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Inside Washington (01/26/2011)
* WASHINGTON (1/27/11)--The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted rules for shareholder approval of executive compensation and golden parachute compensation arrangements as required under the Dodd-Frank Act. The SEC's new rules specify that say-on-pay votes required under the Dodd-Frank Act must occur at least once every three years beginning with the first annual shareholders’ meeting taking place on or after Jan. 21. Companies also are required to hold a “frequency” vote at least once every six years to allow shareholders to decide how often they would like to be presented with the say-on-pay vote. Following the frequency vote, a company must disclose on SEC Form 8-K how often it will hold the say-on-pay vote. Under the SEC’s new rules, companies also are required to provide additional disclosure regarding golden parachute compensation arrangements with certain executive officers in connection with merger transactions … * WASHINGTON (1/27/11)--The 2008 financial crisis could have been avoided, and was created by a mix of government and corporate mismanagement and excessive risk on the part of Wall Street firms, according to a federal inquiry to be released today (The New York TimesJan. 26). The report, issued by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, finds fault with two presidential administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for overseeing a disaster created by excessive risk, predatory lending and lax regulation. The 575-page report cites financial institutions for poor mortgage lending standards, excessive packaging and sale of loans, and risky bets on securities. The commission included 10 members, but was divided along party lines. The six members appointed by Democrats endorsed the final report. Three Republican members have issued a dissent that cites a narrower set of causes for the crisis. The fourth Republican member, Peter J. Wallison, prepared a separate dissent, calling government policies that promoted home ownership as the major cause of the crisis. The commission, which held 19 days of hearing and interviews with 700 witnesses, said it will release transcripts and other material online … * WASHINGTON (1/27/11)--The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has voted to adopt two sets of new rules designed to help revitalize the asset-backed securities (ABS) market by encouraging better disclosure for investors. The SEC approved one set of rules that requires issuers of asset-backed securities to disclose the history of the requests they received and repurchases they made related to their outstanding asset-backed securities. The commission also approved a second set of rules that would require issuers of asset-backed securities to conduct a review of the assets underlying those securities. “At one time, the securitization market provided trillions of dollars of liquidity to virtually every sector of the economy. However, during the financial crisis, ABS investors suffered significant losses, causing the market for securitization to rapidly decline,” said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. “These rational measures are designed to help revitalize the important asset-backed securities market by encouraging better disclosure for investors” …


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