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Global Financial Markets Insight

Change continues to be the main theme running through Summer 2014. There is the usual raft of new regulations to contend with but also welcome noises from policy makers including the European Central Bank and the Bank of...more

CFTC Removes Hurdle From JOBS Act Advertising

On September 9, 2014, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an exemptive letter [1] (the JOBS Act Exemptive Letter) for private fund managers relying...more

SEC Sends A Message — To Executives And Their Companies

In October 2013, SEC Chair Mary Jo White gave a speech at the Securities Enforcement Forum in which she declared an “enforcement mission” of the SEC to be implementation of the “broken windows” theory of crime deterrence...more

Did the Summer Shine any Light on Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Land?

The summer saw a significant new development in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) whistleblower bounty program but failed to see any development on obtaining clarification as to the reach of the Dodd-Frank...more

NASDAQ Proposes The Adoption Of A New All-Inclusive Annual Listing Fee

On August 26, 2014, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) certain proposed amendments to the NASDAQ Stock Market Rules (the “Amendments”) to provide for, among...more

CME Group Adopts New Disruptive Trading Practices Rule

On August 28, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, New York Mercantile Exchange and Commodity Exchange, Inc. (Exchanges) notified the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that they have adopted a new Rule...more

SEC Adopts Credit Rating Agency Reform Rules

On August 27, 2014, the SEC adopted new rules for credit rating agencies implementing 14 rulemaking requirements under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). The new rules are designed...more

SEC Staff Grants Relief for Adjustment to Mutual Fund Subadvisory Fee Without Shareholder Approval

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management (the “Staff”) granted no-action relief for the implementation of an adjustment in the fee paid by a mutual fund’s adviser to the fund’s subadviser, without shareholder...more

SEC Proceedings Against IAs Center On Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest are at the center of two administrative proceedings recently instituted by the SEC. One involved the failure to adequately disclose the conflict. The other focuses on a failure to institute appropriate...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

In the roll-up to the Labor Day weekend, the SEC issued new rules regarding asset backed securities and credit rating agencies. The Commission also announced a new pilot program on tick size....more

SEC Settles with Dually Registered Adviser Over Best Execution, Disclosure and Principal Transactions

The SEC settled administrative proceedings against an investment adviser, Dominick & Dominick LLC, a firm registered with the SEC both as an investment adviser and a broker-dealer (the “Adviser” or “D&D”), and Robert X....more

The SEC Tackles Technicality

Within several months of Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White’s announcement in late 2013 of a commitment to improving the SEC’s trial readiness, the Commission suffered a number of losses in federal...more

Judge Rakoff’s “Sour Grapes”: SEC v. Citigroup Settlement Approved

On August 5, 2014, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff reluctantly approved a$285 million settlement in the SEC’s enforcement action against Citigroup. In SEC v. Citigroup, the SEC alleged that after Citigroup realized in early...more

SEC Brings Another Bond Case Against A State

The SEC’s nationwide review of municipal bond disclosures yielded another enforcement action, this time against the state of Kanas. The Order centers on claims that the state failed to disclose its huge unfunded pension...more

SEC Commissioner Objects to Retroactive Application of Dodd-Frank Bars

Commissioner Gallagher recently filed this opinion dissenting in part with respect to In the Matter of John W. Lawton. The matter arose out of the alleged misconduct of respondent John W. Lawton, who purportedly committed...more

SEC Gives Itself the Home Court Advantage in an Accounting Fraud / Internal Controls Action Against a Corporate CEO

An otherwise mundane SEC announcement on July 30, 2014 of an enforcement action charging a public company CEO and CFO with accounting fraud and internal controls violations is significant because the SEC is proceeding against...more

Stacking the Deck: SEC’s Use of Administrative Proceedings

The SEC has a real perception problem. They cannot win in court. Whether this is fair or not, the SEC needs to move beyond this fear of losing since it only undermines the integrity of its enforcement program....more

Guns and More Guns: SEC Hits Smith & Wesson for FCPA Violations

One thing the SEC likes to do is bring cases with a lot of deterrent value. That is, cases that it hopes will scare other people and companies into complying with the law. Often that means cases with large price tags...more

U.S. Brokers Doing Business Overseas

Recently, regulators have made inquiries about the lawfulness of U.S. brokerage firms soliciting foreign clients. The regulators want to know under what exemptions or rules U.S. firms can do business overseas. This is a new...more

When is a Consultant an Executive Officer? – SEC Brings Another Case

The SEC has instituted administrative proceedings against a registrant and others alleging that two individuals with prior law violations secretly controlled the operational and management decisions of the registrant while...more

Second Circuit Overturns District Court’s Rejection of SEC-Citigroup Fraud Settlement

In a closely-watched decision involving judicial review of agency settlements, the Unites States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated United States District Court Judge Jed Rakoff’s 2011 order rejecting a proposed...more

The Second Circuit And The Separation Of Powers: Limiting Judicial Scrutiny Of SEC Settlements

On June 4, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a widely publicized 2011 decision by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, which rejected a settlement between the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 3, 2014)

In a holiday shortened week, dark pools were again a focus for regulators. This week FINRA sanctioned Goldman Sachs in connection with the operation of its dark pool....more

Patience is a Virtue: District Court Suggests that the SEC “Wait and See” Before Seeking Certain No-Admit, No-Deny Settlements

On June 18, 2014, Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved the SEC’s no-admit, no-deny consent decrees in its insider trading case against CR Intrinsic Investors, LLC and...more

Bitcoin Investment Vehicles Beware – The SEC is Watching

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently charged the co-owner of two Bitcoin-related websites for publicly offering shares in the ventures without registering the securities under the Securities Act of 1933 (the...more

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