Financial Regulatory Forum

Road shows, analysts and jumping the gun: the Facebook IPO

By Helen Parry, additional reporting by Julie Dimauro

LONDON/NEW YORK, May 25 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Facebook’s chaotic initial public offering has sparked much speculation and legal action based on the idea that securities laws and regulations over disclosure may have been breached, which would leave Facebook and others involved in the offering process liable to potential regulatory enforcement or civil liability for losses caused to investors.

An analyst at lead underwriter Morgan Stanley cut his revenue forecasts for Facebook in the days before the offering, information that may not have reached many investors before the stock was listed, Reuters has reported. (more…)

Banking on Volcker: Big Crisis, Big Rule

By Thomson Reuters Accelus staff

NEW YORK, Oct. 19 (Business Law Currents) – Banking lawyers should be forgiven if they’re not returning calls right away: they’re busy trying to digest the Volcker Rule (or “the rule”). The proposed rule’s 298-page doorstop represents the collective efforts of the Treasury Department, Fed, FDIC and SEC to implement §619 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which itself added a new §13 to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (the BHC Act). The intent of the Volcker Rule is to “generally prohibit any banking entity from engaging in proprietary trading or from acquiring or retaining an ownership interest in, sponsoring, or having certain relationships with a hedge fund or private equity fund (“covered fund”), subject to certain exemptions.”

So does the Volcker Rule satisfy its mandate? To paraphrase ‘The Simpsons’: yes with an “if,” no with an “unless.” The rule carves out significant exemptions from the proscription against proprietary trading, but each of these exceptions has a number of criteria required to take advantage of the exemption. Moreover, a number of the rule’s measures provide for rebuttable presumptions of non-compliance for certain types of trading activity. (more…)

from Reuters Investigates:

Financial cyber-bullying?

"They love a conspiracy theory on the boards," David Jones, chief market strategist at spread betting firm IG Index told UK correspondents Rosalba O'Brien and Matt Scuffham when they were reporting for "The stock, the web, the CEO and his lawyers" . It's a look at some of the shenanigans around highly speculative resource stocks when they are discussed on message boards like  ADVFN and iii. Late-night gossip and personal insults are par for the course: some suspect organised short-sellers may be behind the talk. Given the high volumes of online trading in the UK, we wonder how long it will be before regulator FSA is forced to take a closer look.

Day-trader John Douce is sceptical about the boards' impact on stock prices

Day-trader John Douce is sceptical about the boards' impact on stock prices

Government intervention said unlikely in EU share-data fragmentation

By Huw Jones
LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Fragmentation of share trading data makes it harder for European investors to spot the best prices but there is no appetite so far for public intervention, industry officials said on Tuesday.
(more…)

Nasdaq, BATS to stop “flash orders” as SEC plans ban

By Jonathan Spicer
NEW YORK, Aug 6 (Reuters) – The Nasdaq Stock Market and BATS Exchange said in separate statements on Thursday they will “voluntarily” stop offering so-called flash orders, a controversial service that gives certain firms an advance look at market-bound trading orders. (more…)

U.S. regulator seeks tighter controls on commodity trading

Chairman of U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Gary Gensler (R) and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro.    By Russell Blinch
   WASHINGTON, July 7 (Reuters) – The top regulator of U.S. futures markets is considering a clampdown on excessive speculation in energy and commodity trading by restricting holdings of big players, part of a broader move by the Obama administration to stabilize the financial markets. (more…)

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