Monthly Archives: January 2014

Volcker Rule Final Regulations: Funds Flowcharts

Annette Nazareth is a partner in the Financial Institutions Group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and a former commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The following post is based on the overview of a Davis Polk client memorandum; the complete publication, including flowcharts, diagrams, tables, and timelines to illustrate key aspects of the Volcker Rule, is available here.

These Davis Polk flowcharts are designed to assist banking entities in identifying permissible and impermissible covered fund activities, investments and relationships under the final regulations implementing the Volcker Rule, issued by the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, SEC and CFTC on December 10, 2013.

The flowcharts graphically map the key elements of the covered fund provisions in the final regulations. An introduction to the new covered funds compliance requirements will also be available soon as a standalone module and in a single combined document.

READ MORE »

Volcker Rule Final Regulations: Proprietary Trading Overview

Annette Nazareth is a partner in the Financial Institutions Group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and a former commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The following post is based on the overview of a Davis Polk client memorandum; the complete publication, including flowcharts, diagrams, tables, and timelines to illustrate key aspects of the Volcker Rule, is available here.

These Davis Polk flowcharts are designed to assist banking entities in identifying permissible and impermissible proprietary trading activities under the final regulations implementing the Volcker Rule, issued by the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, SEC and CFTC on December 10, 2013. An introduction to the new compliance requirements is also included.

To make our summary and analysis of the final rules more user-friendly, these flowcharts graphically map the key restrictions on covered trading activities in lieu of a traditional law firm memo.

READ MORE »

Rethinking Basic

Lucian Bebchuk is William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor of Law, Economics, and Finance and Director of the Program on Corporate Governance, Harvard Law School. Allen Ferrell is Greenfield Professor of Securities Law, Harvard Law School. This post is based on their recent Harvard Law School Discussion Paper, Rethinking Basic, available here.

Next spring, in the Halliburton case, the United States Supreme Court is expected to reconsider the Basic ruling that, twenty-five years ago, adopted the fraud-on-the-market theory and has since facilitated securities class action litigation. In a Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper that we recently issued, Rethinking Basic, we seek to contribute to the expected reconsideration.

We show that, in contrast to claims made by the parties, the Justices need not assess the validity or scientific standing of the efficient market hypothesis; they need not, as it were, decide whether they find the view of Eugene Fama or Robert Shiller more persuasive. Class-wide reliance, we explain, should depend not on the “efficiency” of the market for the company’s security but on the existence of fraudulent distortion of the market price. Indeed, based on our review of the large body of research on market efficiency in financial economics, we show that, even fully accepting the views and evidence of market efficiency critics such as Professor Shiller, it is possible for market prices to be distorted by fraudulent disclosures. Conversely, even fully accepting the views and evidence of market efficiency supporters such as Professor Fama, it is possible for market prices not to be distorted by fraudulent disclosures. In short, even assuming the Court was somehow in a position to adjudicate the academic debate on market efficiency, market efficiency should not be the focus for determining class-wide reliance.

We put forward an alternative approach—focused on the existence of fraudulent distortion—to those advanced by petitioners and those opposing certiorari in Halliburton. We further discuss the analytical tools that would enable the federal courts to implement our alternative approach, as well as the allocation of the burden of proof. The proposed approach avoids reliance on the efficient market hypothesis and thereby avoids the problems with current judicial practice identified by petitioners (as well as those stressed by Justice White in his Basic opinion). It provides a coherent and implementable framework for identifying class-wide reliance in appropriate circumstances. It also has the virtue of focusing on the economic impact (if any) of the actual misstatements and omissions at issue, rather than general features of the securities markets.

Here is a more detailed overview of our paper and analysis:

READ MORE »

2013 Private Equity Year in Review

Andrew J. Nussbaum is a partner in the corporate department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. The following post is based on a Wachtell Lipton firm memorandum by Mr. Nussbaum, Steven A. Cohen, Amanda N. Persaud, and Joshua A. Feltman.

Private equity deal activity ebbed and flowed, often unexpectedly, in 2013. Despite some slow periods, strong debt and equity markets helped support first nine-months numbers that are well ahead of 2012, although Q4 2013 is unlikely to match Q4 2012, where activity was stimulated by anticipated changes in the tax laws. Successful sponsors again demonstrated their ability to perceive and exploit changing market conditions. Moreover, the private equity industry posted its best fundraising numbers in years. It was a year that showed that Semper Paratus may indeed be the industry’s new motto.

READ MORE »

SIFIs and States

The following post comes to us from Jay Lawrence Westbrook, Benno C. Schmidt Chair of Business Law at The University of Texas School of Law.

Today an enormous global civilization rests upon a jury-rigged financial frame rife with moral hazards, perverse incentives, and unintended consequences. This article, SIFIs and States, forthcoming in the Texas International Law Journal, addresses one aspect of that fragile structure. It argues for basic reform in the international management of financial institutions in distress, with a special emphasis on SIFIs (Systemically Important Financial Institutions). The goal is to examine public institutional arrangements for resolution of financial institutions in the midst of a crisis, rather than the substantive rules governing the resolution process. The proposition central to this article is that the resolution of major financial institutions in serious distress will generally require substantial infusions of public money, at least temporarily. The home jurisdiction for a given financial institution must furnish the bulk of the public funds necessary for the successful resolution of its financial distress. The positive effect is that other jurisdictions may be likely to acquiesce in the leadership of the funding jurisdiction in exchange for acceptance of that financial responsibility. On the other hand, acceptance of the funding obligation would have profound consequences for the state as well as the institution, because the default of a SIFI may threaten the financial stability of that state. Until the crisis of 2007-2008, all that was implicit and unexamined in the political process; to a large extent it remains so.

READ MORE »

Promoting Investor Protection in Small Business Capital Formation

Luis A. Aguilar is a Commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This post is based on Commissioner Aguilar’s remarks at a recent open meeting of the SEC; the full text, including footnotes, is available here. The views expressed in the post are those of Commissioner Aguilar and do not necessarily reflect those of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the other Commissioners, or the Staff.

Today [Dec. 18, 2013], the Commission proposes rules to implement Title IV of the JOBS Act. As mandated by that Act, the proposed rule would allow companies to issue a class of securities that are exempted from the registration and prospectus requirements of the Securities Act, provided that certain conditions are met. This is the third major rulemaking undertaken by the Commission to comply with the JOBS Act since its adoption last year.

Enhancements to Investor Protection under Regulation A-plus

The proposed rules being considered today enhance an existing exemptive regime known as Regulation A. Under the current provisions of Regulation A, companies can raise up to $5 million per year without registration, provided that they file an offering statement with the Commission containing certain required information and furnish an offering circular to purchasers, among other conditions.

READ MORE »

Fed Outlines Proposals to Limit Short-Term Wholesale Funding Risks

The following post comes to us from Derek M. Bush, partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, and is based on a Cleary Gottlieb memorandum by Mr. Bush, Katherine Carroll, Hugh C. Conroy, Jr., Allison H. Breault, and Patrick Fuller.

On November 22, 2013, Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo delivered a speech at the Americans for Financial Reform and Economic Policy Institute outlining a potential regulatory initiative to limit short-term wholesale funding risks. [1] This proposal could increase capital requirements for and apply additional prudential standards to firms dependent on short-term funding, with a focus on securities financing transactions (“SFTs”)—repos, reverse repos, securities borrowing/lending and securities margin lending.

READ MORE »

Delaware vs. New York Governing Law

Daniel Wolf is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis focusing on mergers and acquisitions. The following post is based on a Kirkland memorandum by Mr. Wolf and Matthew Solum. This post is part of the Delaware law series, which is cosponsored by the Forum and Corporation Service Company; links to other posts in the series are available here.

Among the many legalese-heavy paragraphs appearing under the “Miscellaneous” heading at the back of transaction agreements is a section that stipulates the laws of the state that will govern the purchase agreement as well as disputes relating to the deal. Often, it is coupled with a section that dictates which courts have jurisdiction over these disputes. While the state of incorporation or headquarters of one or both parties is sometimes selected, anecdotal as well as empirical evidence suggests that a healthy majority of larger transactions choose Delaware or New York law. Reasons cited include the significant number of companies incorporated in Delaware, the well-developed and therefore more predictable legal framework in these jurisdictions, the sophistication of the judiciary in these states, the perception of these being “neutral” jurisdictions in cases where each party might otherwise favor a “home” state, and the desired alignment with the governing law of related financing documents (usually New York).

READ MORE »

Page 6 of 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
  • Subscribe or Follow

  • Supported By:

  • Program on Corporate Governance Advisory Board

  • Programs Faculty & Senior Fellows