Here are some compliance-related stories for Friday the 13th:
Regulatory Risk Factors in the Carlyle Group S-1 by Seattle lawyer William Carleton.
The Carlyle Group is preparing to go public. There are some interesting risk factors in the S-1 registration statement relating to use of leverage in investments, continued control of prior owners following the offering, and other topics. But I was drawn to the risk factors having to do with the regulatory environment. It’s a different angle from which to think about the financial crisis, financial regualtory reform, and the scourge of lobbying and campaign contributions.
In the glamorous/murky/elite/financially rewarding world of commercial law is it clients or lawyers who are the bad guys? Put another way, does business corrupt law or do lawyers corrupt business? This is the question that lies at the heart of Parker, Rosen and Nielsen’s paper. Since the Savings and Loan scandals via WorldCom, Enron and latterly UK’s ownHackgate, corporate wrongdoing is often accompanied by the question, Where were the lawyers? And as Big Law turns increasingly, well, ‘big’, the “is law a business or a profession” question is posed increasingly nostalgically, usually with deliberate exaggeration and answered only with speculation rather than evidence. It is refreshing, therefore, to report on a study which is deals with the relationship between law and business empirically and with imagination which also deals with conceptually important questions.