If you have not yet seen SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee’s speech delivered last week to the PLI’s annual Institute on Securities Litigation, you should take a few minutes and read what she had to say. In her November 5, 2020 speech, which can be found here, Lee warns that climate change represents a “systemic risk” to markets, the financial system, and our economy. After noting that climate change presents an even greater risk of “grave human and economic costs” than we experienced in the pandemic — and urging that we should learn the lessons that the pandemic presents — she calls for a coordinated effort to create uniform climate change reporting and disclosure standards to ensure that investors and markets are better informed about the risks that climate change represents.
Continue Reading Climate Change as a “Systemic Risk”: Markets, Regulation, and Disclosure

Fines and other recoveries in SEC enforcement action hit record levels during the agency’s fiscal year ended September 30, 2020, even as pandemic-related work closures dampened the number of enforcement actions the agency was able to file, according to the SEC Enforcement Division’s annual report released Monday. The SEC scored a record total of $4.6 billion in recoveries, largely as a result of big fines and disgorgements in a few large matters, while the 405 new standalone enforcement actions the agency filed was the lowest number in six years. The Enforcement Division’s annual report can be found here. The agency’s November 2, 2020 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading Despite COVID-19 Disruptions, SEC Recoveries at Record Levels in FY 2020

In November, when the SEC released its annual enforcement activity report, the report showed that during the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2018 both the volume of the agency’s enforcement activity and the level of financial recoveries increased compared to the prior fiscal year. The agency’s report did not separate out its enforcement activity involving public companies. However, a new report from the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business and Cornerstone Research breaks out the enforcement numbers for public companies. The new report show that SEC enforcement actions against public companies and subsidiaries “jumped substantially” in the second half of FY 2018, reversing a decline in filings that began in the second half of 2017 and continued through the first half of 2018.
Continue Reading SEC Enforcement Activity Against Public Companies Surges in FY 2018’s Second Half

The rise of financial technology (fintech) is rapidly changing the financial services industry, in the U.S., in the U.K. and elsewhere. But with the rise of fintech also has come increasing regulation. Among the regulatory regimes applicable to fintech sector is the EU’s Payment Services Directive (PSD), designed among other things to provide certain consumer protections. A Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) came into force on January 13, 2018. In the following guest post, Karen Boto, a Legal Director at Clyde & Co law firm, takes a look at PSD2 and considers that insurance challenges the revised regulatory regime presents. A version of this article was previously published as a Clyde & Co client alert. I would like to thank Karen for allowing me to publish her article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Karen’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: PSD2: A New Era for Banking?

John Reed Stark

One of the most significant recent developments in the financial world has been the sudden proliferation of cryptocurrencies. The quick rise of digital currencies seemingly caught regulators by surprise; regulatory action and involvement was slow to develop. But as John Reed Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, documents in the following guest post, U.S. regulators have heard the bell and are now rising to action, and for good reason. A version of this article previously appeared on Cybersecurity Docket. I would like to thank John for his willingness to allow me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit and article. Here is John’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Why the Crypto-Enforcement Onslaught by U.S. Regulators Has Just Begun

Among the many problems that have come to light in the current cryptocurrency craze have been problems relating to celebrity endorsements for initial coin offerings (ICO). In the following guest post, John Reed Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, reviews the highest profile examples of cryptocurrency celebrity endorsements, and then proposes a list of cryptocurrency caveats, for celebrities and for everyone else as well. A version of this article originally appeared on Cybersecurity Docket. I would like to thank John for his willingness to allow me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is John’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Ten Crypto-Caveats Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled Should Have Heard From Their Lawyers