August 10, 2017

The Diminishing Influence of the US Chamber of Commerce

This recent Washington Post article describes the current state of the US Chamber of Commerce. Here’s an excerpt:

And in an era that allows virtually unlimited independent political spending, they can form their own more focused, and perhaps more effective, associations. Many lobbyists who represent companies individually think the Chamber has taken on the lumbering character of its aging building, a 92-year-old limestone edifice lined with Corinthian columns overlooking the White House.

“If there was a time in the past when they needed the Chamber for access to the White House, that’s kind of gone,” said a public affairs consultant who had worked with three Fortune 500 companies that have weighed leaving the Chamber. “Companies have the tools to create coalitions of like-minded firms on issues that are important to them.”

Here’s a note that I received from a member in response: “They are losing influence with the White House because Trump and the Bannon wing would rather listen to the Breitbart crowd and the alt-right. My guess is the generals high up in the administration also have no time for the Chamber. However, the Chamber still has good access to members of Congress since members rely more on that constituency. The Chamber’s future may lie with the state governors and legislatures, which is where there is some possibility of real work getting accomplished. Washington has become a three-branch circus.”

DERA’s 315-Page Report: Access to Capital & Market Liquidity

A few days ago, the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA) published this 315-page report describing trends in primary securities issuance and secondary market liquidity, and assessing how those trends relate to post-crisis regulatory reforms. The report was requested by Congress as part of the 2016 appropriations process.

The report includes a survey &analysis of recent academic literature, as well as original analyses drawn from publicly available databases and non-public regulatory filings. The report examines the issuance of debt, equity and asset-backed securities, as well as activity and liquidity in U.S. Treasuries, corporate bonds, single-name credit default swaps, and bond funds. Specifically, the report identifies trends for unregistered offerings – including Reg D and Regulation Crowdfunding, as well as fixed income transactions, fixed income quotations, and broker-dealer financial positions…

Pay Ratio: Survey About Your Disclosure Intentions

We have posted a new anonymous “Quick Survey about Pay Ratio Disclosure” to learn whether folks are intending to disclose the bare minimum about pay ratio – or whether they intend to provide explanations, alternate ratios, carve-outs, etc. This is different than our recent survey about pay ratio readiness. Please take 10 seconds to participate…and also complete this “Quick Survey on Director Compensation.”

For those registered for the upcoming “Pay Ratio & Proxy Disclosure Conference,” tune in next Tuesday, August 15th for the second in a series of three monthly webcasts that serve as a pre-conference: “Pay Ratio Workshop: What You (Really) Need to Do Now.” The first webcast was on July 20th (transcript & audio archive available); the third webcast is September 27th.

The speakers for next Tuesday’s webcast are:

Mark Borges, Principal, Compensia
Keith Higgins, Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP
Scott Spector, Partner, Fenwick & West LLP

Register Now: This is the only comprehensive conference devoted to pay ratio. Here’s the registration information for the “Pay Ratio & Proxy Disclosure Conference” to be held October 17-18th in Washington DC and via Live Nationwide Video Webcast. Here are the agendas – 20 panels over two days. Register today.

Broc Romanek