In a recent paper, authors Onur Bayar, Thomas J. Chemmaur and Paolo Fulghieri consider whether allowing insiders with nonpublic information to disclose such information prior to selling their securities. The paper discusses the communications prohibitions applicable prior to, and in close proximity to, securities offerings, as well as some communications safe harbors. The authors set out a model for disclosures at different points in time prior to a securities offering. The paper concludes that even in the absence of an agency, like the Securities and Exchange Commission, that regulates disclosures, there are incentives for companies to self-regulate resulting in conservative disclosures. The authors further conclude that whether allowing disclosures prior to an equity offering is desirable depends on the proportion of Institutional investors who are able to verify the information (compared to retail investors that would not be able to test or verify disclosures). Finally, the authors also consider the nexus to the rules for bringing private securities lawsuits. Setting aside the authors’ thesis, it would seem prudent in light of the significant advances in technology since 2005 when securities offering reform last revamped the communications rules to revisit the safe harbors available to issuers.
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