The SEC mandates that public companies assess new information that changes the risks that they face and disclose these if there has been a “material” change. Does that theory work in practice? Or are companies copying and repeating the same generic disclosures? Using the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, we explore these questions. Overall, we find considerable rote copying of boilerplate disclosures. Further, the factors that correlate with deviations from the boilerplate seem related more to the resources that companies have (large companies change updated disclosures more) and litigation risks (companies vulnerable to shareholder litigation update more) rather than general economic vulnerability to the pandemic. The exception is companies facing exposure to China.


Banking and Finance Law | Contracts | Law | Law and Economics | Securities Law

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