Author:

Patrick Gilsenan

The Freedom to Retire Sustainably: Biden takes on Trump-era rules regarding ESG funds

In the last days of the Trump administration, the Trump Department of Labor (“DOL”) finalized a rule that made it more difficult for socially conscious investments to be included in retirement plans.  The Trump-era rule discouraged employer 401(k) and other retirement plans from offering funds from managers that consider Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) factors over investment returns or risk in their due diligence.  Despite this, ESG funds continue to gain in popularity, and the new Biden administration has stated that it will not enforce the Trump-era rule as it considers reversing it.

Bitcoin, Tesla, and GameStop: Regulatory Challenges Posed by the New Retail Investor

GameStop started 2021 with a stock price below $20 but saw its stock price skyrocket to well above $300 a share towards the end of January.  The rally would be hard to explain by solely relying on the company’s financial reports or underlying fundamentals.  Instead, the rally has to be explained through a combination of external factors involving a popular fintech company’s app, manic speculation by retail investors, and Reddit.  Although at first glance this may seem like a new phenomenon, the same factors have been at play for years with a huge interest in Tesla and Bitcoin – and they pose a risk to the markets that regulators and Wall Street together can’t ignore.

Extracting the Middle Ground: Is it Time to Federally Regulate Fracking?

The use of fracking has made the United States the global leader in natural gas and crude oil production.  However, the practice is not without controversy.  Activist groups have called for a ban against fracking as scientists have warned of potential health and environmental impacts, while energy lobbyists have fought bitterly against any restrictions or regulations.  As it stands, U.S. regulating of fracking has been mostly left ineffectively to the states, with exemptions to federal regulations on the books. As the societal costs of fracking become better understood, regulators and policy makers must make difficult decisions regarding the practice.

A New Housing Crisis: Navigating Changing Guidelines and Relief in a Pandemic

Patrick Gilsenan Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Weekend JD 2023 Americans looking for relief and regulatory protections in the face of an eviction and foreclosure crisis have been met with a patchwork system of confusing, temporary, and difficult to navigate government programs. The eviction ban established by the CARES Act has expired, …
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Financial Regulation During COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has shaken the world economy, not the least of which the financial industry.  As the financial industry has adapted to work-from-home life under the coronavirus pandemic, industry regulators such as the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have been forced to adapt rules to changing circumstances and shift their enforcement priorities to pandemic related fraud.