July 24, 2009

Launch of Social Media Comes to Retail Holders

Launch of Social Media Comes to Retail Holders

Recently, a new social media site – – was launched with the hopes of binding retail shareholders together. Although this is not the first such site (eg. Broadridge’s “Investor Network“), this one might take off. And just the fact that these attempts to have investors network online bears close watching as it may someday soon dramatically impact activist efforts.

In this podcast, Rich Ferlauto, AFSCME’s Director of Corporate Governance and Pension Investment Policy, describes the new social media site, including:

– What is
– What is your goal with the site?
– Any surprises so far?

US Supreme Court Rejects Structure Requirement for RICO Enterprise

Recently, the US Supreme Court – in Boyle v. United States – held that an association-in-fact RICO enterprise must have a “structure” – but it need not be an “ascertainable structure beyond that inherent in the pattern of racketeering activity in which it engages.” More importantly, the Court stated that the jury isn’t required to be told many specifics.

As noted by the “White Collar Crime Prof Blog,” this decision is very helpful for government prosecutions in that it allows RICO cases to be brought with the jury being told a minimal amount of what is required for a RICO enterprise. We are posting memos regarding this decision in our “White Collar Crime” Practice Area.

Moving Forward: Credit Rating Agency Legislation

Earlier this week, as noted in this WSJ article, the Obama Administration proposed legislation to enhance oversight of the credit rating agencies. For the most part, it mirrors legislation introduced earlier by Senator Reed, except it deviates with one major exception: Senator Reed’s bill establishes greater accountability on the part of credit rating agencies by giving investors a private right of action against the credit rating agencies and the Obama administration doesn’t do that. In addition, the Obama Adminstration’s legislation doesn’t give authority to the SEC to levy fines and penalties against the rating agencies for failure to perform.

– Broc Romanek