Mark Van Scyoc
NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business in cooperation with Cornerstone Research has released a research report on the Securities Enforcement Empirical Database (SEED) which sheds light on enforcement decisions.
SEED tracks and records information for SEC enforcement actions filed against public companies traded on major U.S. exchanges and their subsidiaries. It facilitates the analysis and reporting of SEC enforcement actions through regular updates of new filings and settlement information for ongoing enforcement actions. The variables tracked include defendant names and types, violations, venues, and resolutions. Professor Stephen Choi, Director of the Pollack Center for Law & Business, said “Our goal is to shed light on the SEC’s securities law enforcement decisions. SEED is the first public database to provide easily searchable and verified data to researchers, counsel, and corporations, as well as regular reports on developments and trends.”
The SEC filed 15 new actions against public companies and subsidiaries in the first half of FY 2018, an almost 70 percent decline from the first half of FY 2017. The majority (67 percent) of public company and subsidiary actions in 1H FY 2018 did not have an individual defendant. Of the five new actions with individual defendants in 1H FY 2018, four involved Issuer Reporting and Disclosure allegations. The Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate industry accounted for almost 70 percent of all public company and subsidiary actions in 1H FY 2018. In the first half of FY 2018, 87 percent of public company and subsidiary actions had concurrent resolutions. More than half of public company and subsidiary defendants cooperated with the SEC in 1H FY 2018. Monetary settlements in public company and subsidiary actions declined to $65 million in 1H FY 2018, the lowest semiannual total in SEED. Similarly, the average monetary settlement of $4.3 million in 1H FY 2018 was significantly below the next-lowest semiannual average.