Chamber of Commerce Issues First Lawsuit over Dodd-Frank FinReg

Shots fired!

From Dealbook, what I believe is the first lawsuit related to Dodd-Frank specifically has been issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable:

The United States Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable on Wednesday sued the Securities and Exchange Commission to overturn a rule that makes it easier for investors to oust corporate directors, arguing the provision gave activist investors too much leverage, Bloomberg News reported.

The rule, which allows shareholders who own 3 percent of a company to nominate board members to corporate ballots, was narrowly approved by the S.E.C. in August.

“This special- interest-driven rule will give small groups of special-interest activist investors significant leverage over a business’s activities,” said David Hirschmann, president of the chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness.

The chamber, a business lobby, has said that if given more power to nominate directors, labor unions and public pension funds would hijack companies and push political agendas. But Mary L. Schapiro, the S.E.C. chairman, has said that the 2008 crisis, which cost financial firms more than $1.82 trillion, shows that shareholders need more say on board members.

As Pension and Investments notes: “The SEC was authorized to adopt the rules as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21.” This is pretty clearly in the law, not a ‘discretion’ thing. And the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable want to shut it down.

It’s worth noting how this is the opening shot in what is likely to be a very long battle of lawsuits driven by corporate money and the financials sector to eat away at the good parts of the Dodd-Frank Bill. This is a pretty weak shot, but from the Chamber of Commerce’s point of view it’s an important battle. This will compliment the GOP efforts to defund agencies (including the CFPB) and intimidate regulators from doing their job.  For those who would say the bill does nothing this will seem like a whole lot of work for nothing.  I imagine a lot of this is going to get settled in the Supreme Court, where I am hoping it won’t start being gutted on 5-4 rules.

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One Response to Chamber of Commerce Issues First Lawsuit over Dodd-Frank FinReg

  1. Pingback: Links 10/3/10 « naked capitalism

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