December 18, 2009

Should Congress Be Allowed to Engage in Insider Trading?

With insider trading so much in the news lately, it’s worth recalling that back in the summer there was a fuss that members of Congress are permitted to trade with knowledge of nonpublic information (see this recent WaPo article). In fact, there was even a “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act” bill floated to close the “loophole” that allows members of Congress to trade even when they have access to nonpublic information. I am told that this is not the first time that efforts have been made to change the ethics rules and hold Congress to more of a corporate standard.

Hearings were held in July on this topic, as noted in this article (and here is the testimony given) – but I don’t believe the bill has gone anywhere since. has a resource page about whether insider trading by Congress should be allowed.

The SEC’s Enforcement Division continues to track down bankers and lawyers who are engaging in insider trading. For example, see this recent action against a former law firm lawyer – and this new one against some bankers.

New SEC Filing Fees: Effective on Monday

On Wednesday, President Obama signed the government’s appropriations bill that includes funding for the SEC. As a result, as noted in this SEC advisory, the new registration statement fee rates take effect as of Monday. As announced a while back, the fee rate will increase to $71.30 per million dollars from $55.80 per million, a 28% hike.

More on our “Proxy Season Blog”

With the proxy season now looming in many of our minds, we are posting new items regularly on our “Proxy Season Blog” for members. Members can sign up to get that blog pushed out to them via email whenever there is a new entry by simply inputting their email address on the left side of that blog. Here are some of the latest entries:

– RiskMetrics’ 2009 Proxy Season Scorecard
– Remuneration Reports Receive More Dissent in Australia
– Study: “Private Ordering” is Not a Viable Alternative to Proxy Access
– Walden Asks Broadridge Not to Eliminate In-Person Shareholder Meetings

– Broc Romanek