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Selling Hope, Selling RiskCorporations, Wall Street, and the Dilemmas of Investor Protection$
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Donald C. Langevoort

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190225667

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190225667.001.0001

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The Partial Disinfectant of Sunlight

The Partial Disinfectant of Sunlight

(p.87) 4 The Partial Disinfectant of Sunlight
Selling Hope, Selling Risk

Donald C. Langevoort

Oxford University Press

The mandatory disclosure regime makes fraud harder and plays other economic, social, and political roles, many of them highly contested. The content is interesting partly because of what doesn’t have to be disclosed—much that is forward-looking and competitively dangerous to disclose—as well as the large amount that does even though most investors might not find it economically material in the short term. The latter reflects the incursion of publicness, migrating in the direction of transparency in the name of social responsibility. The process is equally interesting in the way various gatekeepers and whistle-blowers—supposedly with more investor or public-oriented points of view—have been conscripted to improve disclosure quality. Yet they are all conflicted to some extent or another—economically, cognitively, or both—even though they do make important contributions.

Keywords:   disclosure, publicness, materiality, gatekeeper, conflict of interest, short-termism

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