Compliance Bits and Pieces for January 7

Here are some recent compliance-related stories that I found interesting:

Dodd-Frank: Too Many Regulations Too Fast? by Thomas Gorman in SEC Actions

The average annual rate of rulemaking per year prior to Dodd-Frank for the SEC was 9.5, the CFTC 5.5, the FDIC 8 and the Federal Reserve 4.5 Post Dodd-Frank the average for the SEC is 59, the CFTC 37, the FDIC 6, and the Federal Reserve 17.

U.S Claims Some of Scott Rothstein’s Choicest Trinkets; Creditors Moan

Federal forfeiture laws allowed the government to seize the proceeds of Rothstein’s $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, and the government can do what it likes with the proceeds, keeping some—or a lot—for itself, according to WSJ, which notes that the law does not require that one cent of seized assets be set aside for Rothstein’s legitimate business creditors.

The First Amendment, the securities laws and hedge funds by Larry Ribstein in Truth on the Market

I have been writing for some time about the First Amendment and the securities laws. In a nutshell, the formerly inviolate notion that the securities laws are a First-Amendment-free zone has always been constitutionally questionable. The questions multiply with the expansion of the securities laws. The Supreme Court’s recent broad endorsement of the application of the First Amendment to corporate speech in Citizens United signals that we may finally get some answers. The bottom line is that securities regulation that burdens the publication of truthful speech is subject to the First Amendment.

Massachusetts Attorney General Reviews 2010 Data Breach and Data Security Regulations Compliance in Littler’s Workplace Privacy Counsel

With the first anniversary of the Massachusetts Data Security Regulations, 201 CMR 17 (pdf)(“Regulations”), coming in March, the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) recently hosted a panel discussion providing direct access to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation to discuss their investigations to date and their current approach to enforcement. Panelists included Scott Shafer, Chief of the Consumer Protection Division, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; Shannon Choy-Seymour, Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; Jason Egan, Deputy General Counsel, Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation; and Lam Nguyen, Director (Digital Forensics), Stroz Friedberg LLP.

Should Workplaces Ban Lotteries? by Chris MacDonald in The Business Ethics Blog

Lots of offices feature “pools” of various kinds, with groups of employees joining together collaboratively or competitively to speculate on, e.g., the outcome of the NFL playoffs. Very likely lots of managers regard it all as harmless fun, boosting morale by giving employees a break from the tedium of their cubicle farms. But a lottery pool is unlike, say, a hockey or football pool. In a hockey or football pool, there are winners and losers, but typically the dollar amounts are pretty small. But when employees band together to buy lottery tickets, the possibility is there for all hell to break loose.