What duties does a “public” company owe investors, markets, and society? In recent years, Congress has both strengthened and diluted the federal disclosure and corporate governance regime that applies to public companies in the United States. However, it has never articulated a framework for what it means to be “public,” and how the obligations of public companies should reflect the needs of the constituencies whose financial and social interests they affect. As a result, firms fear that becoming public is an impediment to growth, and they game gradations of publicness to avoid compliance burdens. This Article proposes reframing the regulation of public companies under U.S. securities law around three regulatory principles: (1) suitability, (2) efficiency, and (3) representativeness. These principles—and associated tiers of regulation— will enable stock exchanges, investment banks, and other market intermediaries to shepherd companies toward heightened degrees of public exposure and accountability as their capital-raising needs evolve.
September 2016, Vol. 68, No. 5
Leslie C. Levin, Lawyers Going Bare and Clients Going Blind
Aya Gruber, Amy J. Cohen, & Kate Mogulescu, Penal Welfare and the New Human Trafficking Intervention Courts
Caprice Roberts, Supreme Disgorgement
Anthony Jose Sirven, Undue Process: A Father's Proprietary Interest in an Embryo and Its Clash with Casey
Maris Snell, Section 875C: Not for All Intents and Purposes