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SEC Commissioner Peirce Speaks About Women on Boards

A few months ago there was an article in the Washington Post about the baby on board signs that seem to be on so many cars.[1] The article’s timing was perfect because I had just seen one of those signs and remember wondering why they seemed to be making a come-back. At one point, those signs were everywhere, on almost every car. Then they seemed to disappear for a while, but now they are back. The article gave the history of the signs, which first hit rear windows in 1986, assessed the psychology behind their popularity, and reported on … Read more

SEC Commissioner Peirce Talks Exchange-Traded Funds

Welcome to all of you. We are so delighted to be able to host you at the Securities and Exchange Commission for today’s workshop on exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The discussion today is sure to be fascinating. Aside from my greeting, everything I say reflects my own views and not necessarily those of the Commission or my fellow Commissioners.[1]

It is graduation season, so if you have time to walk around the city, you might see graduates of our local schools celebrating in their caps and gowns. The big story of this graduation season was the announcement by a wealthy

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SEC Commissioner Talks a Quarter Century of Exchange-Traded Fun

Since the first exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) launched in 1993, ETFs have proven to be one of the most useful and successful innovations in the registered fund space under the Investment Company Act (“Act”) of 1940. The innovation did not stop with that first ETF. Besides being one of the fund industry’s most successful financial innovations, ETFs have been, and have the potential to continue being, the wrapper within which future financial innovations occur. Today, I want to share my thoughts on how ETFs can be used to facilitate further financial experimentation and innovations and how the SEC can fulfill its

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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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