The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that because Indian tribes are indisputably governments, the Bankruptcy Code unmistakably abrogates their sovereign immunity to bankruptcy court proceedings.Continue Reading Supreme Court Finds Bankruptcy Code Abrogates Tribal Sovereign Immunity
Over the last several years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) have been laser-focused on the use of so called “off-channel communications” in the financial services industry. On the theory that employees’ use of personal devices to communicate about business matters violates the “books and records” rules as these communications are not saved in company systems, regulators have conducted intrusive and extensive investigations requiring employees to turn over their personal devices for review. SEC Chairperson Gary Gensler recently stated that “bookkeeping sweeps are ongoing,” having resulted in well over $1 billion in fines so far. While the first round of investigations focused on the large banks, this “sweep” has since spread to hedge funds, credit rating agencies, online banking platforms, and now, to regional banks.Continue Reading SEC Off-Channel Communications Sweep
Critics are warning that the SEC’s recently proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) prohibiting conflicts of interest in asset-backed securities (ABS) transactions may impede the ability of financial institutions, broker-dealers and others to enter into interest rate hedges and other risk-mitigating transactions.Continue Reading SEC’s Proposed Conflicts of Interest Rule May Impede Hedging
As market participants prepare to submit comments on the recent proposal of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) (available here) to require the temporary publication of a “synthetic” 1-, 3- and 6-month USD LIBOR, some have voiced concern that such a compelled publication of a synthetic USD LIBOR could precipitate a wave of litigation over whether certain U.S. law-governed contracts will be able to fall back to contractually agreed alternative rates in June 2023.Continue Reading Synthetic USD LIBOR
The new Ginnie Mae issuer financial requirements, first published on August 17, 2022 in APM 22-09 by joint announcement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, are scheduled to take effect in two parts beginning September 30, 2023*. See All Participant Memorandum (APM) (ginniemae.gov) and All Participant Memorandum (APM) (ginniemae.gov). Critics of the new financial requirements say they are badly flawed and ill-advised.Continue Reading More Trouble Ahead for the Mortgage Industry If Ginnie Mae’s Risk-Based Capital Requirements Take Effect
On August 12, 2022, the CFTC issued a final rule modifying its clearing requirement for interest rate swaps (“IRS”).
The final rule updates the types of IRS required to be submitted to a registered derivatives clearing organization (“DCO”) for mandatory clearing by:
- eliminating the requirements to clear IRS referencing LIBOR and certain other interbank offered rates (“IBORs”); and
- introducing, in their place, new requirements to clear IRS referencing the relevant replacement risk-free rates, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) in the case of USD LIBOR.
On June 9, the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation’s (DFPI) proposed commercial financing disclosure regulations issued pursuant to SB 1235. The regulations will become effective on December 9, 2022, and the final regulatory text can be found here. Continue Reading California Approves Commercial Financing Disclosure Regulations
The practice of appointing one or more independent directors to the boards of distressed companies has not only proliferated in recent years, but has become the subject of increasing controversy. In this episode of the Restructure THIS! podcast, John Dubel discusses, among other things, the proper role of an independent director in a restructuring and weighs in on whether he believes the current independent director framework in chapter 11 is broken. In doing so, John addresses some of the most significant criticisms that have been levied against independent directors, including that independent directors often lack disinterestedness and are nothing more than “repeat players” that advocate for preordained outcomes.
Continue Reading The Role of the Independent Director in a Restructuring
During times of corporate uncertainty, the company’s message to customers, vendors and employees can either instill confidence or foster anxiety. This holds true more than ever in the digital and social media era. In a chapter 11 scenario, then, engaging with, rather than dodging, press calls may be the preferred approach. This provides the opportunity to craft the message as well as address misinformation from leaks.
Continue Reading Communicating Distress in the Digital Era
Members of Sheppard Mullin’s Finance & Bankruptcy team recently co-authored an article entitled “When the Other Shoe Drops: Drivers of the Next Restructuring Cycle” with experts from leading restructuring advisory firm M3 Partners for the January 2022 issue of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal. The article discusses the confluence of factors that Sheppard Mullin and M3 believe will contribute to an uptick in restructuring activity in the future, including the eventual tightening of credit markets and a variety of pre-pandemic and post-pandemic headwinds.
Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin and M3 Partners Weigh In on the Potential Drivers of the Next Restructuring Cycle for the ABI Journal
As of November 1, 2021, dealers in security-based swaps (“SBS”) whose dealing activity exceeds certain de minimis thresholds (e.g., gross notional amount of $3 billion for credit default SBS, $150 million for other SBS, and $25 million for SBS where the counterparty is a special entity) are required to register with the SEC as a security-based swap dealer (“SBSD”) and to comply with the SEC’s regulations applicable to SBS. Many dealers exceeded these thresholds and filed for registration on or prior to November 1. Other dealers who exceed these thresholds later will be required to register at a future date.
Continue Reading Security-Based Swap Rules for End-Users