May 22, 2009

The New “Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission”

From Davis Polk: Legislation that creates an independent commission to examine the causes of the financial crisis was signed into law by the President on Wednesday. Section 5 of the “Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009” makes only one notable change to the bill discussed in Davis Polk’s May 15th alert. Earlier versions of the bill required only a simple majority vote of the Commission for a subpoena to be issued – but the final version requires at least one affirmative vote of a Commission member appointed by the Republicans.

Congressional Democrats will appoint six members of the ten-member commission and Congressional Republicans will appoint four members. Whether this change has a material impact on the Commission’s operations is uncertain, and will likely depend on the Commission’s ability to secure voluntary production of witnesses and evidence.

“Early Bird” Conference Rates: Expires at End of Today

Note that in response to our generous early bird offer for the “4th Annual Proxy Disclosure Conference” (whose pricing is combined with the “6th Annual Executive Compensation Conference”), we are on pace for a record number of attendees (despite the economy). A true reflection of how important executive compensation is this year! These Conferences will be held at the San Francisco Hilton and via Live Nationwide Video Webcast on November 9-10th.

Act now, as this tier of reduced rates will not be extended beyond the end of today! With the SEC intending to propose new executive compensation rules in the near future – and Congress looking to legislate executive compensation practices this year, these Conferences are a “must.” Register today. If you’re in need of a few days to get a check cut, email me today to hold this rate.

Whistleblower’s Fight over Definition of Risk

As has forever been the case, most scandals see the light of day because someone was brave enough to speak out. I don’t know enough to know the merits of this situation, but this fight between a Deutsche Bank employee and his employer has many lessons for all of us in the corporate world. In this letter, the employee – Deepak Moorjani – shares his perspectives on his firm’s risk policies and the culture and reward structure that he claims encouraged practices that were not in the company’s best interests.

– Broc Romanek