- Dean Reuter, The Federalist Society
- John Shu, Asian United News Service
Reframing Financial Regulation: Enhancing Stability and Protecting Consumers, edited by Hester Peirce and Benjamin Klutsey, brings together a diverse set of authors to provide alternative ways to regulate different aspects of the financial system. The chapters embody approaches that rely less on centralized, top-down regulations and more on market discipline and oversight. The recently published book, which reflects a wide variety of viewpoints and approaches, seeks to initiate a lively conversation about how a thoughtfully regulated, market-based financial system can facilitate risk sharing, efficiently provide access to capital, and enable households to save for the future.
Senior Research Fellow and the Director of the Financial Markets Working Group at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Hester Peirce, will join us to discuss this new book.
Members of the Federalist Society’s Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group Executive Committee will provide an update on recent important activity at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The discussion will cover a multitude of topics including Fair Lending Priorities in 2017, a new proposed CFPB arbitration rule, CFPB restitution fines imposed on Equifax Inc. and TransUnion Inc., the CFPB's recently released 2016 Annual Employee Survey, the CFPB's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for 2016-2020, the role of emotion in consumer protection law, and the potential impact of the new Administration on the Bureau.
Julius L. Loeser, Of Counsel, Winston & Strawn LLP
On December 7, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corporation. Jevic Transportation, Inc., a trucking company headquartered in New Jersey, was purchased by a subsidiary of Sun Capital Partners in 2006. In 2008 Jevic filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, at which that point it owed about $73 million to various creditors. Jevic’s former truck drivers then sued it for violating federal and state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Acts, by failing to provide the requisite 60 days’ notice before a layoff. Separately, unsecured creditors filed a fraudulent conveyance action. In March 2012, representatives of all the major parties met to negotiate a settlement of the fraudulent conveyance suit. The representatives--except for the drivers’ representative--agreed to a settlement that would provide for payment of legal and administrative fees, a schedule for the payment of various creditors (though not the drivers), and ultimately a “structured dismissal” of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The drivers and US Trustee objected, arguing that the settlement would improperly distribute estate property to creditors with lower priority than the drivers, in violation of the Bankruptcy Code. The Bankruptcy Court rejected these objections and approved the proposed settlement. The U.S. District Court and then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed, holding that the Bankruptcy Court had not abused its discretion in approving a structured dismissal that did not adhere strictly to the Bankruptcy Code’s priority scheme.
The question now before the U.S. Supreme Court is whether a bankruptcy court may authorize the distribution of settlement proceeds in a manner that violates the statutory priority scheme.
To discuss the case, we have Thomas Plank, who is the Joel A. Katz Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law.
Credit-card companies charge a transaction fee, and merchants often pass that cost onto consumers by raising prices across the board. Some merchants, however, would like to charge more only to credit customers. Ten states prohibit merchants from charging such "swipe fees," and the states argue that this is classic economic regulation. The merchants counter that the states permit them to offer a cash discount equivalent in value to a credit surcharge, and therefore claim that the swipe-fee bans merely prohibit truthful speech, in violation of the First Amendment. The Second and Fifth Circuits have sided with the states, but the Eleventh Circuit struck down Florida's law on First Amendment grounds. The Supreme Court heard argument on Tuesday, January 10 in the case from New York, Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman.
Mr. Jesse Panuccio, a partner and appellate lawyer at Foley & Lardner LLP, joined us to discuss the argument and the case. He is counsel of record on an amicus brief filed in support of the merchants' position and on behalf of a group of state-based, free-market think tanks.