We examine whether a shock to the enforceability of Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD) limited its ability to restrict the flow of private information between managers and investors. Although prior work provides evidence that Reg FD reduced managers’ selective disclosure of material information immediately following its promulgation, we posit that private information flows returned as a result of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) public enforcement failure in SEC v. Siebel Systems, Inc. Using multiple settings, we find consistent evidence suggesting that Siebel changed the cost–benefit tradeoff for Reg FD compliance and effectively reversed the initial effects of the regulation. We also find that Siebel disrupted the equilibrium of selective disclosure activity, resulting in an unleveling effect among investors with respect to private information advantages. Finally, we find that Siebel also had real effects by altering managers’ capital structure decisions. Our findings run counter to the prevailing “mosaic theory” and gradual learning explanations for private information advantages in the extended post–Reg FD period and highlight the importance of enforcement in achieving intended regulatory outcomes.
|Journal||Journal of Accounting Research|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Chookaszian Accounting Research Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
- informed trading
- institutional investors
- Regulation Fair Disclosure
- SEC enforcement
- selective disclosure
- Siebel Systems
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics