Clawbacks—Not the Punitive Threat They Were Thought to Be

When employees are offered incentives such as bonuses, stock options, or other types of rewards, companies may establish provisions that allow recovery of part or all of the incentives offered. These types of policies are known as “clawbacks.” Such policies seek to encourage executives to abstain from certain kinds of conduct that are viewed as negative, unnecessary, or otherwise undesired by directors and shareholders. For example, companies that operate in the financial industry adopt these policies in cases where executives could harm the company by taking excessive risks or engaging in behavior that embarrasses the company.

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With Profits and Consolidation on The Rise, Will Antitrust Litigation Follow?

During the 2016 election cycle, much has been made of the economy and how it appears to be rigged against the little guy. Both presidential candidates have been trying to position themselves as the solution for bringing profits back to Main Street and cleaning up “big business.” During the Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders based his campaign on the very idea that the U.S. needed a political and economic revolution, and recent political superstars, such as Elizabeth Warren, have been ringing the bell of economic reform for the past two years. There is evidence that this is not simply politicians attempting to draw policy distinctions among themselves, but a true reflection of what Americans are feeling. According to the Pew Research Center, the economy is the number one concern among likely voters with 84 percent listing it as “highly likely” to influence their vote in the 2016 election. There is no doubt that much of this is rooted in the belief that the economy is rigged against the average American in favor of large corporations. Recent polling has found that over 70 percent of Americans believe that the economy is rigged in favor of certain groups.

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The Impact of the Presidential Election on IPOs

The uncertainty of the 2016 presidential election is impacting investors and IPOs, especially due to Americans’ wide dislike for both candidates. Given the political climate, investors feel unstable and insecure. As a result, the stock market has slowed down considerably this year. However, according to the Presidential Election Cycle Theory, once the presidential election has passed, stock markets are predicted to behave normally during the first year of the new presidency. This is so because investors are going to feel renewed stability and therefore they will begin to invest and move the economy.

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BCLBE Law Firm Hot Topic: Peter Werner, Cooley

On October 24, 2016, Peter Werner, partner at Cooley LLP, spoke about what it’s like to practice in Silicon Valley. It was not a serious speech or boring esoteric lecture which might make you sleepy, but was instead an interesting, easy to understand, and profound sharing of his experiences as a lawyer.

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U.S. Judge Appoints Monitor to Deutsche Bank

On August 18, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed suit against Deutsche Bank for failing to report any swap data for multiple classes of assets for five days. According to the CFTC, on April 16, 2016, Deutsche Bank’s swap data reporting system experienced a system outage for approximately five days. CFTC alleged that Deutsche Bank’s efforts to end the outage consistently worsened financial reporting problems. The CFTC claims that this is because Deutsche Bank failed to implement a satisfactory business continuity and disaster recovery plan in events like this outage.

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Yahoo, ACLU Pressing Government to Release Surveillance Orders

On October 26, 2016, Yahoo made a request to US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to declassify a surveillance order received by Yahoo in 2015.  In early October, Reuters broke news that Yahoo had built a special software to scan customer emails at the direction of the National Security Agency or FBI. The program ran briefly in 2015 before Yahoo’s internal security was able to locate and remove it.

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$14.7 Billion Settlement in Volkswagen Dieselgate Scandal

Last Tuesday, October 25, 2016, marked a major step forward in a prolonged ordeal for the hundreds of thousands of Volkswagen diesel owners who have been waiting for over a year to see the scandal resolved.

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Fed Governors Have Grown More Exposed To Politics

On October 5, 2016, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond,
Jeffrey M. Lacker delivered a speech in which he discussed the U.S. central bank’s governance. He warned that members of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors in Washington can be subject to political influence because they are “less insulated from the political process.”

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California’s Draft Regulations Concern Autonomous Vehicle Developers

On the heels of a progressive new bill that will allow Contra Costa Transportation Authority to test autonomous vehicles without human oversight, California issued a regulatory proposal for autonomous vehicle testing that has some members of the automotive industry concerned. On October 19, California’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) met to discuss the current proposal, which automakers have contested on the grounds that certain terms could hinder the further development of autonomous vehicle technology.

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