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Joe Mont


Recent Articles

To Tweet or Not to Tweet? The SEC Has Some New Guidance

April 23, 2014

New guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission says that hyperlinks can be used when character counts on Twitter or other social media sites don't provide enough room for issuers to otherwise provide required disclaimers and disclosures to investors and potential investors.

Rethinking the Role of Free Speech in Corporate Disclosure

April 22, 2014

A Federal court decision to invalidate an SEC disclosure requirement related to conflict minerals on the basis that it violated the First Amendment may open the door to a slew of legal challenges questioning the constitutionality of disclosure requirements. "The D.C. Circuit's opinion strikes a potentially significant blow to the securities regulation regime and the integrity of the U.S. capital markets," says Michael Siebecker, professor of law at the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law.

Conflicts Minerals Ruling Doesn't Mean Companies Are Off the Hook

April 22, 2014

The timing of a recent court decision rejecting part of the SEC's rule on conflict minerals could not have been worse: Many companies were already straining to meet the June 2 deadline. With no further guidance from the SEC, as of yet, some companies are stuck on how to proceed. "People should be doing all of the same things they have been doing," says Michael Littenberg, a partner at law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel.

GAO Scolds SEC for Ongoing Cyber-Security Deficiencies

April 17, 2014

A new report from the Government Accountability Office warns that the SEC must improve its cyber-security efforts. A vital system that processes and tracks financial information could be vulnerable to hackers, and another important database—despite having a disaster recovery plan—didn't have a suitable back-up, the report said.

Business Groups Petition SEC for Tougher Proxy Rules

April 17, 2014

A coalition of business groups is petitioning the Securities and Exchange Commission to increase the threshold of favorable votes that a shareholder proposal must get before a company is obligated to include proposals on the same issue on the proxy the next year. Proposals must garner at least 3 percent of the total vote the first year to be resubmitted and 6 percent of votes in the second year. More inside.

Court Decision Won't be Final Word on Conflict Minerals

April 15, 2014

Rather than providing clarity, a federal court decision this week provides even more uncertainty for companies facing a fast-approaching deadline for disclosing the use of conflict minerals in their products. While a variety of scenarios may unfold, experts are urging companies to stay the course with their preparations.

Extraction Payment Disclosure Moves Forward, Despite Delays

April 15, 2014

The Securities and Exchange Commission will rewrite a Dodd-Frank Act requirement that oil, gas, and mining companies disclose payments they make to foreign governments. When remains unclear, but some multinational companies, now facing similar regulations around the world, are moving forward and voluntarily reporting the expenditures. Full details inside.

High-Speed Trading Under Siege

April 15, 2014

A new book, an FBI crackdown on insider trading, and plenty of populist rhetoric is putting the heat on firms that conduct high-frequency trading. The big question is what, if anything, regulators will do to level the playing field? Some ideas include a tax on HFT and "speed bumps" to slow order entries, but some say plenty of rules are already in place. More on the debate inside.

Court Says Conflict Minerals Disclosures Violate First Amendment

April 14, 2014

A federal appeals court overturned the SEC's conflict minerals rule Monday, saying that companies cannot be required to list on their Websites what products are or are not conflict-minerals free. The court did say the SEC's cost-benefit analysis of the rule was adequate—almost a victory for the SEC anyway, considering past legal setbacks. The court's decision comes mere weeks before companies had to start filing conflict mineral disclosures with the SEC. More inside.

Group Touts Plan to Consolidate Bank Regulators into Single Overseer

April 14, 2014

The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank, is urging Congress to consider a sweeping consolidation of government agencies. Bank regulators would be combined into a unified Prudential Regulatory Authority under the plan and a new Federal Insurance Regulator would oversee insurance companies deemed as systematically important. More inside.

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