this context, this Article considers several options that governments could pursue to respond to land grievances. In all of the ...


Ccsi Submission To Un Special Rapporteur On Extreme Poverty Re: United States Country Visit, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Dec 2017

Ccsi Submission To Un Special Rapporteur On Extreme Poverty Re: United States Country Visit, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, will conduct a country visit to the United States in December 2017. In response to his call for input, CCSI sent a submission focused the United States’ role in the international investment regime, and the United States’ international investment agreements (IIAs), noting that the IIAs to which the US is a party raise tensions, and can potentially create conflicts, with the US’s human rights obligations, including those that apply extraterritorially, and exacerbate conditions of poverty, extreme poverty and inequality.


Crowdfunding Signals, Darian M. Ibrahim Nov 2017

Crowdfunding Signals, Darian M. Ibrahim

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard Nov 2017

Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using a sample of all companies named as defendants in securities class actions between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008, we study parallel suits relying on state corporate law arising out of the same allegations as the securities class actions. We test several ways that parallel suits may add value to a securities class action. Most parallel suits target cases involving obvious indicia of wrongdoing. Moreover, we find that although a modest percentage of parallel suits are filed first, over 80 percent are filed after a securities class action (termed “follow-on” parallel suits). We find that parallel suits and ...


Green Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries, Lise Johnson Oct 2017

Green Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The message is by now clear: our global economy must be fundamentally reoriented and redeployed in order to achieve the SDGs and the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. This requires action by all stakeholders, including non-financial and financial firms, debt and equity investors, government policymakers, and consumers. In terms of the amount of money required, it has been estimated that meeting the SDGs will require $5 to $7 trillion annually, with investment needs for developing countries amounting to roughly $3.3 to $4.5 trillion per year. While a big picture view of and strategic thinking regarding the entire ...


India’S Revised Model Bit: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?, Jesse Coleman, Kanika Gupta Oct 2017

India’S Revised Model Bit: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?, Jesse Coleman, Kanika Gupta

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In December 2015, the Indian government approved the final text of its revised model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). Shortly thereafter, in February 2016, India published a joint interpretative statement to clarify its understanding of certain treaty provisions found in existing Indian treaties. These recent developments in Indian investment treaty policy are products of a multi-year review process ,prompted at least in part by the 2011 finding against India in the White Industries claim - the first such known finding against the state – and by several notices of dispute received following the determination in that case.


Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum Oct 2017

Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

When a local asset (or a right relating to such asset) is sold, a country will generally have jurisdiction to levy a capital gains tax on the sale, both under domestic law and international treaty. This is called taxation of a “direct” transfer of a local asset. However, taxation becomes increasingly complicated when a company located offshore owns the local asset. Further difficulties arise when the local asset is held by a chain of corporations located in tax havens. An “indirect” transfer occurs when the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in ...


230+ Law And Economics Professors Urge President To Remove Isds From Nafta, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Oct 2017

230+ Law And Economics Professors Urge President To Remove Isds From Nafta, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI helped launch a letter signed by over 230 law and economics professors urging President Trump to remove ISDS provisions from NAFTA. As the letter notes, the ISDS mechanism “undermines the important roles of our domestic and democratic institutions, threatens domestic sovereignty, and weakens the rule of law.” The letter builds upon the center’s past work, including a similar letter published last year calling on Congress to reject the Trans Pacific Partnership for its inclusion of ISDS, and broader analyses of both the threat that ISDS poses to domestic US law and of the ISDS provisions that were included ...


The Tax Treatment Of Tokens: What Does It Betoken?, David J. Shakow Aug 2017

The Tax Treatment Of Tokens: What Does It Betoken?, David J. Shakow

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Digital tokens have been used to raise substantial amounts of money. But little attention has been paid to the tax consequences surrounding their issuance and sale. There are significant potential tax liabilities lurking in the use of digital tokens. But, because of the anonymity inherent in the blockchain structures used for the issuance of tokens and payments for them, there is a significant question as to whether those tax liabilities will ever be collected.


Private Enforcement Of Company Law And Securities Regulation In Korea, Hwa-Jin Kim Aug 2017

Private Enforcement Of Company Law And Securities Regulation In Korea, Hwa-Jin Kim

Book Chapters

This chapter offers a brief overview of the private enforcement of corporate law and securities regulation in Korea, with particular reference to the current legislative efforts in the Korean National Assembly and recent court cases. This chapter also talks about Korea’s ill-fated and misguided adoption of the fraud-on-the-market theory in securities fraud litigation.


Stock Market Futurism, Merritt Fox, Gabriel Rauterberg Jul 2017

Stock Market Futurism, Merritt Fox, Gabriel Rauterberg

Articles

The U.S. stock market is undergoing extraordinary upheaval. The approval of the application of the Investors Exchange (IEX) to become the nation's newest stock exchange, including its famous "speed bump," was one of the SEC's most controversial decisions in decades. Other exchanges have proposed a raft of new innovations in its wake. This evolving equity market is a critical piece of national infrastructure, but the regulatory scheme for its institutions is increasingly frayed. In particular, current regulation draws sharp distinctions among different kinds of markets for trading stocks, treating stock exchanges as self-regulatory organizations immune from private ...


Evaluating Stock-Trading Practices And Their Regulation, Merritt B. Fox, Kevin S. Haeberle Jul 2017

Evaluating Stock-Trading Practices And Their Regulation, Merritt B. Fox, Kevin S. Haeberle

Faculty Publications

High-frequency trading, dark pools, and the practices associated with them have come under tremendous scrutiny lately, giving rise to much hot rhetoric. Missing from the discussion, however, is a principled, comprehensive standard for evaluating such practices and the law that governs them. This Article fills that gap by providing a general framework for making serious normative judgments about stock-trading behavior and its regulation. In particular, we argue that such practices and laws should be evaluated with an eye to the secondary trading market's impact on four main aspects of our economy: the use of existing productive capacity, the allocation ...


Discrimination Platforms, Kevin S. Haeberle Jul 2017

Discrimination Platforms, Kevin S. Haeberle

Faculty Publications

Off-exchange trading today has become defined by its opacity. Indeed, the framing of this symposium on What Happens in the Dark: An Exploration of Dark Pools and High Frequency Trading and its goal of "exam[ing] a portion of the modern market that remains largely outside of the public eye"l is much in line with contemporary thinking in policymaking, academic, and industry circles alike. Yet, off-exchange trading through "dark" pools and the like is far more transparent than thought, and exchange trading the opposite. In fact, much trading through off-exchange platforms is even more transparent than that facilitated by ...


Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jul 2017

Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Comments to USTR Re: Review of US Trade and Investment Agreements (July 17, 2017): CCSI, in response to the United States Trade Representative’s request for public comment to inform its performance review of US trade and investment agreements, submitted Comments that focused on the impact that investment protection provisions, enforceable through investor-state dispute settlement, have on rights-compliant, inclusive sustainable development within the United States and abroad.


Rest In Peace, Rule 505, Wendy Gerwick Couture Jul 2017

Rest In Peace, Rule 505, Wendy Gerwick Couture

Articles

After 37 years in existence,1 the Rule 505 exemption from registration has been repealed, effective May 22, 2017. This essay reviews the evolution of Rule 505 over its lifetime; examines Rule 505’s role within Regulation D and analyzes why that role eventually became obsolete; and argues that Rule 505 leaves behind a legacy that should continue to inform policy discussions about exemptions from registration.


How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano Jun 2017

How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. These concepts are linked. The urgency of addressing climate change is critical for global efforts to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development, but also climate-change mitigation must be pursued in a manner consistent with ending poverty, promoting economic development, respecting human rights, and ensuring social inclusion. CCSI and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have published a briefing note summarizing the ways in which international oil and gas companies can help expand ...


Reconceptualizing The Whistleblower's Dilemma, Miriam Baer Jun 2017

Reconceptualizing The Whistleblower's Dilemma, Miriam Baer

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Case For Federal Preemption Of State Blue Sky Laws, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr. May 2017

The Case For Federal Preemption Of State Blue Sky Laws, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr.

Law Faculty Popular Media

In our market economy, imposing rules on capital formation makes economic sense. Well-constructed rules regarding capital formation can promote the efficient flow of capital to its highest and best use and prevent or ameliorate fraud or unfairness to investors. These rules, however, generate additional offering costs that may retard or in some cases completely choke off the flow of capital from investors to businesses. The problem with state blue sky laws is their registration requirements, which significantly impede efficient capital formation and provide no material economic or societal benefits, such as protection of investors from fraud.


Lead Plaintiffs And Their Lawyers: Mission Accomplished, Or More To Be Done?, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen Choi May 2017

Lead Plaintiffs And Their Lawyers: Mission Accomplished, Or More To Be Done?, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen Choi

Law & Economics Working Papers

This chapter, written for the Research Handbook on Shareholder Litigation, surveys empirical work studying the lead plaintiff provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA). That work finds that the lead plaintiff provision has encouraged institutional investors to participate in securities class actions and that those institutional investors have negotiated lower attorneys' fees. Those benefits from the lead plaintiff provision are undercut, however, by political contributions made by plaintiffs' lawyers. We suggest additional reforms to promote transparency and competition among lawyers for lead plaintiffs. We also suggest reforms to the lead plaintiff provision intended to enhance the screening effect ...


Who Bleeds When The Wolves Bite? A Flesh-And-Blood Perspective On Hedge Fund Activism And Our Strange Corporate Governance System, Leo E. Strine Jr. Apr 2017

Who Bleeds When The Wolves Bite? A Flesh-And-Blood Perspective On Hedge Fund Activism And Our Strange Corporate Governance System, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper examines the effects of hedge fund activism and so-called wolf pack activity on the ordinary human beings—the human investors—who fund our capital markets but who, as indirect of owners of corporate equity, have only limited direct power to ensure that the capital they contribute is deployed to serve their welfare and in turn the broader social good.

Most human investors in fact depend much more on their labor than on their equity for their wealth and therefore care deeply about whether our corporate governance system creates incentives for corporations to create and sustain jobs for them ...


The Impact Of Recent Sec Financial Reporting Probes On Shareholder Wealth: Companies, Competitors, And Consequences, Stephen Warde Apr 2017

The Impact Of Recent Sec Financial Reporting Probes On Shareholder Wealth: Companies, Competitors, And Consequences, Stephen Warde

Honors Projects in Finance

During an undergraduate college career, an accounting major devotes a great part of his or her time to learning how publicly traded businesses prepare financial statements in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and federal securities laws. These accounting principles, standards, and procedures are ultimately enforced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to protect investors, uphold fair markets, and promote public trust in the capital market system. To fulfill its mission, the SEC Division of Enforcement conducts investigations into possible violations of the federal securities laws and administers enforcement actions. Naturally, SEC investigations and the anticipation ...


American Pipe Tolling, Statutes Of Repose, And Protective Filings: An Empirical Study, David Freeman Engstrom, Jonah B. Gelbach Mar 2017

American Pipe Tolling, Statutes Of Repose, And Protective Filings: An Empirical Study, David Freeman Engstrom, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper offers a conceptual and empirical analysis of a key issue that overhangs CalPERS v. ANZ Securities, soon to be decided by the Supreme Court. In particular, the paper offers an empirical estimate of the plausible quantity of wasteful protective filings that putative class members might make if the Court were to hold that American Pipe tolling does not apply to statutes of repose in the federal securities laws.


The Case For Federal Pre-Emption Of State Blue Sky Laws, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr. Mar 2017

The Case For Federal Pre-Emption Of State Blue Sky Laws, Rutheford B. Campbell Jr.

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

State blue sky laws—state laws that regulate a company’s offer and sale of securities—are a substantial barrier to businesses’ efficient access to external capital. The registration provisions in state blue sky laws have been especially harmful to small businesses, a vital component of our economy that may account for 30% of the nation’s employment. The costs associated with complying with more than fifty separate and independent obligations to register securities often exceed what small businesses can pay and thus may foreclose small businesses from the capital market. At the same time, requiring small businesses to comply ...


Articulating A Rights-Based Argument For Land Contract Disclosure, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Articulating A Rights-Based Argument For Land Contract Disclosure, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017, CCSI presented a working paper titled "Articulating a Rights-Basted Argument for Land Contract Disclosure" at the World Bank Land & Poverty Conference. The paper explores whether and how existing state obligations under human rights law require disclosure of land contracts and more transparent contracting processes around land investments. It focuses on the extent to which guidelines for responsible land-based investment, which encourage greater transparency, reflect existing host and home state obligations. Based on a review of relevant human rights law and authoritative interpretations thereof, the paper articulates rights-based arguments for land contract disclosure, based in particular on rights ...


Public Consultation On A Multilateral Reform Of Investment Dispute Settlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Mar 2017

Public Consultation On A Multilateral Reform Of Investment Dispute Settlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017 CCSI made a submission to the European Commission (EC) in response to its “Public consultation on a multilateral reform of investment dispute settlement.” CCSI’s submission consisted of a response to the form questionnaire created by the EC and a supplementary “Position Paper” to explain in greater depth CCSI’s views on the EC’s proposed Multilateral Investment Court (MIC).

In its Position Paper, CCSI emphasizes the importance of international investment and international law to sustainable development objectives. The submission stresses, however, that the EC’s proposed MIC does not address, and therefore does not remedy, the ...


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low-and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based investments, such as agricultural or forestry projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This has serious implications for requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly important in situations in which investor-state contracts grant the investor rights to lands or resources over which the community has legitimate claims.

The paper explores how consultation and FPIC processes can be integrated into ...


The Settlement Of Investment Disputes: A Discussion Of Democratic Accountability And The Public Interest, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven Mar 2017

The Settlement Of Investment Disputes: A Discussion Of Democratic Accountability And The Public Interest, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In this briefing note, CCSI considers the threats to principles of good governance, including government accountability, respect for the rule of law, transparency, and respect for citizens’ rights and interests under domestic law and international human rights norms, that are posed by the settlement of treaty-based investor-state disputes. The authors also consider the exacerbated threats posed by the settlement of disputes that include government counterclaims, and highlight the need for the ISDS reform agenda to include a focus on these issues.


Submission Regarding Amendments To The Icsid Arbitration Rules, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Mar 2017

Submission Regarding Amendments To The Icsid Arbitration Rules, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017, CCSI submitted comments to the ICSID Secretariat regarding proposed revisions to ICSID’s arbitration rules. CCSI’s submission provided illustrative suggestions for amendments regarding the following issues: recognizing and safeguarding of the rights and interests of non-parties; improving transparency of the dispute resolution process; promoting transparency of ownership over investments; preventing actual and apparent conflicts of interest; addressing concerns raised by third-party funding; ensuring legitimacy of settlement agreements; and ensuring legitimacy of the rule revision process itself.


Taft V. Bowers: The Foundation For Non-Recognition Provisions In The Income Tax, James R. Repetti Feb 2017

Taft V. Bowers: The Foundation For Non-Recognition Provisions In The Income Tax, James R. Repetti

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Taft v. Bowers is a Supreme Court decision that is rarely studied in law schools or discussed by scholars. Yet, it is a case of vast significance. In the Taft decision, the Supreme Court confirmed that Congress may create non-recognition exceptions to the income tax that merely defer the recognition of income, rather than permanently exclude it. If the Taft case had been decided differently, it is likely that the number of non-recognition provisions in the Internal Revenue Code ("Code") would be significantly reduced.