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    SEC to take baby steps with vote on ‘IPO Lite’ crowfunding idea

    Nearly three years after Congress promised to open a spigot of new financing to startups, securities regulators are finally ready to allow one of two anticipated new fundraising methods to go live. In a meeting Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission will vote on rules detailing what’s being called “Regulation A+,” a new equity selling path that’s been widely described as an ” IPO Lite.” Details aren’t yet certain pending the vote, but observers expect the rules to allow young companies a way to raise $50 million from regular people — and to allow those stakes to be traded freely — without having to navigate the patchwork of state securities laws or formally registering with the SEC. This is separate from the more revolutionary Title III of the JOBS Act, a section that would allow startups at all ages to advertise equity investment deals of almost any size. More in New York Business Journal here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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    S.E.C. Wants the Sinners to Own Up

    For decades, the Securities and Exchange Commission has allowed companies and individuals to make settlements without admitting any wrongdoing. Even a company committing an egregious sin that cost investors millions of dollars could walk away from the proceedings without ever acknowledging its role. But in mid-2013 the agency declared that it was doing an about-face. “Heightened accountability or acceptance of responsibility through the defendant’s admission of misconduct may be appropriate, even if it does not allow us to achieve a prompt resolution,” Andrew Ceresney, the S.E.C.’s head of enforcement, said in a June 2013 email to his lieutenants. More in the New York Times here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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    SEC Urged to Reform 12b-1 Fees, Block Risky ETFs

    Consumer advocates are urging Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White to reform a host of regulations that they say are failing to “effectively” serve retail investors’ needs. They called for the securities regulator to act now on a fiduciary rule for brokers, to reform 12b-1 mutual fund fees and to stop the approval of risky ETFs. In their March 10 letter to White, the Consumer Federation of America, Fund Democracy, AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, Consumer Action and Public Citizen say their concerns “reflect the fact that it has been some time since a comprehensive agenda of retail priorities has been clearly communicated to (or by) the Commission,” and that the Commission “can no longer afford to relegate … retail investor protection priorities to a back burner.” More on ThinkAdvisor here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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    SEC Chairman White Insists Banks Not ‘Too Big to Bar’

    WASHINGTON—Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White defended the agency’s process of granting banks reprieves from business restrictions following securities fraud settlements, saying the firms have not become “too big to bar.” Ms. White, speaking at Georgetown University, waded into a long-simmering debate among the SEC’s five commissioners over so-called waivers, which allow financial firms and other businesses to continue certain activities—like selling stakes in hedge funds—despite being automatically barred from such activities when they settle enforcement cases with U.S. authorities. More in the Wall Street Journal here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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    SEC Plans To Level Playing Field For Newer ETF Firms

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may strip Vanguard Group, BlackRock Inc and State Street Corp, the oldest and biggest providers of exchange-traded funds, of an advantage they hold over newer rivals in how they assemble the shares of their funds, said sources familiar with the SEC. ETFs are typically funds whose holdings are meant to mimic the performance of an index. To do that, the SEC has said the securities used to create shares in most funds must be the same ones as in the fund’s portfolio unless there was a change in the index the fund tracks. But BlackRock, Vanguard and a few others, who were among the first to apply with the SEC to create ETFs, are allowed greater leeway: if they need a difficult-to-find security to create shares of their funds, they are permitted to use a similar security – not necessarily the same one – in the fund. This greater flexibility makes it easier and cheaper to run the older funds, and harder for newer entrants into the market such as Northern Trust, Van Eck Global and Charles Schwab Corp to compete. More on International Business Times here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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