This is the season for report cards and grades. The securities laws are enforced by the plaintiff’s bar and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. How well are they doing? What grades do they deserve?

Private Enforcement

In terms of private litigation, 2012 saw only 53 court-approved securities class action settlements, which was a 14-year low.1 This was not unexpected because settlements follow in the wake of class action filings in earlier years, and class action filings were well down in 2009 and 2010.2 This decline seems likely to continue, as securities class action filings were also down sharply in 2012, with only 152 filings (down from 188 in 2011 and an annual average of 193 between 1997 and 2011).3

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