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SEC Chair Responds to Senator’s Conflict Minerals Request

Responding to Senator Michael Crapo’s request that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proceed with a full stay on the reporting requirements from Release No. 34-67716, Conflict Minerals, SEC Chair Mary Jo White declared that her agency plans to wait for a final court ruling before deciding if further regulatory action is necessary. In a letter to Crapo this week, White stated that the SEC’s actions from the April 14th appeals court decision are in line with the ruling, the SEC’s rule and Congress’ purpose in the Dodd-Frank Act. Last month, the SEC requested that the full appeals court. Read More.

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House Committee Plans Dodd-Frank Hearing This Week

With the Dodd-Frank Act (“the Act”) celebrating its fourth anniversary recently, the House Committee on Financial Services has scheduled a hearing on the reform’s effects. Planned for Wednesday in Washington, D.C., “Assessing the Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act Four Years Later” will cover the Act’s beginnings, how it has encouraged financial stability, and future objectives related to the reform. Speaking on the anniversary and upcoming hearing, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White stated that the SEC has progressed significantly to execute the Act’s requirements. However, White also noted the SEC’s work is far from done and additional key provisions must. Read More.

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SEC Orders Start of Tick Size Program for Stock Exchanges

Answering feedback from various small companies, brokerage firms and venture capitalists, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has ordered stock exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) to start a pilot program for trading stocks from 900 small businesses. Announced in Release No. 34-72460, Order Directing the Exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to Submit a Tick Size Pilot Plan, the test is in response to requests for higher stock price increments. Supporters say increased stock price increments would boost trading volume and investor interest in small cap stocks. Hoping to run the program for a year, the. Read More.

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Corp Fin to Review Disclosure Rules & Cybersecurity Protection in Fiscal 2015

Outlining next year’s policy objectives, Report on Objectives – Office of the Investor Advocate has been released by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Office of the Investor Advocate (“the Office”). Published on June 24th, the report details two major projects the Office will work on during fiscal year 2015. The projects include assisting the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance (“Corp Fin”) revise disclosure requirements and reviewing cybersecurity for investor protection. Mandated by the JOBS Act, the SEC’s Mary Jo White considers the review of disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K a high priority. Using recommendations from the Report on. Read More.

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IASB Vice Chair Denounces FASB’s Separate Agenda

After working with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) for 12 years on merging U.S. GAAP and International Financing Accounting Standards (IFRS), the International Accounting Standards Board’s (“IASB”) Ian Mackintosh recently criticized the FASB for its decision to stray from their original course of action. Speaking at the IFRS Foundation Conference on June 23rd, the IASB Vice Chair acknowledged the successes of IFRS adoption in over 100 nations, but condemned the FASB for diverging from the goal of creating a single set of global standards. In his speech, Mackintosh called out FASB Vice Chair James Kroeker for comments perceived as. Read More.

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SEC’s White Wants Companies’ Directors to be Gatekeepers

Speaking at the 20th Annual Stanford Directors’ College earlier this week, U.S. Securities and Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White emphasized the significance of board of directors as the gatekeepers for shareholders of public companies. Relied upon by the SEC, White remarked that the role as gatekeepers allow directors to identify and prevent companies from violating federal securities laws, as well as respond to issues the moment they arise. In regard to directors as gatekeepers, White’s speech also noted: – The board of directors are a company’s most important gatekeepers, and it is by law their responsibility to watch over. Read More.

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