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SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce On “Reasonableness Pants” And “Secret Law”

Peirce

This site is a big fan of SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce and this post highlights two recent speeches she delivered. Neither of the speeches are FCPA specific, but both are indeed FCPA relevant.

In this speech, titled “Reasonableness Pants,” Peirce stated: “A strong enforcement program requires us—to draw from the admonition a judge recently gave to us in a matter before her—to “put on [our] reasonableness pants.” The SEC ought always to wear reasonableness pants, and I would like to talk today about what those reasonableness pants look like on a regulator.”

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Further To The SEC’s Inconsistent Approach To Enforcing The FCPA’s Books And Records And Internal Controls Provisions

inconistent

I recognize that I can be a creature of habit, but when an issue – such as the SEC’s inconsistent treatment of FCPA violations – is so frequent I will keep on writing about it. So here goes the umpteenth post on this issue. (See here for other examples).

A basic rule of law principle is consistency. In other words, the same legal violation ought to be sanctioned in the same way. When the same legal violation is sanctioned in materially different ways, trust and confidence in law enforcement is diminished.

However, there sure does seem to be a lack of consistency between how the SEC resolves Foreign Corrupt Practices Act books and records and internal controls violations.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

About time, scrutiny updates, ripple, for the record, just saying, and for the reading and listening stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

About Time

After dinging companies for nearly 40 years for internal controls and risk management failures, the SEC names its first chief risk officer.

As highlighted in this prior post, if the SEC were an issuer there would be many books and records and internal controls issues within the organization.

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Further To The SEC’s Inconsistent Approach To Enforcing The FCPA’s Books And Records And Internal Controls Provisions

inconistent

As highlighted in previous posts on this subject (hereherehere and here), a basic rule of law principle is consistency.

In other words, the same legal violation ought to be sanctioned in the same way. When the same legal violation is sanctioned in materially different ways, trust and confidence in law enforcement is diminished.

However, there sure does seem to be a lack of consistency between how the SEC resolves Foreign Corrupt Practices Act books and records and internal controls violations.

Continue Reading

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