Firm Advice: Your Weekly Update

Late last year, the Federal Reserve issued guidance on its new framework for supervising large financial institutions.  The Federal Reserve’s primary objectives will be to increase the resiliency of financial institutions, and to reduce the impact of an institution’s failure on the broader economy.   Changes include a greater emphasis on recovery and orderly resolution planning as required by Dodd-Frank.  In a recent publication, Sullivan & Cromwell reviews the specifics of the recent changes and explains how their implementation may differ from the previous regulatory framework.

The expectation that courts will recognize and enforce the insolvency proceedings of foreign courts is essential to certainty and predictability of cross-border transactions.  This is especially important where the two nations’ bankruptcy laws materially differ.  Three recent decisions in the U.S. and U.K. call into question whether such an expectation is reasonable.  In one of the cases, the Fifth Circuit held unenforceable a $3.4 billion restructuring plan approved by a Mexican court as “manifestly contrary to the public policy of the United States.”  The Fifth Circuit took issue with the Mexican court’s decision that shareholders receive $500 million in value while higher-ranking creditors receive only 40 percent of their claims.  In a recent client alert, DLA Piper explains the implications of these decisions for certainty and predictability of cross-border transactions.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently dismissed a lawsuit challenging recent amendments to CFTC Rule 4.5. With limited exceptions, the amendments require registration by investment companies that trade in futures, options, and commodities. The plaintiffs, the Investment Company Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, argued the amendments were arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and that the CFTC failed to perform adequate cost-benefit analysis. In rejecting these arguments, the court found that the link between unregulated derivatives and the financial crisis provided an adequate basis for the amendments. In a recent Client Alert, Ropes & Gray explains the court’s reasoning and the decision’s implications for registered investment companies.