Category:

Regulation

Regulating the Unregulated: Where is Cryptocurrency Headed?

While over 10 years have passed since Satoshi Nakamoto first introduced Bitcoin, digital currencies continue to remain unregulated by financial authorities despite a number of challenges that have plagued consumers and the government: the Silk Road, fraud, and various other financial crimes. Additionally, many consumers invest in cryptocurrencies because they are not controlled by any central government monetary policies. However, cryptocurrency investors are also at risk of their money losing its value when the market takes a tumble, as evidenced by the recent current cryptocurrency downturn. Despite these continued challenges, imposing regulations on cryptocurrencies has proven to be difficult. Until President Biden’s Executive Order, issued on March 9th of this year, the White House steered clear of recognizing digital assets as a valid form of currency. The President’s Order explicitly recognized the need for research and policy implementation across various government agencies in order to shape the way cryptocurrencies are regulated.

Are Tighter Gun Regulations the Answer to Combating Gun Violence? 

  Taelor Thornton  Associate Editor  Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2024  On May 14, 2022, a gunman opened fire with a legally obtained AR-15-style rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people. Ten days later, an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, …
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Largest Alleged Violation in FEC History – Investigation Blocked, Case Closed

In June, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) announced that they would not investigate allegations that two of former President Trump’s campaign committees illegally misreported hundreds of millions of dollars in spending. If true, these allegations would constitute the “largest alleged violation in FEC history” according to FEC Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub. The initial complaint alleged that the committees failed to disclose payments to friends and family members of the former President, such as  Lara Trump, who is Trump’s daughter-in-law, and Kimberly Guilfoyle – Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancé. In it’s decision, the FEC’s Republican Commissioners voted not to investigate the matter, which is therefore no longer being pursued. This situation illustrates how the FEC has consistently failed to investigate the Trump reelection campaign for alleged violations of campaign finance law. 

DOJ’s Unveils New Tool to Fight Corporate Crime: Care About Compliance

In an effort to deter corporate crime, the Justice Department (DOJ) has implemented a new policy aimed at giving chief compliance officers more authority. Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) may now need to certify the integrity of their compliance programs and be personally liable if their programs do not “reasonably prevent and deter compliance issues.” According to Brian Michael, a former chief compliance officer (CCO), some industry professionals fear that such a policy would place compliance officers in a position to be personally liable for decisions that they have little say over. There is also worry that implementing such a policy would place CCOs in direct conflict with senior executives. However, Kenneth Polite, assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s criminal division, insists that the new policy will place CCOs in a better position to ensure the integrity of their compliance programs. Polite hopes to force corporations to invest in compliance now rather than pay later.

Loot Boxes: Benign Entertainment or Gambling for Minors?

In 2019, Senator Josh Hawley put forth legislation to regulate loot boxes advertised or sold to minors in video games. The legislation was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation but did not move any further. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been researching the use of loot boxes since 2018 and has done multiple workshops to promote public awareness of microtransactions. More recently there has been public sentiment for changes in the gaming industry and other countries such as Singapore have taken steps this year to protect consumers from predatory practices of game companies.

Preventing the Engine of Doom: A Lesson on Financial Crisis

The Great Financial Crisis of 2008 was a story of greed. In markets where incentives lead to bad behavior, disparately affecting a great deal of society, we rely on regulatory oversight. A domino effect of decisions spanning decades resulted in a global economic disaster, but it could have been prevented with effective regulators.

SEC Looks to Modernize the Fund Names Rule

On May 25th, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a proposal to the Investment Company Act of 1940 Rule 35d-1 which expands on a rule that mostly regulates fund names.  The SEC has decided to take these measures to combat “greenwashing”; a marketing ploy used by fund investors to draw in socially conscious investors for investments that are anything but sustainable. The SEC believes investors lack comparable, consistent, reliable information on ESG products.  This article will discuss these new proposals and what they mean for important stakeholders.

Possible Pitfalls of the New DOJ Compliance Policy

In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) introduced a new policy idea that requires a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) undergo certification. This certification requires CCOs to attest at the end of company resolutions that their compliance program is reasonably designed to detect and promptly remedy behavior suspected or known to be in violation of applicable laws. The new policy is part of an effort to take more proactive measures against criminal behavior and activities such as fraud, bribery, corruption, etc. The certification is also aimed at empowering the CCOs as they speak on behalf of their company’s obligations to the compliance program.

DOJ Renews Efforts to Prosecute White-Collar Crime

In October of 2021, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced it would ramp up its enforcement against corporate repeat offenders of white-collar crimes and prioritize action against individual actors to promote accountability. The new measures implemented permit the DOJ to consider all prior wrongdoing by a corporation when deciding how to resolve a new investigation. Leniency programs of the past will not be extended to wrongdoers unless all believed participants, whether employees or executives, are disclosed. There has also been a shift from financial penalties to probationary settlements, which require companies not only to admit fault and pay fines but also to improve their monitoring of employees to deter crime. This may require outside monitoring to verify compliance, which can be burdensome and expensive.

The SEC and Its ESG Investment Disclosure Proposal

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) established the Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) Task Force in 2021. In March and May of 2022, the SEC proposed a disclosure rule “forcing publicly traded companies to disclose how climate change could threaten their businesses and describe their contributions to global warming.” The rule further accentuates the SEC’s mission “to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.” However, the proposal has faced substantial opposition, as some believe the proposal exceeds the SEC’s authority.