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SEC aims to tighten money market rules

SEC aims to tighten money market rules

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday proposed tightening a legal safe harbor that allows corporate insiders to trade in a company’s shares and other rules to improve the resilience of money market funds.

The agency also unveiled measures to increase transparency around share buybacks and the complex derivatives at the center of New York-based Archegos Capital Management’s meltdown this year.

The slew of long-awaited changes marks a milestone for SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, who has outlined an ambitious agenda to crack down on corporate wrongdoing, improve corporate governance and address inequities in the markets.

The changes, which are subject to public consultation, will affect a swathe of corporate America, from publicly traded companies and their top executives to banking groups and asset managers including BlackRock, Vanguard, Fidelity and Goldman Sachs.

— Reuters

German investors sue Bayer over Monsanto

Bayer is facing a class-action lawsuit in Germany from investors claiming that it concealed risks associated with the takeover of Monsanto. 

A court in Cologne is allowing the suit to go forward.

The TILP law firm spearheading the litigation said it’s representing more than 250 institutional investors and private investors with total claims that could exceed $1.1 billion, according to a statement.

Bayer called the claims “baseless” and said it isn’t changing its views of its legal situation. The German company cited several independent reviews of the $63 billion Monsanto deal that concluded it had performed adequate due diligence.

Bayer has been dealing with at least 125,000 U.S. lawsuits claiming that the Monsanto weedkiller Roundup caused cancer, a view Bayer rejects. 

— Bloomberg News

Guilty plea entered

in insider trading case

A McKinsey & Co. partner who advised Goldman Sachs on its impending acquisition of GreenSky pleaded guilty to using inside information about the deal to make more than $450,000 from illegal trades.

Puneet Dikshit, 40, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in Manhattan federal court Wednesday, according to a statement by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. 

Dikshit bought short-term GreenSky options before the bank’s Sept. 15 announcement that it planned to acquire the financial technology company for about $2.24 billion, and he then sold the options when shares soared on news of the deal, prosecutors said.

— Bloomberg News

Apple has
temporarily closed three retail stores in the United States and Canada after a rise in employee coronavirus cases and exposures. The three stores are in Miami, Annapolis and Ottawa. The company said that all employees will take coronavirus tests before the stores reopen and that it’s staying in touch with the affected workers. On Tuesday, Apple restored its mask mandate for shoppers at all U.S. retail locations and told employees that it would limit how many customers it will allow in stores at one time.
The Internet Association
will break up by the end of the year, its board said Wednesday, citing “tremendous growth and change” in the technology industry since the once-powerful lobbying group was founded a decade ago. The association has seen its influence in Washington wane as it has struggled to balance competing interests of its member companies, which include behemoths like Alphabet’s Google, as well as niche companies like The Internet Association faced financial difficulty after Microsoft and Uber left the group last month.
Verizon Communications
chief executive Hans Vestberg tested positive for the coronavirus eight days ago and has quarantined at home since then with mild symptoms. Vestberg, 56, shared the information Wednesday on a webcast with employees. He said that he’s fully vaccinated and that he hasn’t spread the virus to others. He credited the vaccination for his case being mild and urged all employees to get shots if they haven’t yet.

— From news reports