Today we continue our bi-weekly installment shining a light on the best of the corporate and securities blogosphere. Highlights include SEC focus on private equity, the downside of activist investing, shady corporate ethics and more. If there are any corporate or securities blogs you think should be highlighted by our Top 5, please comment on this post and we’ll check them out!
1) Cady Bar the Door: SEC Enforcement Coming to a Private Equity Firm Near You - Bruce Karpati, chief of the SEC’s Asset Management Unit, recently spoke at the Private Equity International Conference in New York, and opened a window into the Unit’s views toward the industry. According to David Smyth’s post detailing the speech, watch out, because the SEC is coming.
2) HLS Forum on Corporate Governance & Financial Regulation: Bite the Apple; Poison the Apple; Paralyze the Company; Wreck the Economy - In this scathing post, Martin Lipton argues that there is a misuse of shareholder power caused by institutional investors who now own more than 70% of the shares of the major public companies. Lipton argues that activist investors are seeking short term profit while sacrificing the long term prospects of companies. He specifically calls out Harvard Law Professor Lucian Bebchuk who leads a cohort of academics who have embraced the concept of “shareholder democracy.”
3) The Green Mien: Behind the Brands Report Confirms That Corporations Will Never Be Cool - The human rights organization Oxfam International released a cool interactive report this month titled “Behind the Brands,” which gives a grim behind-the-logo peek at the shady ethics of such beloved international corporations as Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestle, Kellogg’s and Pepsi, among others. In this post, Kyle Hargus discusses the report’s less than inspiring findings.
4) The Race to the Bottom: Amicus Briefs Filed in Conflicts Minerals Case Provide Multiple Arguments Against the Rule - Amicus briefs are being filed in the case challenging Section 1502 of Dodd-Frank and the SEC rule implementing that section also known as the “conflict minerals rule.” The briefs all allege that the SEC failed to conduct sufficient analysis of the impact of the conflict minerals rule, as required by law, but assert very different arguments as to why the analysis was insufficient. In this post, Celia Taylor details the briefs.
5) SEC Actions: Two FCPA Cases; One Win for the SEC, One Loss; the Limits of Jurisdiction - A key focus of the New Era of FCPA enforcement is the prosecution of individuals. Enforcement officials have repeatedly emphasized the necessity of bringing actions against individuals as well as business organizations. At the same time some have criticized enforcement officials for not bringing more FCPA actions against individuals. In this post, Tom Gorman discusses two recent rulings in SEC FCPA cases that highlight the difficulty of such actions and the edge of personal jurisdiction.