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Securities law

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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 ...


Whitman And The Fiduciary Relationship Conundrum, Lisa Fairfax Nov 2020

Whitman And The Fiduciary Relationship Conundrum, Lisa Fairfax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 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 ...


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 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 ...


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 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 in the ...


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 ...


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 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 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 ...


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 ...


A Theory Of Preferred Stock, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter Jan 2013

A Theory Of Preferred Stock, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Gender And Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Lyman P.Q. Johnson, Michelle Harner, Jason A. Cantone Jan 2012

Gender And Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Lyman P.Q. Johnson, Michelle Harner, Jason A. Cantone

Scholarly Articles

The 2010 appointment of Elena Kagan to the United States Supreme Court meant that, for the first time, three female justices would serve together on that court. Less clear is whether Justice Kagan’s gender will really matter in how she votes as a justice. This question is an especially visible aspect of a larger issue: do female judges display gendered voting patterns in the cases that come before them?

This article makes a novel contribution to the growing literature on female voting patterns. We investigated whether female justices on the United States Supreme Court voted differently than, or otherwise ...


Gender And Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Lyman Johnson, Michelle M. Harner, Jason A. Cantone Jan 2012

Gender And Securities Law In The Supreme Court, Lyman Johnson, Michelle M. Harner, Jason A. Cantone

Faculty Scholarship

The 2010 appointment of Elena Kagan to the United States Supreme Court meant that, for the first time, three female justices would serve together on that court. Less clear is whether Justice Kagan’s gender will really matter in how she votes as a justice. This question is an especially visible aspect of a larger issue: do female judges display gendered voting patterns in the cases that come before them?

This article makes a novel contribution to the growing literature on female voting patterns. We investigated whether female justices on the United States Supreme Court voted differently than, or otherwise ...


Implementing Dodd-Frank: A Review Of The Cftc‟S Rulemaking Process: Testimony, Michael Greenberger Apr 2011

Implementing Dodd-Frank: A Review Of The Cftc‟S Rulemaking Process: Testimony, Michael Greenberger

Congressional Testimony

The Relationship of Unregulated OTC Derivatives to the Meltdown. It is now accepted wisdom that it was the non-transparent, poorly capitalized, and almost wholly unregulated over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives market that lit the fuse that exploded the highly vulnerable worldwide economy in the fall of 2008. Because tens of trillions of dollars of these financial products were pegged to the economic performance of an overheated and highly inflated housing market, the sudden collapse of that market triggered under-capitalized or non-capitalized OTC derivative guarantees of the subprime housing investments. Moreover, the many undercapitalized insurers of that collapsing market had other multi-trillion dollar ...


Securities Law Research, Adeen Postar Apr 2011

Securities Law Research, Adeen Postar

Research Guides

This research guide provides an overview of resources and search strategies for researching Securities Law: primary and secondary materials, specialized databases, and government websites. It also identifies sources for researching case law.


Implementation Of Title Vii Of The Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act. Hearing Before The United States Senate, Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition And Forestry - 112th Cong., 1st Sess., Michael Greenberger Mar 2011

Implementation Of Title Vii Of The Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act. Hearing Before The United States Senate, Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition And Forestry - 112th Cong., 1st Sess., Michael Greenberger

Congressional Testimony

The Relationship of Unregulated OTC Derivatives to the Meltdown. It is now accepted wisdom that it was the non-transparent, poorly capitalized, and almost wholly unregulated over-the-counter (―OTC‖) derivatives market that lit the fuse that exploded the highly vulnerable worldwide economy in the fall of 2008. Because tens of trillions of dollars of these financial products were pegged to the economic performance of an overheated and highly inflated housing market, the sudden collapse of that market triggered under-capitalized or non-capitalized OTC derivative guarantees of the subprime housing investments. Moreover, the many undercapitalized insurers of that collapsing market had other multi-trillion dollar ...


An Inquiry Into The Perception Of Materiality As An Element Of Scienter Under Sec Rule 10b-5, Allan Horwich Jan 2011

An Inquiry Into The Perception Of Materiality As An Element Of Scienter Under Sec Rule 10b-5, Allan Horwich

Faculty Working Papers

In any private action or enforcement proceeding based on SEC Rule 10b-5 the plaintiff, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, must prove that the defendant engaged in deception or manipulation with scienter, that is, an intent to deceive (which lower courts have held encompasses reckless conduct). Where the gravamen of the claim is deception, the deception must have been material. A fact, including forward-looking information, is material if there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable shareholder would consider the fact important in making his investment decision. This Article demonstrates that in an appropriate case an assessment of whether the ...