June 15, 2011

SEC Commissioner Nominations Blocked (Games Congress Plays)

Because he can, Senator Vitter temporarily blocked the nominations of Luis Aguilar and Dan Gallagher yesterday during a Senate Banking Committee hearing because he doesn’t like the pace of recovery for victims of Allen Stanford’s fraud. Strike that. I’m not sure it was “during” the hearing because Senator Vitter didn’t bother to show up to it, as noted in this Reuters article.

Yes, a single senator can hold up a nomination – but just temporarily as the Senate Banking Committee can still advance the nominations to the full Senate (so is that really a “hold”?). Doesn’t this make for some great gaming (last year, one Senator put an extraordinary “blanket hold” on at least 70 nominations)? I’m not sure what parliamentary procedure allows a nomination to be blocked when the Senator doesn’t even attend the hearing, but that surely compounds the waste of time that insincere holds are…

House Bill: Upsizing the 500 Shareholder ’34 Act Registration Threshold

During the past few months, I’ve blogged several times about the SEC’s upcoming capital-raising reform efforts, particularly in the area of pre-IPOs. Perhaps that’s not good enough for Congress as this Fortune article tells of a bill in the House that would boost the number of shareholders that trigger registration to 1000 shareholders, up from 500 – and would exclude exempt employees and accredited investors from counting towards the threshold. The bill was introduced yesterday and has six sponsors from both sides of the aisle. There is no corresponding Senate bill at this time.

Webcast: “Deals: The Latest Delaware Developments”

Tune in tomorrow for the webcast – “Deals: The Latest Delaware Developments” – to hear Rick Alexander of Morris Nichols, Stephen Bigler of Richards, Layton & Finger and Kevin Shannon of Potter Anderson discuss all the latest from the Delaware courts and legislature.

– Broc Romanek