For the fourth consecutive six-month period, securities class action filings are "well below" historical averages, according to a mid-year report issued this week by the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and Cornerstone Research.
There were 59 filings between January and June 22, 2007, a 42 percent drop from the average semi-annual filing rate of 101. Those statistics come from examining filings from 1996 through 2005.
"We've now had two years worth of extremely low filing activity," Stanford Law School professor Joseph Grundfest said. "This is starting to look like a permanent shift, not a transitory phenomenon."
The second half of 2006 reported 53 filings and the latter half of 2005 showed 61 filings, according to the report.
Grundfest said increased enforcement activity by the SEC and DOJ has resulted in a decrease in fraud. Another explanation for the decrease in filings over the past two years is the strong stock market over that same time period, according to the report.
~Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter