Federal authorities are investigating a surge in trading that preceded the announcement of a $300 million deal with the former president’s media company.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is pushing for more openness by corporations.
In a filing, Mr. Musk’s lawyers said that Twitter was “actively resisting” his requests for more information.
Manhattan federal prosecutors arrested and criminally charged the owner, Bill Hwang, and his former top lieutenant in one of the highest-profile Wall Street prosecutions in years.
Mr. Musk has been building a stake in the social media company and last week made an unsolicited offer to acquire it outright.
The Supreme Court has been asked to review the practice, which a judge called “a stew of confusion and hypocrisy” and which challengers say violates the First Amendment.
“No one could be really prepared for a job like this,” the nation’s top markets regulator said.
The company received requests for information that appeared to relate to investigations into whether investors who knew Bobby Kotick, the chief executive, traded Activision stock before a deal with Microsoft was made public.
“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it,” the Tesla chief executive said in a regulatory filing.
Who was behind the surge of trading in wheat futures last month? Some point to a group of Reddit users who mobbed an E.T.F. offering exposure to the wheat market.
The much-anticipated rule would require companies to report the climate-related impact of their businesses.
The cryptocurrency boom has spawned enterprises democratically governed by a community of users. Or that’s the theory. Making it work has been much messier.
Die-hard enthusiasts, slick operators and the lure of riches have kept digital asset prices soaring. Traditional notions of value don’t apply.
Why on earth are representatives and senators allowed to trade stocks?
Corrected disclosures show that Vice Chair Richard H. Clarida sold a stock fund, then swiftly repurchased it before a big Fed announcement.
A financing company told investors that it wasn’t in deal talks, weeks after its C.E.O. held a private videoconference about a possible deal with Donald Trump.
Gary Gensler and Jay Clayton are aligned on at least one thing: Many types of crypto tokens fall in the agency’s domain.
Jeff Carpoff, 50, ran a Ponzi scheme with his wife that sold nonexistent solar generators to investors, prosecutors said.
The Justice Department and the S.E.C. have contacted companies that discussed investing in the Silicon Valley media business.
William Neil Gallagher, 80, took at least $23 million from more than 190 people to fuel a Ponzi scheme using their retirement savings, according to court records.
The Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz, whose founders played big roles in the development of the internet, aims to own a huge part of the digital currency world — and set the rules for it, too.
The Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz, whose founders played big roles in the development of the internet, aims to own a huge part of the digital currency world — and set the rules for it, too.
One of the most pressing questions is whether the Securities and Exchange Commission will significantly add to the company’s woes.
President Biden has a chance to overhaul the stale culture of central banking.
A long-anticipated report did not suggest any policy changes in response to the meme stock frenzy that caused some little-regarded shares to soar.
The Democratic Senator called for an investigation after news that the Fed’s vice chair shifted toward stocks shortly before a policy announcement last year.
The Facebook whistleblower revealed her identity last night along with her plans to reform the embattled social media company from the outside. Frances Haugen, a data scientist by training and a veteran of Google and Pinterest, had been recruited to Facebook in 2018 to help the platform prepare for election interference. When she quit in May, she took with her a cache of tens of thousands of documents that now underpin a sweeping congressional investigation into Facebook’s practices.
But Haugen’s turning point came months earlier, on December 2, 2020, less than a month after the presidential election, when the company disbanded the Civic Integrity team she worked on.
“They told us, ‘We’re dissolving Civic Integrity.’ Like, they basically said, ‘Oh good, we made it through the election. There wasn’t riots. We can get rid of Civic Integrity now.’ Fast forward a couple months, we got the insurrection,” Haugen told CBS’s 60 Minutes, referring to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. “And when they got rid of Civic Integrity, it was the moment where I was like, ‘I don’t trust that they’re willing to actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous.’”
Concerned about the potential for a digital-era bank run, the Treasury Department is working on an oversight framework for the fast-growing sector.
The confluence of tech and finance has produced a nascent soft social credit system. Digital currency may be the only way out.
Litecoin and other digital currencies jumped by as much as 30 percent after the announcement, which was republished as legitimate by media companies.
The company realized months ago that it could be running afoul of pay laws in a number of countries but has been slow to fix the problem, according to internal documents.
The boom in companies offering cryptocurrency loans and high-yield deposit accounts is disrupting the banking industry and leaving regulators scrambling to catch up.
New regulatory scrutiny and high-profile blowups have revived longstanding concerns about the public shell companies. But many backers seem undaunted.
The founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, needs investors for the company’s U.S. unit after a recent venture capital deal fell through — a setback that cost him a C.E.O.
I created a hype coin to show how risky an investment can be. The coin had other plans.
The past decade has seen several structural changes in know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations in Europe and globally. High-profile money laundering cases and the penetration of illicit funds into global markets have caught the attention of regulators and the public, and rightfully so.
The Wirecard scandal was a particularly salacious example, in which the investigation into widespread fraud revealed a chain of shell companies involved in illegal distribution of narcotics and pornography. Over at Danske Bank, some $227 billion was laundered through an Estonian subsidiary, going virtually unnoticed for nine years.
In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an action against Ripple Labs and two of its executives, claiming they had raised over $1.3 billion through an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering. That case is ongoing.
Traditional forms of regulation from the fiat world do not reciprocally apply to every aspect of crypto nor to the fundamental nature of blockchain technology.
As regulators and financial institutions improve their understanding of these criminal practices, AML requirements have likewise been improved. But these adjustments have been an overwhelmingly reactive, trial-by-fire process.
To address the challenges of the fast-evolving blockchain ecosystem, the European Union has begun to introduce more stringent financial regulations that further bolster the regulatory system in order to improve licensing models. Many member states now regulate crypto assets individually, and Germany is leading the way in being the first to regulate cryptocurrencies.
These individual regulations clearly prescribe the pathway for crypto companies, outlining the requirements for obtaining and maintaining a financial license from the regulator. Compliance naturally boosts investor confidence and protection.
As these financial crimes and crypto itself evolves, so have regulatory bodies’ efforts to monitor, address and enforce restrictions. Internationally, the most prominent monitoring body is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which outlines general guidance and determines best practices in anti-money-laundering practices and combating the financing of terrorism.
Although FATF is considered soft law, the task force sets the bar for workable regulations within crypto assets. Especially notable is FATF’s Recommendation 16, better known as the “travel rule,” which requires businesses to collect and store the personal data of participants in blockchain transactions. In theory, access to this data will enable authorities to have better oversight and enforcement of crypto market regulations. In other words, they’ll know exactly who is doing exactly what. Transparency is key.
The travel rule conundrum
FATF’s travel rule impacts two types of businesses: traditional financial institutions (banks, credit firms and so on) and crypto companies, otherwise known as virtual asset service providers (VASPs).
In its original incarnation, the travel rule only applied to banks, but was expanded to crypto companies in 2019. In 2021, many of the FATF member jurisdictions began to incorporate the travel rule into their local AML laws. This regulatory shift sent shockwaves through the crypto sector. The stakes of refusal are high: Failure to incorporate the travel rule results in a service provider being declared noncompliant, which is a major obstacle to doing business.
But, the travel rule is also a major hindrance that doesn’t take into account the novelty of crypto technology. It is problematic for crypto businesses to integrate due to the major amount of effort it poses when obtaining KYC data about the recipient and integrating it into day-to-day business.
In order for crypto businesses to obtain this information for outgoing payments, data would have to be provided by the client and would end up being virtually impossible to verify. This is highly disruptive to the crypto’s emblematic efficiency. Moreover, its implementation presents challenges regarding the accuracy of the data received by VASPs and banks. Also, it creates further data vulnerabilities due to additional data silos being created across the globe.
When it comes to international standardization measures rather than those isolated within certain communities, there is a wide gap between exclusively on-chain solutions (transactions that are recorded and verified on one specific blockchain) and cross-chain communication, which allows for interactions between different blockchains or for combining on-chain transactions with off-chain transactions that are conducted on other electronic systems, such as PayPal.
We must eventually find a halfway point between those with valid concerns about the anonymity crypto assets provide and those who see regulation as prohibitively restrictive on crypto. Both sides have a point, but crypto’s continued legitimacy and viability within the larger financial markets and industry is a net positive for all parties, making this negotiation nothing short of crucial.
Not anti-regulation, just anti-unworkable regulations
Ultimately, we need to regulate with efficacy, which necessitates legislation that is applicable specifically to digital assets and does not hinder the market without really solving any AML-related problems.
The already global nature of the traditional financial industry underscores the value of and need for FATF’s issuance of an international framework for regulatory oversight within crypto.
The criminal financial trade — money laundering, illegal weapons sales, human trafficking and so on — is also an international business. Thus, cracking down on it is, out of necessity, an international effort.
The decentralized nature of blockchain, which runs contrary to the central-server standard we know and use nearly everywhere, presents a formidable challenge here. Rules and regulations for traditional financial institutions are being implemented part and parcel onto crypto — a misstep and misunderstanding that ignores the innovation and novelty this economic ecosystem and its underlying technology entails.
Traditional forms of regulation from the fiat world do not reciprocally apply to every aspect of crypto nor to the fundamental nature of blockchain technology. However well intentioned they may be, because these imposed regulations are built on an old system, they must be adapted and modified.
The creation of fair restrictions on the technology’s use requires a fundamental understanding and cooperation within the limits and characteristics of those technologies. In traditional financial circles, the topic of blockchain is currently subject to more impassioned rhetoric than genuine understanding.
At the heart of the issue is the fundamental misunderstanding that blockchain transactions are anonymous or untraceable. Blockchain transactions are pseudo-anonymous and, in most circumstances, can offer more traceability and transparency than traditional banking. Illegal activity conducted on the blockchain will always be far more traceable than cash transactions, for example.
Technology with such immense potential should be made accessible, regulated and beneficial for everyone. Blockchain and digital assets are already revolutionizing the way we operate, and regulatory measures need to follow suit. The way forward cannot simply be delivering old-school directives, demanding obedience and doling out unfair punishments. There’s no reason a new way forward isn’t possible.
The end of the outlaw era
Activity can already be monitored through a collective database of users known to abide by international standards. This knowledge of approved users and vendors allows the industry to spot misconduct or malfeasance far sooner than usual, singling out and restricting illegitimate users.
By means of a well-thought-through tweaking of the suggested regulations, a verified network can collectively be built to ensure trust and properly leverage blockchain’s potential, while barring those bad actors intent on corrupting or manipulating the system. That would be a huge step forward in prosecuting international financial crimes and ensuring crypto’s legitimacy globally.
Crypto’s outlaw days are over, but it’s gained an unprecedented level of legitimacy that can only be preserved and bolstered by abiding with regulatory oversight.
That regulatory oversight can’t just be the old way of doing things copy-and-pasted onto blockchain transactions. Instead, it needs to be one that helps fight criminal activity, shores up investor confidence and throws a bone — not a wrench — to the very mechanics that make crypto a desirable financial investment.
The activist short-seller behind Hindenburg Research has become known for research that sends companies’ stock sinking. He says he’s not in it just to move share prices.
The absence of stringent regulation has allowed the search giant to dominate the powerful market for online advertising. Here’s how to fix it.
On Wednesday, we wrote about how Lordstown Motors stated that the company’s Endurance electric pickup truck would enter limited production later this year. The statements were made at a press conference on Tuesday, where Lordstown President Rich Schmidt told journalists that the company had “binding orders” that would fund production until May 2022.
This happened just days after the company issued a going concern warning and a day after Lordstown then parted company with its CEO and CFO. But on Thursday morning, Lordstown sent the US Securities and Exchange Commission a new Form 8-K, revealing that, actually, those binding orders are nothing of the sort.
In the 8-K, Lordstown explains that since March 2021, it has been working with a company called ARI Global Fleet Management, which is owned by the Holman dealership group. Fleet management companies sometimes lease vehicles to their customers, and Lordstown and ARI have been working to “co-market and co-develop business opportunities with our respective customers” with the hope that ARI would persuade some of its leasing clients to order the Endurance EV pickup truck.
Big stock funds own increasingly large chunks of publicly traded companies, leaving fund shareholders without a vote on corporate governance. But there’s a better way.
Companies behind digital currencies are rushing to hire well-connected lobbyists, lawyers and consultants as the battle over how to regulate them intensifies.
SPACs have taken off during the pandemic, and they’re looking for directors who can help find a company to merge with.
In a hearing focused on the frenzied trading of GameStop stock, the new S.E.C. chairman suggests more disclosure is needed.
In March 2020, the Federal Reserve had to step in to save the mutual funds, which seem safe until there’s a crisis. Regulation may be coming.
Brazilian mobile payments app PicPay filed an F-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO valued at up to $100 million on Wednesday. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol PICS.
PicPay operates largely as a financial services platform that includes a credit card; a digital wallet similar to that of Apple Pay; a Venmo-style P2P payments element; e-commerce, and social networking features.
“We want to transform the way people and companies interact, make transactions, and communicate in an intelligent, connected, and simple experience,” said José Antonio Batista, CEO of PicPay, in a statement.
While the company is based in Sao Paulo now and operates across Brazil, PicPay originally launched in Vitoria in 2012, a coastal city north of Rio. In 2015 the company was acquired by the group J&F Investimentos SA, a holding company owned by Brazilian billionaire brothers Wesley and Jose Antonio Batista, which also own the gigantic meatpacker JBS SA.
2020 was an explosive year for PicPay as the company saw its active userbase grow from 28.4 million to 36 million as of March 2021. According to the company’s 2020 financial report, which PicPay shared with TechCrunch, the company’s revenues also grew drastically from $15.5 million in 2019, to $71 million in 2020. The company is not yet profitable, however, and PicPay shelled out $146 million in 2020 to fuel its growth.
“We believe that the growth of our base and user engagement in our ecosystem demonstrates the scalability of our business model and reveals a great opportunity to generate more value for these customers,” Batista added.
Fintech is one of the most popular sectors in Brazil today, because there’s a lot of room for improvement in the region. The country has traditionally been controlled by four major banks, which have been slow to adapt to technology and also charge very high fees.
PicPay’s IPO is being led by Banco Bradesco BBI, Banco BTG Pactual, Santander Investment Securities Inc., and Barclays Capital Inc.
*The Brazilian Real was valued at 5.50 to $1 USD on the date of publication.
Gary Gensler, the new S.E.C. chairman, wants to improve corporate disclosure and regulate digital assets better. But a lot awaits him already.
In its eight-year history, the family office that managed the fortune of Bill Hwang never publicly disclosed any stock ownership. Securities lawyers said that was highly unusual.
As a deal frenzy mounts, propelled by financial vehicles known as SPACs, start-ups have become the prey.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued AT&T and three AT&T executives, saying the wireless carrier leaked nonpublic data about falling phone sales to analysts in order to convince the analysts to change their revenue forecasts. This scheme helped AT&T “beat” analysts’ revenue forecasts in the first quarter of 2016, the SEC said.
The complaint, filed Friday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that AT&T repeatedly violated the Securities Exchange Act and the SEC’s Regulation FD (for “fair disclosure“) in March and April of 2016. The regulation “prohibit[s] selective disclosures by issuers of material nonpublic information to securities analysts,” the SEC lawsuit said. AT&T executives “disclosed AT&T’s internal smartphone sales data and the impact of that data on internal revenue metrics, despite the fact that internal documents specifically informed Investor Relations personnel that AT&T’s revenue and sales of smartphones were types of information generally considered ‘material’ to AT&T investors, and therefore prohibited from selective disclosure under Regulation FD,” the SEC said in a press release about its complaint.
AT&T claimed in a response Friday that “there was no disclosure of material nonpublic information and no violation” and said it will fight the lawsuit. AT&T also said that the SEC “spen[t] four years investigating this matter,” but no charges were brought during the Trump administration. The lawsuit was filed about six weeks after President Biden appointed Democrat Allison Lee as acting chair for the SEC; although the SEC is an independent agency, its commissioners and chair are appointed by the president.
Nominees to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau faced questions about the limits of their power but said they wouldn’t shy from flexing it.