The Role of Public and Private Litigation in the Enforcement of Securities Laws in the United States

by Nishal Ray Ramphal

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This research conducts a broad, empirical study of the overlapping public and private mechanisms that enforce federal securities laws. The author uses two original datasets to provide a descriptive analysis of federal enforcement actions, initiated by the Securities Exchange Commission, and private class actions, filed on behalf of aggrieved investors, between 1998 and 2004. His study also examines how the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has perturbed the balance of joint litigation of securities suits, and discusses the role of public and private litigation in disciplining self regulatory organizations, in particular the national stock exchanges, since 1990. A final contribution of this study is an analysis of the corporate governance reforms that both public and private litigators have required defendant firms to adopt, as part of their settlement agreements, together with an analysis of the market reaction to these reforms.

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Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    An Overview of Joint Enforcement of Securities Suits by Public and Private Plaintiffs

  • Chapter Three

    An Empirical Study of Corporate Governance Reforms in Private and Public Securities Actions

  • Chapter Four

    A Recent History of Private and Public Oversight of Self Regulatory Organizations with a Focus on the National Exchanges

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusion

This document was submitted as a dissertation in August 2007 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of James R. Hosek (Chair), Eric L. Talley, and James N. Dertouzos.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation dissertation series. PRGS dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a PRGS faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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