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Securities law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (Spacs) And The Sec, Neal Newman, Lawrence J. Trautman Oct 2022

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (Spacs) And The Sec, Neal Newman, Lawrence J. Trautman

Faculty Scholarship

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) are simply enterprises that raise money from the public with the intention of purchasing an existing business and becoming publicly traded in the securities markets. If the SPAC is successful in raising money and the acquisition takes place, the target company takes the SPAC’s place on a stock exchange in a transaction that resembles a public offering. Also known as “blank-check” or “reverse merger” companies, this process avoids many of the pitfalls of a traditional initial public offering.

During late 2020 and 2021 an unprecedented surge in the popularity and issuance of Special Purpose Acquisition …


Stewardship Theater, Jeff Schwartz Jan 2022

Stewardship Theater, Jeff Schwartz

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

Large asset managers like BlackRock and Vanguard have amassed staggering equity holdings. The voting rights that accompany these holdings give them enormous power over many of the world’s largest companies. This unprecedented concentration of influence in a small group of financial intermediaries is a pressing policy concern. While law and finance literature on the topic has recently exploded, no one has offered a satisfying theory to explain their voting behavior. Existing work tries to understand their approach to voting in conventional terms—as an attempt to improve the performance of portfolio firms—but this is not why large asset managers vote the …


The Breakdown Of The Public–Private Divide In Securities Law: Causes, Consequences, And Reforms, George S. Georgiev Oct 2021

The Breakdown Of The Public–Private Divide In Securities Law: Causes, Consequences, And Reforms, George S. Georgiev

Faculty Articles

As a regulatory scheme, U.S. securities law has traditionally been designed around a set of lines—the “public–private divide”—which separate public companies, public capital, and public markets, from private companies, private capital, and private markets. Until the early 2000s, the lines were successful in establishing two largely coherent legal realms—a highly regulated public realm and a lightly regulated private realm. A series of bold and often-inconsistent reforms between 2002 and 2020, however, have transformed this longstanding regime into a low-friction system wherein public capital flows to both public and private companies, private capital is ever more abundant, and firms can effectively …


The Future Of Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Aug 2021

The Future Of Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Articles

Since the enactment of the first federal securities statute in 1933, securities law has illustrated key shifts in the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence. During the New Deal, the Court’s securities law decisions shifted almost overnight from open hostility toward the newly-expanded administrative state to broad deference to agency expertise. In the 1940s, securities cases helped build the legal foundation for a broadly enabling administrative law. The 1960s saw the Warren Court creating new implied rights of action in securities law illustrative of the Court’s approach to statutes generally. The stage seemed set for the rise of “federal corporate law.” The Court …


The Growth Of Vancouver As An Innovation Hub: Challenges And Opportunities, Camden Hutchison, Li-Wen Lin Jan 2021

The Growth Of Vancouver As An Innovation Hub: Challenges And Opportunities, Camden Hutchison, Li-Wen Lin

All Faculty Publications

This article assesses the development of Vancouver as an entrepreneurial region. Using data collected from commercial startup databases, we find that Vancouver produces more startups and receives more venture capital financing per capita than any other major Canadian city. However, we also find that Vancouver lags many U.S. cities on these same metrics. In light of our empirical findings, we explore whether differences in entrepreneurial activity between Canada and the United States are due to differences in the countries’ legal environments. We conclude that legal differences do not explain observed economic disparities, and that differences in entrepreneurial activity are due …


Whitman And The Fiduciary Relationship Conundrum, Lisa Fairfax Nov 2020

Whitman And The Fiduciary Relationship Conundrum, Lisa Fairfax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

While the law on insider trading has been convoluted and, in Judge Jed S. Rakoff’s words, “topsy turvy,” the law on insider trading is supposedly clear on at least one point: insider trading liability is premised upon a fiduciary relationship. Thus, all three seminal U.S. Supreme Court cases articulating the necessary elements for demonstrating any form of insider trading liability under § 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 made crystal clear that a fiduciary relationship represented the lynchpin for such liability.

Alas, insider trading law is not clear about the source from which the fiduciary …


A Tale Of Two Cities: Mark Cuban, David Einhorn, And The Ethics Of Insider Trading Reform, John P. Anderson Jan 2020

A Tale Of Two Cities: Mark Cuban, David Einhorn, And The Ethics Of Insider Trading Reform, John P. Anderson

Journal Articles

The similarities between the insider trading stories of Mark Cuban and David Einhorn suggest that their circumstances are not uncommon, and the contrasting results also help to illustrate some significant differences between the common law fraud-based insider trading regime in the U.S. and the statutory parity-of-information regime in Europe. And, as Congress and the SEC continue to weigh the merits of reform in the U.S., the examples of Cuban and Einhorn are particularly instructive for the reasons to be developed in the remaining sections of this Article. First, as will be explained in Part II of this Article, contrasting the …


Insider Trading And Cryptoassets: The Waters Just Got Muddier, John P. Anderson Jan 2020

Insider Trading And Cryptoassets: The Waters Just Got Muddier, John P. Anderson

Journal Articles

The absence of any clear guidance on when a digital asset is a security is a problem that has ramifications far beyond this article’s limited focus on our insider trading enforcement regime. Nevertheless, I have argued that the impending application of our insider trading laws to cryptoassets helps to illustrate why it is unfair and unjust to force market participants to wait much longer for a definitive answer to the question of when a digital asset is a security.


De Facto Shareholder Primacy, Jeff Schwartz Jun 2019

De Facto Shareholder Primacy, Jeff Schwartz

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

For generations, scholars have debated the purpose of corporations. Should they maximize shareholder value or balance shareholder interests against the corporation’s broader social and economic impact? A longstanding and fundamental premise of this debate is that, ultimately, it is up to corporations to decide. But this understanding is obsolete. Securities law robs corporations of this choice. Once corporations go public, the securities laws effectively require that they maximize share price at the expense of all other goals. This Article is the first to identify the profound impact that the securities laws have on the purpose of public firms — a …


When Congress Acts: Judicial Procedural Innovation And The Pslra, Briana L. Rosenbaum Apr 2019

When Congress Acts: Judicial Procedural Innovation And The Pslra, Briana L. Rosenbaum

UTK Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Undoing A Deal With The Devil: Some Challenges For Congress's Proposed Reform Of Insider Trading Plans, John P. Anderson Jan 2019

Undoing A Deal With The Devil: Some Challenges For Congress's Proposed Reform Of Insider Trading Plans, John P. Anderson

Journal Articles

The adoption of Rule 10b5-1 was, in a manner of speaking, a deal with the devil that the SEC and some lawmakers now appear to regret having made. The problem is that, as is often the case with such a deal, it cannot be easily undone. I identify challenges presented by the restrictions on Trading Plan use that Congress has proposed in the Corporate Insiders Act. In light of these challenges, I argue that effective Trading Plan reform cannot be accomplished by simply restricting the use of Trading Plans while leaving Rule 10b5-1(b)'s awareness test in place. If there is …


Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas Jan 2019

Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

In response to a sharp increase in litigation challenging mergers, the Delaware Chancery Court issued the 2016 Trulia decision, which substantively reduced the attractiveness of Delaware as a forum for these suits. In this Article, we empirically assess the response of plaintiffs’ attorneys to these developments. Specifically, we document a troubling trend—the flight of merger litigation to federal court where these cases are overwhelmingly resolved through voluntary dismissals that provide no benefit to the plaintiff class but generate a payment to plaintiffs’ counsel in the form of a mootness fee. In 2018, for example, 77% of deals with litigation were …


Mootness Fees, Randall S. Thomas, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven D. Solomon Jan 2019

Mootness Fees, Randall S. Thomas, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven D. Solomon

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In response to a sharp increase in litigation challenging mergers, the Delaware Chancery Court issued the 2016 Trulia decision, which substantively reduced the attractiveness of Delaware as a forum for these suits. In this Article, we empirically assess the response of plaintiffs'attorneys to these developments. Specifically, we document a troubling trend-the flight of merger litigation to federal court where these cases are overwhelmingly resolved through voluntary dismissals that provide no benefit to the plaintiff class but generate a payment to plaintiffs'counsel in the form of a mootness fee. In 2018, for example, 77% of deals with litigation were challenged in …


Institutional Investors As Short Sellers?, Peter Molk, Frank Partnoy Jan 2019

Institutional Investors As Short Sellers?, Peter Molk, Frank Partnoy

UF Law Faculty Publications

Short selling has the potential to improve the efficiency and fairness of equity markets. Yet institutional investors face both private and regulatory constraints to short selling. We document these obstacles and consider the potential benefits of removing them. We advocate that institutional investors engage in more short selling as part of overall net-long equity strategies, such as a leveraged passive equity index combined with an actively managed short position of a size comparable to the amount of leverage.


The New Titans Of Wall Street: A Theoretical Framework For Passive Investors, Jill E. Fisch, Asaf Hamdani, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jan 2019

The New Titans Of Wall Street: A Theoretical Framework For Passive Investors, Jill E. Fisch, Asaf Hamdani, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

Passive investors — ETFs and index funds — are the most important development in modern day capital markets, dictating trillions of dollars in capital flows and increasingly owning much of corporate America. Neither the business model of passive funds, nor the way that they engage with their portfolio companies, however, is well understood, and misperceptions of both have led some commentators to call for passive investors to be subject to increased regulation and even disenfranchisement. Specifically, this literature takes a narrow view both of the market in which passive investors compete to manage customer funds and of passive investors’ participation …


The Problem Of Sunsets, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jan 2019

The Problem Of Sunsets, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

An increasing percentage of corporations are going public with dual class stock in which the shares owned by the founders or other corporate insiders have greater voting rights than the shares sold to public investors. Some commentators have criticized the dual class structure as unfair to public investors by reducing the accountability of insiders; others have defended the value of dual class in encouraging innovation by providing founders with insulation from market pressure that enables them to pursue their idiosyncratic vision.

The debate over whether dual class structures increase or decrease corporate value is, to date, unresolved. Empirical studies have …


Unintended Consequences: The Link Between Judge Friendly's Texas Gulf Sulphur Concurrence And Recent Supreme Court Decisions Misconstruing Rule 10b-5, Margaret V. Sachs Jan 2018

Unintended Consequences: The Link Between Judge Friendly's Texas Gulf Sulphur Concurrence And Recent Supreme Court Decisions Misconstruing Rule 10b-5, Margaret V. Sachs

Scholarly Works

In his Texas Gulf Sulphur concurrence, Judge Henry J. Friendly coun- seled the federal district courts concerning the numerous pending satellite class actions that had been filed under Section 10(b) of the Securities Ex- change Act and Rule 10b-5. In the course of so doing, he argued forcefully that private Rule 10b-5 litigation should be curtailed. Finding his argument convincing, the Supreme Court issued four major decisions restricting the Rule between 1975 and 1994, while nonetheless expanding it in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. Congress responded by blessing both aspects of the Court’s jurisprudence – imposing its own set of …


Corporate Governance, Capital Markets, And Securities Law, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2018

Corporate Governance, Capital Markets, And Securities Law, Adam C. Pritchard

Book Chapters

This chapter explores the dividing line between corporate governance and securities law from both historical and institutional perspectives. Section 2 examines the origins of the dividing line between securities law and corporate governance in the United States, as well as the efforts of the SEC to push against that boundary. That history sets the stage for section 3, which broadens the inquiry by examining the institutional connections between capital markets and corporate governance. Are there practical limits to the connection between securities law and corporate governance? The US again illustrates the point, as Congress has increasingly crossed the traditional boundary …


Dictation And Delegation In Securities Regulation, Usha Rodrigues Jan 2017

Dictation And Delegation In Securities Regulation, Usha Rodrigues

Scholarly Works

When Congress undertakes major financial reform, either it dictates the precise contours of the law itself or it delegates the bulk of the rulemaking to an administrative agency. This choice has critical consequences. Making the law self-executing in federal legislation is swift, not subject to administrative tinkering, and less vulnerable than rulemaking to judicial second-guessing. Agency action is, in contrast, deliberate, subject to ongoing bureaucratic fiddling and more vulnerable than statutes to judicial challenge.

This Article offers the first empirical analysis of the extent of congressional delegation in securities law from 1970 to the present day, examining nine pieces of …


When Does Corporate Criminal Liability For Insider Trading Make Sense?, John P. Anderson Jan 2016

When Does Corporate Criminal Liability For Insider Trading Make Sense?, John P. Anderson

Journal Articles

It is clear that not all insider trading is victimless, and not all employers of insider traders are innocent. But I am convinced that these critics are correct to point out that the current enforcement regime is absurdly overbroad in that it affords no principled guarantee to corporate victims of insider trading that they will not be indicted for the crimes perpetrated against them. The law should be reformed to ensure that corporations are only held criminally liable where they are guilty of some wrongdoing.


Family Ties: Salman And The Scope Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2016

Family Ties: Salman And The Scope Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

On October 5, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Salman v. United States. Salman raises questions about the scope of insider trading liability for tippees under the personal benefit test previously articulated in Dirks v. SEC. Some critics have argued the Second Circuit’s decision last year in United States v. Newman demonstrates that the personal benefit test is unduly restrictive and should be reconsidered. Salman offers an opportunity for the Supreme Court to do so.

This essay argues that Salman does not require the Court to reexamine the parameters of insider trading liability. Instead, the Court can …


Anticipating A Sea Change For Insider Trading Law: From Trading Plan Crisis To Rational Reform, John P. Anderson Jan 2015

Anticipating A Sea Change For Insider Trading Law: From Trading Plan Crisis To Rational Reform, John P. Anderson

Journal Articles

The Securities and Exchange Commission is poised to take action in the face of compelling evidence that corporate insiders are availing themselves of rule-sanctioned Trading Plans to beat the market. These Trading Plans allow insiders to trade while aware of material nonpublic information. Since the market advantage insiders have enjoyed from Plan trading can be traced to loopholes in the current regulatory scheme, increased enforcement of the existing rules cannot address the issue. But, simply tweaking the existing rule structure to close these loopholes would not work either. This is because the SEC adopted the current rule as a part …


What’S The Harm In Issuer-Licensed Insider Trading?, John P. Anderson Jan 2015

What’S The Harm In Issuer-Licensed Insider Trading?, John P. Anderson

Journal Articles

There is growing support for the claim that issuer-licensed insider trading (when the insider’s firm approves the trade in advance and has disclosed that it permits such trading pursuant to published guidelines) is economically efficient and morally harmless. But for the last thirty-five years, many scholars and the U.S. Supreme Court have relied on Professor William Wang’s “Law of Conservation of Securities” to rebut claims that insider trading can be victimless. This law is purported to show that every act of insider trading, even those licensed by the issuer, causes an identifiable harm to someone. This article argues that the …


Justice Scalia's Hat Trick And The Supreme Court's Flawed Understanding Of Twenty-First Century Arbitration, Jill I. Gross Jan 2015

Justice Scalia's Hat Trick And The Supreme Court's Flawed Understanding Of Twenty-First Century Arbitration, Jill I. Gross

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

In this article, I report on the results of my close examination of more than two dozen opinions the Court has handed down interpreting the FAA--arising primarily from commercial, consumer, employment, or securities disputes--since the beginning of the twenty-first century only fifteen years ago.19 I focus on cases in which the Court was asked to decide a question of arbitrability--whether a claim is arbitrable or whether an agreement to arbitrate is enforceable under FAA section 2. I have concluded that these decisions are built on a narrative of an arbitration process that no longer exists, although it may have existed …


Brief Of Professors At Law And Business Schools As Amici Curiae In Support Of Respondents, Omnicare, Inc., Et Al., Petitioners, V. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, Et Al., Respondents, No. 13-435 (S. Ct. Sept. 2, 2014), Joan M. Heminway, J. Robert Brown, Celia Taylor, Lyman P.Q. Johnson Sep 2014

Brief Of Professors At Law And Business Schools As Amici Curiae In Support Of Respondents, Omnicare, Inc., Et Al., Petitioners, V. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, Et Al., Respondents, No. 13-435 (S. Ct. Sept. 2, 2014), Joan M. Heminway, J. Robert Brown, Celia Taylor, Lyman P.Q. Johnson

UTK Law Faculty Publications

This Amicus Brief was filed on behalf of more than 20 law and business faculty in a case arising under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933. The issue framed by the parties sought to define the test for establishing the falsity of an opinion that was not subjectively believed. The statement at issue involved representations that contracts were legally valid. The Brief took the position that the statement was not an opinion. A representation about the legal validity of contracts, like other matters of present fact, can be false on the date made. Nonetheless, a speaker may express …


Greed, Envy, And The Criminalization Of Insider Trading, John P. Anderson Jan 2014

Greed, Envy, And The Criminalization Of Insider Trading, John P. Anderson

Journal Articles

In October 2011, a U.S. district court sentenced Raj Rajaratnam to eleven years in federal prison for insider trading. This is the longest sentence for insider trading in U.S. history, but it is significantly less than the nineteen to twenty-four-year term requested by the government. Such harsh prison terms (equal in some cases to those meted out for murder or rape) require sound justification in a liberal society. Yet jurists, politicians, and scholars have failed to offer a clear articulation of either the economic harm or the moral wrong committed by the insider trader. This Article looks to fill this …


Securities Law's Dirty Little Secret, Usha Rodrigues May 2013

Securities Law's Dirty Little Secret, Usha Rodrigues

Scholarly Works

Securities law’s dirty little secret is that rich investors have access to special kinds of investments—hedge funds, private equity, private companies—that everyone else does not. This disparity stems from the fact that, from its inception, federal securities law has jealously guarded the manner in which firms can sell shares to the general public. Perhaps paternalistically, the law assumes that the average investor needs the protection of the full panoply of securities regulation and thus should be limited to buying public securities. In contrast, accredited—i.e., wealthy— investors, who it is presumed can fend for themselves, have the luxury of choosing between …


In Search Of Safe Harbor: Suggestions For The New Rule 506(C), Usha Rodrigues May 2013

In Search Of Safe Harbor: Suggestions For The New Rule 506(C), Usha Rodrigues

Scholarly Works

I devote most of this essay to exploring how, exactly, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) should go about providing guidelines to implement the statutory requirement that issuers have a reasonable belief that a purchaser is accredited. The SEC has proposed rules, but these rules merely restate what Congress has already required, thus sidestepping Congress’s direction that the agency itself articulate some verification methods. Taking the SEC’s decidedly amorphous proposal to task, I recommend that the SEC offer two nonexclusive safe harbors for issuers to guide them in determining whether a natural person is an accredited investor. The paragraphs below …


Striking The Right Balance: Investor And Consumer Protection In The New Financial Marketplace: Introduction, Lisa Fairfax, Arthur E. Wilmarth Jr Apr 2013

Striking The Right Balance: Investor And Consumer Protection In The New Financial Marketplace: Introduction, Lisa Fairfax, Arthur E. Wilmarth Jr

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

On March 2, 2012, The George Washington University Law School's Center for Law, Economics & Finance and The George Washington Law Review jointly hosted a symposium entitled "Striking the Right Balance: Investor and Consumer Protection in the New Financial Marketplace."' The symposium focused on two principal topics. First, participants analyzed the impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank") on investors and consumers in three areas of federal regulation-securities markets, derivatives markets, and consumer financial products. Second, the symposium evaluated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ("Sarbanes-Oxley") on its tenth anniversary and considered whether Sarbanes-Oxley's legacy might …


Investment Company As Instrument: The Limitations Of The Corporate Governance Regulatory Paradigm, Anita Krug Jan 2013

Investment Company As Instrument: The Limitations Of The Corporate Governance Regulatory Paradigm, Anita Krug

All Faculty Scholarship

U.S. regulation of public investment companies (such as mutual funds) is based on a notion that, from a governance perspective, investment companies are simply another type of business enterprise, not substantially different from companies that produce goods or provide (noninvestment) services. In other words, investment company regulation is founded on what this Article calls a “corporate governance paradigm,” in that it provides a significant regulatory role for boards of directors, as the traditional governance mechanism in business enterprises, and is “entity centric,” focusing on intraentity relationships to the exclusion of superentity ones. This Article argues that corporate governance norms, which …