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Abstract

Since the Supreme Court’s landmark holding in Basic, Inc. v. Levinson, courts have incorporated the efficient capital markets hypothesis as an analytical tool in securities fraud cases. Nevertheless, recent turmoil in the financial markets and a growing chorus of scholarship challenging traditional notions of market efficiency have caused some courts to reconsider the role of the efficient capital markets hypothesis in securities fraud litigation. This Note analyzes a question that has split the circuits and marks the intersection of market efficiency and securities fraud: how quickly must an equity security depreciate in price following the publication of a corrective disclosure for a plaintiff to plead and prove loss causation? Part I introduces the efficient capital markets hypothesis, securities fraud actions, and the ways in which courts have traditionally employed concepts of market efficiency into their analyses. Part II analyzes the circuit split regarding the speed with which the market must incorporate information into price for a plaintiff to properly plead and prove loss causation. Finally, Part III argues that courts should resist the temptation to draw bright-line rules in the context of loss causation and should engage each case on its facts by analyzing the efficiency of the relevant market during each event giving rise to the fraud and economic loss.

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