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Joe Mont


Recent Articles

GAO Scolds SEC for Ongoing Cyber-Security Deficiencies

April 17, 2014

A new report from the Government Accountability Office warns that the Securities and Exchange Commission must improve its cyber-security efforts. A key system that processes and tracks financial information could be vulnerable to hackers and, despite having a disaster recovery plan, a key database 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.

CFPB Slaps BofA With $747 Million Penalty For Credit Card Tactics

April 09, 2014

Bank of America has agreed to pay $727 million in restitution to nearly 1.4 million consumers the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says were harmed by the deceptive marketing of credit card add-on products, along with a $20 million civil penalty. The bank is also prohibited from marketing credit protection or credit monitoring products until it submits a compliance plan. More details inside.

Poll: First Conflict Minerals Filings Have Companies Scrambling

April 09, 2014

With the first reporting requirements for the Securities and Exchange Commission's conflict minerals rule due on May 31, many public companies are still in the early stages of compliance and risk falling behind, according to a new survey by audit firm PwC. It found that only four percent of companies have completed a draft of their filings.

Big Banks Face Greater Capital Demands Under New Rule

April 09, 2014

The eight largest U.S. Banks must set aside billions of dollars more in cash reserves if they want to avoid restrictions on bonuses and dividend payments. Regulators have adopted a final rule that strengthens leverage ratio standards for bank holding companies with more than $700 billion in consolidated assets or $10 trillion in assets under custody.

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