"Rule 10b-5(b), promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the aegis of section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), renders it unlawful "[t]o make any untrue statement of a material fact . . . in connection with the purchase or sale of any security." 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5(b). The issue before us is one of first impression. It turns on the meaning of the word "make" as used in Rule 10b-5(b). The SEC advocates an expansive definition, contending that one may "make" a statement within the purview of the rule by merely using or disseminating a statement without regard to the authorship of that statement or, in the alternative, that securities professionals who direct the offering and sale of shares on behalf of an underwriter impliedly "make" a statement, covered by the rule, to the effect that the disclosures in a prospectus are truthful and complete.
We reject the SEC's expansive interpretation. It is inconsistent with the text of the rule and with the ordinary meanings of the phrase "to make a statement," inconsistent with the structure of the rule and relevant statutes, and in considerable tension with Supreme Court precedent. Consequently, we affirm the district court's dismissal of the SEC's Rule 10b-5(b) claim."
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