The Comments Are In

Section 929Y of the Dodd-Frank Act directs the SEC to solicit public comments and thereafter conduct a study to determine the extent to which private rights of action under the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws should be extended to cover transnational securities fraud. In other words, to what extent is the Supreme Court’s National Australia Bank decision a problem and what, if anything, should Congress do about it?

The SEC solicited comments back in October and the results are now available on the SEC’s website. They make for interesting reading. The commentators include current litigants in cases with extraterritoriality issues, forty-two law professors, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the governments of Australia and France, and an individual foreign investor who states that he has “been duped of huge sum of my life long savings by so called private bankers who are affiliates outside USA of US banks.”

Quote of note (Comments by Forty-Two Law Professors): “We differ in our views of private rights of action: some of us have significant doubts about the efficacy of securities class actions, while others believe shareholder litigation rights should be strengthened. Nevertheless, as a group we believe reform efforts should be applied consistently and logically to both domestic and affected foreign issuers, and we therefore support extending the test set forth in Section 929P of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 to private plaintiffs.”

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