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News & Analysis as of

BOEM’s “Proposed Guidance” Shakes Up the Agency’s Supplemental Bonding Requirements

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) has backed away from its proposed rulemaking regarding financial assurance requirements for the Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”). On August 19, 2014, BOEM published an Advance...more

Investing Wisely: Employers Need to Monitor 401(k) Plan Fees

Costly lawsuits filed by employees against their employers come in several varieties, including lawsuits alleging liability because of an employer’s handling of its employee benefit plans. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme...more

What's Driving Record M&A Activity — And Will It Continue?

Corporate America just can't spend its hoarded piles of cash savings fast enough. Climbing out of the deep hole of the most recent recession, big corporate America is now fast and furiously looking for ways to spend its cash...more

Cornerstone Report Describes Securities Class Action Litigation Shift Toward West Coast and Smaller Public Companies

Recently, Cornerstone Research, an economic and financial consultancy, released its mid-year report on federal securities class action filings. Cornerstone reported that 85 of these lawsuits were filed in the first half of...more

Proxy Access In The 2015 Season

Rhonda Brauer is a senior managing director of corporate governance at Georgeson Inc. where she helps companies enhance their shareholder communications and analyze their governance practices. She recently joined Latham &...more

Judge Berman Deflates SEC’s ALJ Appointment Process

United States District Court Judge Richard M. Berman of the Southern District of New York has been making headlines in recent weeks as he presides over the highly publicized case between the National Football League (“NFL”)...more

SDNY Enjoins SEC From Pursuing Administrative Hearing on Constitutional Grounds: Setback for Enforcement Strategy

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York, in Duka v. SEC, 15 Civ. 357, has preliminarily enjoined the SEC from pursuing a pending administrative hearing against Barbara Duka, a former managing director at...more

Second Federal Judge Enjoins “Likely Unconstitutional” SEC Admin Actions

Manhattan federal Judge Richard Berman yesterday (August 12) issued a preliminary injunction halting the SEC’s administrative action against former S&P executive Barbara Duka, holding the SEC’s in-house courts were “likely...more

SEC Removes Duka ALJ After Refusing No-Bias Affidavit in Timbervest

The SEC’s administrative forum has been under increasing scrutiny over the past year. Now the SEC has removed an ALJ from a high-profile case, after he refused the Commission’s “invitation” to provide a no-bias affidavit in...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Bonus Indexed Annuity Delivers Exactly What was Promised

Observing that it "delivered precisely what it promised," the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment for an insurer in a case alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt...more

Rating Agency Developments

On June 1, DBRS released its RMBS Insight 1.2: U.S. Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Model and Rating Methodology. On June 1, Fitch released its U.S. RMBS Surveillance and Re-REMIC Criteria. On June 1, Moody’s issued...more

Stock Repurchases: “We Can’t Think Of Anything Better To Do With Your Money”

The Wall Street Journal took aim yesterday at stock repurchases and dividend payments, citing a commissioned study that concluded: “companies in the S&P 500 index sharply increased their spending on dividends and...more

Quarterly Investment Update – 1st Quarter 2015

Stock Market Commentary - Despite the stock market's nearly 6% surge in February following a bumpy January, March brought heightened volatility, which nearly dissolved the year-to-date gains. The S&P 500 finished the...more

SDNY Judge Deals Rejects Constitutional Challenge to SEC’s Use of Administrative Proceedings

A former executive of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services has lost an early constitutional challenge to the SEC’s use of administrative proceedings....more

Rating Agency Developments

On April 7, DBRS released its Cash Flow Assumptions for Corporate Credit Securitizations Methodology. On April 7, DBRS released its Rating CLOs and CDOs of Large Corporate Credit Methodology. On April 7, Fitch released its...more

RMBS Claims Against Ratings Agencies Dismissed as Time-Barred

On March 27, 2015 Judge John Robert Blakely of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC’s and Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.’s motion to dismiss claims...more

Rating Agency Developments

On March 25, S&P released its updated criteria for rating government-related entities. On March 25, Fitch released its updated criteria for rating commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) in Asia-Pacific (APAC), including...more

Rating Agency Developments

On March 6, Fitch revised its criteria for rating granular corporate balance-sheet securitizations (SME CLOs). On March 5, Moody’s revised its global approach to data quality evaluation. On March 3, Kroll released CMBS...more

S&P Settles RMBS Lawsuits for $1.375 Billion

On February 2, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services settled claims brought by the Department of Justice, 19 states and the District of Columbia related to credit ratings it issued and maintained for RMBS and CDOs before the...more

Credit Crunch Digest - January 2015

In This Issue: - Libor and Foreign Exchange Litigation - Litigation and Regulatory Investigations - Government and Regulatory Intervention - Excerpt from Libor and Foreign Exchange...more

S&P’s $1.4BN Settlement with DOJ and State AGs on RMBS/CDO Ratings

On February 3, the Department of Justice and 19 State Attorneys General announced their $1.375 Billion settlement of DOJ’s FIRREA suit and related State AG actions against Standard & Poor’s and its parent McGraw-Hill...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The DOJ’s settlement with S&P for $1.4 billion, coupled with admissions of fact, made headlines this week. The settlement was joined by 19 states and the District of Columbia. The DOJ and the states will essentially split the...more

Huge Settlements Between S&P, Government

2015 is leaving Standard and Poor’s (S&P) quite a bit poorer. Yesterday, the major credit rating agency agreed to pay $1.375 billion to resolve lawsuits brought against it by the U.S. Department of Justice and attorney...more

S&P Settles Market Crisis Actions With DOJ, States

The Department of Justice, in conjunction with 19 states and the District of Columbia, resolved market crisis era suits in a $1.375 billion settlement. The DOJ suit named as defendants rating agency Standard & Poor’s...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

CFTC Issues No-Action Relief to Certain Introducing Brokers - On January 23, 2015 the CFTC Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight issued no-action relief to certain introducing brokers (IBs) with respect to...more

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