Compliance Bits and Pieces for February 5

Here are some interesting stories from the past week:

Can your Broker be your Facebook Friend? by Gil Yehuda on Gil Yehuda’s Enterprise 2.0 Blog

Can brokers set up blogs? What about the comments that people post to their blogs? Can brokers give financial advice on discussion forums? What if a broker sets up a forum where all their misleading advertising gets magically erased whenever a regulator visits the site? Sure, when you think of all the bad things that could happen, you may be glad this industry is regulated (of course those who got swindled wish the enforcement would be more effective).

FINRA Guidance on Social Media podcast (mp3) from Compliance Week

Compliance Week editor Matt Kelly talks with Eden Rohrer of the law firm Haynes Boone about new guidance from FINRA on social media usage among financial-sector workers. (Time: 9 min.; file size: 4.2 Mb)

The DOJ: Bringing Bribe-Takers to Justice? in the Wrage Blog

Anne Richardson of TRACE was present at ACI’s FCPA Bootcamp in Houston last week and provides this report on a possible new development in anti-bribery enforcement: “In the conference’s opening panel on January 26, 2010, Stacey Luck, Senior Trial Attorney in the Fraud Section, explained how the recent DOJ/FBI sting operation involving 22 executives from military and law enforcement equipment companies demonstrates several recent FCPA enforcement trends: (i) the focus on individuals, (ii) the use of traditional law enforcement tactics, (iii) the emphasis on industry-wide investigations, and (iv) greater international cooperation among enforcement authorities.

SEC Enforcement in 2009: A Year of Changes, with More This Year by Eduardo Gallardo, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

In this review of enforcement in 2009, we focus on the significant enforcement developments of the second half of the year, as well as notable cases and important trends revealed by annual enforcement statistics, both those disclosed by the SEC, as well as those that result from our own analysis. We also look ahead to the significant developments to anticipate this year.

CFTC: Billy Ray and Winthrop Were Not Insider Traders by Bruce Carton in Compliance Week‘s Enforcement Action.

Earlier this week, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler clarified that no matter what you might have assumed back in 1983, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) and Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) did not commit insider trading when they made millions trading on orange juice futures in the movie Trading Places.

Under Proposed Budget, SEC Could Get $1.258B, Add Staff by Melissa Klein Aguilar in Compliance Week‘s The Filing Cabinet

The President’s budget request of $1.258 billion for the Securities and Exchange Commission for fiscal 2011 would increase the commission’s coffers by roughly $139 million, or 12 percent over its fiscal 2010 funding level, and would enable the agency to add about 380 staff positions.

Social Media and the Workplace: What Every Employer Should Know by Nixon Peabody

Employers must fully consider the use and misuse of social media at each stage of employment, craft appropriate policies and procedures consistent with their industry and firm culture, and apply such policies in a consistent and non-discriminatory way.