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SEC Commissioner Peirce on the Need to Reexamine Rules

Thank you, Peter [Easton] for that kind introduction. I appreciate the chance to be with you at today’s conference to discuss Hot Topics at the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is a small population of people who would describe anything the SEC does as hot, but I suspect there are more than a few in this room who might be a part of that unusual crowd. Given that we share an interest in these issues, I hope that we can keep the conversation as interactive as possible, but I will start with a few observations about SEC rulemaking and the

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SEC Commissioner Peirce Talks Digital Assets: How We “Howey”

One year ago, I gave a speech—appropriately in Southern California—called “Beaches and Bitcoin.”[1] At that time—not so long ago in analog time but eons ago in digital time—the burning question was how to decide when issuing tokens constituted an offering of securities. The industry was rapidly developing and I worried that the SEC, as one of its potential regulators, would stifle its growth. I will admit today that I was very wrong, not about whether the SEC would stifle the industry’s growth—it has—but in how it would do it. Given that opening, I better give my disclaimer that my

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Commissioner Peirce Speaks on SEC’s “Secret Law”

I would like to begin with the standard disclaimer plus an additional one that ties with the theme of this speech. The views I represent are my own and not necessarily those of the Commission or my fellow Commissioners. The supplemental disclaimer is that the views of the staff are not necessarily those of the Commission either.

My cousin recently reminded me of a well-known children’s book, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The book tells the story of a troubled, young girl who finds herself living with her widowed uncle and troubled cousin on an estate in the

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SEC Commissioner Speaks to Council of Institutional Investors

Thank you, Mary [Francis], for that kind introduction and for the opportunity to be here today. Before I begin, I will give my standard disclaimer. The comments I make today represent my own views and not necessarily those of the Commission or my fellow Commissioners.

I consider it a great honor to have some time with you here this morning.  You represent such an important group of participants in our markets with an aggregate of approximately $4 trillion dollars in member assets under management invested in the markets.[1] You bring remarkable sophistication and great wisdom to the job of

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SEC Commissioner Offers Inside View of the Regulation Machine

I had high expectations when I picked up Thom [Lambert’s] book on regulation shortly after it first came out several years ago.[1] Those expectations were exceeded by the clear and compelling way in which the book wrestles with the difficulties faced by regulators as they seek to design regulations that solve problems without creating larger problems in the process. As the book explains, “regulation . . . always involves trade-offs. The $64,000 question is how policymakers should proceed to ensure that they strike those trade-offs in a manner that creates as much social welfare as possible.”[2] I appreciate

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SEC Commissioner Airs Her Beef With Stakeholders

Last time I flew to California, the skies were so clear that I was able to keep an eye on the changing landscape below all the way across the country. The vastness and great variety was striking. Having grown up in Ohio, I can attest to the fact that the magnificence of the landscape is just one of the features that makes so-called flyover country remarkably beautiful.  The wealth of talent and ingenuity in the people of the heartland is where the real beauty lies.

Indeed, one of the issues on which I am committed to working with Chairman Clayton

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