Securities Law: Insider Trading (Turning Point Series)

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9781566627375: Securities Law: Insider Trading (Turning Point Series)
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Selected insider trading cases have been compiled in this Turning Points series casebook as a way of illustrating the development of securities/insider trading law. Text and explanations accompany each case.

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Insider trading is one of the most common violations of the federal securities laws. It is certainly the violation that has mostly clearly captured the public's imagination. What other corporate or securities law doctrine provided the plot line of a major motion picture, as insider trading did in Oliver Stone's Wall Street (1987)?

The term insider trading actually is something of a misnomer. It conjures up images of corporate directors or officers using secret information to buy stock from (or sell it to) unsuspecting investors. To be sure, the modern federal insider trading prohibition proscribes a corporation's officers and directors from trading on the basis of material nonpublic information about their firm, but it also casts a far broader net. My book describes that net in detail, explaining how insider trading law captures a wide range of conduct.

From a policy perspective, insider trading remains one of the most controversial aspects of securities law. Courts and regulators typically justify the prohibition on fairness or other equity grounds. Is insider trading clearly unfair, however? Many leading corporate law scholars contend that the legality of insider trading should turn not on fairness considerations, but rather on issues of economic efficiency. Some of these commentators believe that the prohibition cannot be justified on efficiency grounds, while others have offered various economic justifications for the prohibition. Although virtually no one seriously believes that the federal insider trading prohibition is likely to be repealed any time soon, the academic policy debate nevertheless rewards study. Understanding the policy issues at stake can help inform the way in which unresolved aspects of the prohibition are settled.

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Harvard Law School

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Publisher: Foundation Press, 2007
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