Tag:

finance

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. 

OFAC Publishes New Guidelines Regarding the Russia Investment Ban

On June 6, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released new and revised guidelines regarding the Russian investment ban established by Executive Orders 14071, 14066, and 14068. As a result of the executive orders, sanctions can be imposed on individuals or entities determined to have operated in the accounting, trust and corporate formation services, or management consulting sectors of the Russian Federation economy. OFAC has consistently been updating and revising the guidelines to keep the guidelines as clear and consistent as possible, in an attempt to keep Americans doing business in Russia out of legal trouble. 

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.

Stablecoins III: The Stablecoin TRUST Act of 2022

On Wednesday, April 6, 2022, Senator Pat Toomey of Virginia released a discussion draft of the Stablecoin Transparency of Reserves and Uniform Safe Transactions Act of 2022, also known as the Stablecoin TRUST Act (“the TRUST Act”). This new legislation, introduced in the United States Senate, aims to create a three-pronged regulatory framework for the issuers of stablecoins in the United States. Like similar bills on the topic of stablecoin, such as the Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Act of 2022, the bill is short at only fourteen pages long. Where the bills differ is immediately noted in the more robust definitions section of the TRUST Act which lays out a six-part definition of “payment stablecoins” that covers the design intent of a stablecoin, who can issue a stablecoin, whether the holder can inherently earn interest, and where the stablecoin transactions are recorded.

Stablecoins II: The Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Act of 2022

On Tuesday, February 15, 2022, Congressman Josh Gottheimer released a draft of the Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Act of 2022 (“the bill”). This legislation attempts to both define stablecoins as well as provide a legal framework in which the issuers and users of stablecoins can safely and legally operate. The bill is surprisingly brief, only nine pages long, but Gottheimer claims that it will provide greater direction and certainty to the marketplace in order to boost innovation while also protecting consumers.

Could Anna Delvey Have Gotten Away with It? Bank Vetting for a $22 million Loan

Anna Delvey, the alleged scammer who attempted to obtain financial backing of anywhere from $22 million to $40 million in loans, is once again the subject of much debate due to the new Netflix series chronicling her alleged crimes and other actions. The question this article attempts to answer is whether she ever had a chance of realizing her goal of creating an exclusive, members-only, art club much like Soho House. This question hinges on whether she ever had a real chance to secure the funding to make it possible.

Stablecoins: Tying Cryptocurrencies to Other Assets

Cryptocurrency has an air of mystery about it. It seemingly burst onto the scene a decade ago, and while some of the stories about it may seem outlandish, many of them are true. The first known Bitcoin purchase was for two pizzas and prices can fluctuate wildly based off of tweets. With the origins of such a thing being the subject of internet humor and its value being so volatile, what level of attention and care is due to it?

Insider Trading Isn’t Illegal if You Are a Member of Congress

Jon Ossoff, the freshman Senator from Georgia, has made it clear that he intends to put forth a bill that would ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks. This is a policy that seems likely to fail, but that doesn’t make it any less necessary. It is estimated that members of Congress and their families bought and sold over $500 million worth of assets. That’s not to say that all these trades were based on information not available to the general public, but it is clear that there is a massive conflict of interest in allowing law makers to trade stocks when their job is intrinsically tied to making decisions that affect the price of stocks.

FINRA Targets High-Risk Brokerage Firms With New Rule

For several years, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has sought to increase oversight of brokers who have a history of misconduct as well as the firms that hire these brokers. In an effort to disincentivize the recruitment of high-risk brokers, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently approved FINRA’s proposed Rule 4111, which subjects “restricted firms” to additional capital obligations and hiring restrictions. Specifically, FINRA Rule 4111 targets brokerage firms that have exceeded thresholds of risk-related or investor-harming disclosures compared to similarly sized peers. The new rule, which will go into effect in 2022, is designed to provide FINRA with greater authority to proactively address the risks posed to investors by rogue brokerage firms.

The Pandora Papers and the Bank Secrecy Act

The recent Pandora Papers leak in October 2021 shined the light on the massive and intricate web of offshore accounting that allows for insurmountable amounts of wealth to be hidden throughout the world. One of the most shocking revelations of these Papers was how heavily the United States was implicated in creating and perpetuating this system. As such, legislators have been pressured to find a way to crackdown on this sort of offshore money. One way that they have proposed addressing the problem is by amending the United States’ current criminal financial legislation, the Bank Secrecy Act.