March 1, 2011

A Government Shutdown: What Happens to the SEC?

With Friday’s deadline for a government shutdown looming, it seems fair to start wondering how our community will function without the agency. Will EDGAR be operational? Will registration statements be declared effective so that deals can go forward? Will no-action requests related to shareholder proposals be processed?

I don’t know the answers to these questions – but I imagine most of the news wouldn’t be good. This article notes that the SEC is engaged in contingency planning – and this note to SEC union employees indicates that relatively few SEC Staffers are deemed “essential” (100-250) and would remain on the job. I presume Corp Fin will provide us with news about the impact of the shutdown if it does indeed occur. As this article notes, the House votes today on a temporary funding measure – but that may merely put off the shutdown for two weeks.

Interestingly enough, there is no precedent for the SEC here – at least not in the modern era – as the SEC somehow found funding to keep open back in 1995 when the government was last shut down. And I end with this note from a member:

Am I the only one who has noticed that the deadlines for the government shut-down and the NFL lock-out are both on March 4? I would think that political and sports pundits alike would revel in such a congruence of the stars. But maybe I just follow less informed pundits.

A New Shareholder Proposal Database:

One question I get asked often enough is where can one find a database that tracks shareholder proposals and their stats. Sites like this have existed but they tend to disappear within a year or two. Now there is a new one. In this podcast, Jim Copland of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy provides some insight into, a new shareholder proposal database, including:

– What is
– How long did it take to create?
– Who do you envision using it?

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– Broc Romanek