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Life at the Center: Reflections on Fifty Years of Securities Regulation

 
Author(s): Roberta S. Karmel
Practice Area: Corporate & Securities
Published: Oct 2014
ISBN: 9781402423024
PLI Item #: 60986

Roberta S. Karmel has been at the center of U.S. securities regulation throughout her distinguished career as a Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Commissioner, a practitioner, an attorney in the enforcement division of the SEC New York Regional Office, a public director of the New York Stock Exchange, and a prominent academic who has taught in the U.S. and abroad.

In PLI's new book, Life at the Center: Reflections on Fifty Years of Securities Regulation, Professor Karmel addresses the key regulatory issues confronting the SEC over the past fifty years. The book is a compilation, with current commentary, of 190 New York Law Journal columns she wrote between 1982 and 2014, and excerpts from law review articles on related topics. She has written a current introduction for each chapter and provided context for the choice of each law review article excerpt.

Life at the Center is an invaluable guide to understanding the issues faced by the SEC, the choices available to it, and the actions taken, as well as its relationships with other regulatory agencies. It brings the unique perspective of a distinguished scholar, author, and participant in SEC regulatory issues.

According to Professor Karmel, many of the securities regulation controversies discussed in Life at the Center have not been resolved, or, if resolved temporarily, have resurfaced in a new form.

In the introductory first chapter, Professor Karmel, the first female Commissioner of the SEC, discusses her career and her early writings at the SEC. She then provides an overview of the SEC’s jurisdiction and programs, increased enforcement authority, pre-emption and regulatory competition.

The following chapters each focus on a specific regulatory subject:

  • Corporate Governance
  • Regulation of Financial Institutions
  • Corporation Finance Policies
  • International Securities Regulation
  • Market Structure and Regulation
  • Insider Trading, Short-Swing Profits and Tender Offers
  • Gatekeepers

In addition, Professor Karmel includes a chapter compiling her commentary on Supreme Court cases.

Drawing on her wealth of experience and insightful observations, Professor Karmel, in the final chapter of Life at the Center, points to the future and provides ten principles on how to improve financial regulation in the United States.

Life at the Center: Reflections on Fifty Years of Securities Regulation is an invaluable commentary on ongoing securities regulation in the United States.

ROBERTA S. KARMEL is Centennial Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law at Brooklyn Law School. Her expertise is in international and domestic financial regulation, for which she is widely called upon to teach and lecture all over the world. She was a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1977-80, a public director of the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. from 1983-89, and a member of the National Adjudicatory Council of the NASDR from 1998-2001. She was engaged in the private practice of law in New York City for over thirty years, first as an associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, and then as a partner and of counsel at Rogers & Wells and then at Kelley Drye & Warren. She also served as a director of a public corporation for twenty years and as a director of a mutual insurance company for over ten years.

Professor Karmel’s professional activities, affiliations and honors are numerous. She was a Trustee of Practising Law Institute (PLI) from 1983-2013 and Chair of the PLI Board of Trustees from 2012-13 and now serves as Chair Emerita. She is a Continuing Advisor to the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association (ABA), and was a member of the ABA Presidential Task Force on Financial Markets Regulatory Reform. She is a member of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and on the Boards of Advisors of Securities Regulation and Law Report, The Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation, and the World Securities Law Report. She was a Fulbright Scholar in 1991-92. She was awarded the Harold P. Seligson Award for Outstanding Contribution to PLI in CLE Activities in 2013 and the Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award in 2011, elected to Phi Beta Kappa Alpha Iota of Massachusetts at Harvard College (Hon.) in 2009, and awarded the ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award in 2008.

Professor Karmel is the author of over fifty articles in books and legal journals, and continues to write a regular column on securities regulation for the New York Law Journal. Her book titled Regulation by Prosecution: The Securities and Exchange Commission vs. Corporate America was published by Simon & Schuster in 1982. She was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received a B.A. cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1959 and an LL.B. cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1962. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Kings College in 1998.