Is the SEC blind?

by Stuart Wallace December 4 2010, 18:07
How does the SEC determine where to deploy its resources? What criteria does the SEC use to decide which companies to monitor and which to ignore?

Answers to these questions and more were recently presented to the Illinois Corporate Colloquium by Cindy Alexander, an economist at the SEC. In her working paper, “Regulating Monitoring Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act”(available here), Ms. Alexander and her coauthor Kathleen Hanley examine the usefulness of two factors used by the SEC in determining which companies to monitor: firm size and stock price volatility. Their findings suggest the answer to my title question is, decidedly, no. [More]

Undervalued Renminbi: Illegal or Inefficient?

by Shiyi Chen December 4 2010, 17:34
The Chinese exchange rate has been thought to be undervalued for a long time, and recently, it is facing more pressure from other countries, especially U.S., because of its “negative” impact on the world economy. As long as China is a member of the WTO, the dispute over its currency exchange rate shall be subject to the WTO Agreement and IMF rule, and the U.S. has tried to put legal pressure on China under these international agreements. However, there are several obstacles to success under such legal claims. On the other side, with the process of economic interpretation, the dispute has more impact on worldwide economic development, especially China, one of the largest markets.

In this article, I tried to analysis the issue from the following points. Firstly, the article discusses whether the Chinese currency (Renminbi) is undervalued or not based on the economic development of China in the past several years. Secondly, the article explains the possibility of pushing China to increase its exchange rate under relevant international agreements, and obstacles in doing so. Lastly, by looking at the problem from an economic aspect, the article weighs the potential positive impact and negative impact on China’s economy after increasing the exchange rate. [More]

The Social Network: Defamation or Right to Privacy

by Kasia Kaminski November 27 2010, 22:21
Facebook has become a fixture in pop culture, with over 500 million users to date. Its creator Mark Zukerburg has been thrust into the spotlight, seemingly not by choice, with the publication of such works such as Ben Mezrich’s “The Accidental Billionaires” and Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network. While creating one of the most widely recognized social networking platforms in the last decade, Zukerburg always attempted to put his product in the headlines, not himself or his story. The unwelcome push of Zukerburg’s personal story by The Social Network was intended to portray him, according to Sorkin, as being a part of “a very angry and deeply misogynistic group of people…[not] the cuddly nerds in the 80′s…[people who are] very angry that the cheerleader still wants to go out with the quarterback instead of the men (boys) who are running the universe right now.” The dramatic change in the amount of privacy allotted to a person, and the liberty with which third parties can take, begs the question of what recourse is available, if any, to protect our name and our image. [More]

What to Do about the Bush Tax Cuts to Avoid Going Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

by Shannon Burkhead November 26 2010, 17:29
As the year comes to a close, many people are wondering what will happen to the infamous Bush Tax Cuts. There are three main possibilities for what could happen to the tax cuts: extend them for everyone, let them expire for everyone or let them expire only for the “rich,” while keeping them in place for everyone else. While many people are arguing their views back and forth, chances are whatever happens (or doesn’t happen) to the tax cuts won’t solve our economy’s overall problems. Many will agree that our economy is faulty at its best and utterly failing at its worst. While there is a lot of curiosity about what will happen at the close of the year, in relation to the tax cuts, there is a bigger picture. In order to really work towards improving our economy, it is necessary to look towards more stable and permanent changes. Further, in order to avoid a “two steps forward, one step back” sort of progress, we need to stop fighting each other every step of the way and start working together. [More]

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Tax

Data, Information, and the Practice of Law

by James Clemmons November 14 2010, 21:10
The practice of law has changed substantially with the advent of computers, the Internet, and the “Information Age.” In many ways, these changes in the legal landscape are not surprising, as they roughly parallel those in the personal and commercial worlds. Much of the technology that has made its way into widespread use has focused on improving and streamlining existing methods. Though we certainly interact now in ways that we could not have 30 years ago, this has largely been within a scheme of roughly incremental changes – the word processor can act as a much more efficient typewriter, and hard drives can act as a very large file cabinet (or library). Court filings, collaboration, and record keeping, among many other tasks, have been streamlined; previously inaccessible sources of information are available even to those with the smallest budget; young law students may seem “dependent” on online services for their research, but they, in turn, don’t shudder instinctively at hearing the name “Shepard.” However, there is a deeper level of change occurring in virtually every area of commercial and academic pursuit. Some of the literally unprecedented advancement in data gathering, storage, and analysis is moving from behind the scenes into the forefront, and the potential pitfalls faced by the legal system in accommodating this already pose a risk of becoming a significant problem. [More]

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Technology

Lumbermans v. Broadspire: Why an arbitrator should decide questions of procedural arbitrability

by Charles Ott November 5 2010, 14:11
On October 13, 2010, the Seventh Circuit handed down their ruling in Lumbermans Mutual Casualty Company v. Broadspire Management Service, Inc, LLC. In that case, the court reiterated its position that questions of procedural arbitrability are not for the courts to consider, but rather for arbitrators to assess. While this decision may seem dangerous at first glance, it is actually a well-reasoned approach that promotes arbitration. This article will consider why Lumbermans and other similar cases are rightly decided and promote desirable incentives in potential litigants. [More]

Protecting the Unprotected Domestic Worker

by Norma Manjarrez October 30 2010, 18:01
Domestic Workers are legally marginalized under current labor and employment law. They are currently unprotected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Further, they are de facto excluded from protection under a number of laws, like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which exempt employers who employ fewer than a specified number of employees. Section 2(3) of the NLRA explicitly excludes domestic workers from its protection because the term “employee” is defined to “not include any individual employed … in the domestic service of any family or person at his home” including nannies, housecleaners, caregivers, companions, etc. While some states have begun to take steps to remedy the situation, millions of workers still find themselves vulnerable to violations of basic labor and employment laws [More]

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Labor

Shipping Jobs to India: Democratic Foe and Republican Ally?

by Samatha Breslow October 27 2010, 21:19
Democrats are notorious for criticizing Republicans’ support of worldwide American companies who “outsource” (i.e., move operations and workers) to nations like India. While Democrats’ opposition to outsourcing was initially meant to incite sympathy and support from voters on “Main Street”, it has begun to alienate wealthy and influential Indian-American voters, most of whom were previously supporters of Democratic candidates. This article questions the political and legislative support of outsourcing of jobs, particularly to India. [More]

What hath Madoff Wrought? Private actions under the Martin Act

by Daniel Scheeringa October 27 2010, 21:00
The New York statute that has given Attorneys General the power to take on Wall Street, and catapulted many of them into the governor’s mansion, is about to undergo a radical change if a Southern District judge’s ruling is upheld. In Anwar v. Fairfield Greenwhich, the court found that New York's Martin Act does not preempt private tort actions. This article considers the potential effects of such a ruling on the securities law landscape. [More]

Temporal Folly in the Creating Small Business Jobs Act of 2010

by Chris Collier October 24 2010, 16:17
The Creating Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-240, 124 Stat. 2504 (Title II, H.R. 5297) became law on September 27, 2010. The Joint Committee on Taxation (Committee) estimates that the tax provisions will provide $56 billion in relief to small businesses in 2011. However, the act's actual value is questionable. This article will analyze the potential effects of the legislation. [More]

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Tax

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