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Debate continues over the harm of insider trading
The insider trading debate
Securities trading has generated some of the most sensational scandals in the popular business press. In one of the most publicized cases of insider trading, in the late 1980s Michael R. Milken and Ivan F. Boesky were sentenced to stiff prison terms and payment of enormous damage assessments and punitive penalties. However, at least among economists and legal scholars, insider trading remains a controversial economic transaction. A substantial body of academic and legal scholarship questions whether insider trading is even harmful, much less worthy of legal actions. ; The authors of this article explore the sources of the insider trading controversy and suggest a road map for blending the divergent scholarly opinions into a policy framework for regulating insider trading. They conclude that the divergence of opinion can be attributed primarily to disagreement over which effects of insider trading will have the most significant impacts on economic well-being. The voluminous literature suggests that designing effective policy on insider trading requires a detailed assessment of the structure of the economy, some sensitivity to cultural attitudes toward the appropriateness of such trading activity, and careful consideration of the enforcement costs associated with regulating trade.
AUTHORS: Noe, Thomas H.; Hu, Jie
Auditing the auditors: oversight or overkill?
A growing number of high-profile companies have had to restate their earnings at substantially lower levels to correct the prior use of "aggressive" and even fraudulent accounting practices. Because the companies auditors approved the original reports, policymakers have questioned the capacity of public accounting firms to promote fair financial reporting. In response, recent legislation has instituted several reforms, including the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which together with the Securities and Exchange Commission will investigate alleged lapses in accounting practices. But how much oversight is really necessary? Jeffery Gunther and Robert Moore examine recent events in the light of research findings. Based on this analysis, they conclude that market forces have tended, over time, to shape the role of auditors to match or correspond to the needs of investors in monitoring individual companies performance. Despite current sentiment to the contrary, substantial government involvement in the business of auditing appears to be needed only when other types of government intervention, such as bank deposit insurance, have already disrupted market-based incentives for effective audits. In the more typical situation, both government and industry policymakers should avoid restrictive measures that unnecessarily increase audit costs, instead taking into account market forces successful track record in disciplining ineffective auditors and promoting an effective audit function.>
AUTHORS: Moore, Robert R.; Gunther, Jeffery W.
Interview with Arthur Levitt
AUTHORS: Stern, Gary H.
Capital requirements of commercial and investment banks: contrasts in regulation
AUTHORS: Haberman, Gary
Factors affecting efforts to limit payments to AIG counterparties
Testimony before the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, U.S. House of Representatives.
AUTHORS: Baxter, Thomas C.
Too big to fail: expectations and impact of extraordinary government intervention and the role of systemic risk in the financial crisis
Testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Washington, D.C.
AUTHORS: Baxter, Thomas C.
Fixing wholesale funding to build a more stable financial system
Remarks at the New York Bankers Association's 2013 Annual Meeting & Economic Forum, The Waldorf Astoria, New York City.
AUTHORS: Dudley, William
Stock market reaction to financial statement certification by bank holding company CEOs
In 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission mandated that the chief executive officers of large, publicly traded firms certify the accuracy of their company financial statements. In this paper, I investigate whether CEO certification has had a measurable effect on the stock market valuation of the forty-two bank holding companies subject to the SEC order. I find that these firms experienced a positive average abnormal return of 30 to 60 basis points on the day of certification-a result driven primarily by those BHCs that certified ahead of the SEC's deadline. Characteristics associated with greater opaqueness-BHC asset size, liquid asset holdings, and the extent of "risky" and information-intensive lending-are systematically associated with these certification day abnormal returns. In addition, average returns for not-yet-certifying BHCs were positive, though not statistically significant, on the first two certified, lending weak support to idea that early by some may have signaled investors other likely certify. Overall, results suggest requirement provided relevant information was thus an effective public policy tool, at least banking sector.
AUTHORS: Hirtle, Beverly