As always, I want to begin by thanking our Staff for the hard work reflected in today’s release. In particular, Tom McGowan and Sheila Swartz provided helpful briefings to my Office, addressing a wide range of questions in connection with this proposal.
Today’s proposal addresses margin requirements for security futures. We haven’t revisited those rules in almost two decades, so updating them makes sense. But the majority simply proposes to lower the required margin without seriously analyzing the consequences of doing so or assessing alternatives. The proposal favors deregulatory intuition over market-driven analysis, so I respectfully dissent.
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Let me begin by thanking the staff in the Division of Corporation Finance, including Division Director Bill Hinman, for their hard work in developing the May 3 release and for helpful briefings throughout this process.
The May 3 proposal governs the financial information firms give investors relating to mergers and acquisitions, among other things. It provides several necessary updates to our rules. But I’m concerned that the proposal treats mergers as an unalloyed good—ignoring decades of data showing that not all acquisitions make sense for investors. Thus, while I vote to open this proposal for public comment, I urge investors … Read more
I want to begin by conveying my thanks to the staff in the Division of Corporation Finance for their hard work in developing today’s adopting release. I am especially grateful to Charles Kwon and Dan Greenspan, as well as Director Bill Hinman, for the time you spent with me and my office throughout this process.
Following up on a detailed report our staff sent to Congress under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission today adopts a final rule on information investors receive about the increasingly complex companies in our markets. The rule … Read more
Thank you so much, Scott [Hemphill], for that incredibly kind introduction.* It’s a real honor to be here with you—and to be invited to testify before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). I share your commitment to making sure our markets are competitive and fair for all Americans. And I’m delighted that the FTC has convened this important conversation about the increasingly concentrated ownership profiles of America’s public companies.
I should begin, of course, with the standard disclaimer: the views I express here are my own and do not reflect the views of the Securities and Exchange Commission, my … Read more
Thank you so much, Sarah [Miller], for that kind introduction. It’s a privilege to be here with you and the Open Markets Institute and Village Capital today. I’ve long admired the Institute’s leadership in putting the concentrated power choking our economy at the forefront of the national agenda, and I share your commitment to making sure our markets are competitive and fair for all Americans. So it’s a real honor to be here with you today.*
Now, before I begin, let me just give the standard disclaimer: the views I express here are my own and do not reflect … Read more
Today, the Office of the Chairman and the Division of Investment Management at the Securities and Exchange Commission suddenly raised questions about long-resolved issues regarding shareholder voting. Because the Investor Advisory Committee’s critical work in this area is ongoing, it’s important to clarify the path ahead for those interested in giving shareholders real access to the levers of corporate democracy.
First, the law governing investor use of proxy advisors is no different today than it was yesterday. The Commission has long recognized that proxy advisors—the companies that develop recommendations regarding how investors should vote on corporate questions—serve an important … Read more
It’s a real honor to be here with you today at the Greater Cleveland Middle Market Forum.* In addition to leading some of the nation’s most promising young companies, you all have done exceptional work making sure that the middle market gets the attention it deserves in Washington. And as a lifelong baseball fan, I couldn’t miss the chance to see the Indians show the Cubs who’s boss tonight in Cleveland.
Now, before I begin, let me just give the standard disclaimer: the views I express here are my own and do not reflect the views of the … Read more
I’ve had the honor of serving as a commissioner of the SEC for just over a month now— and I’ve learned a lot in that time, mostly from the outstanding staff. I’ve been schooled about cryptocurrency, spent hours wading through enforcement recommendations, and have been left in awe of the breadth of knowledge and expertise across our agency.
One thing that I always tried to bring to my work as an academic, and that I now hope to bring to my work as a policy-maker, is a focus on data and facts. Numbers are powerful things. A well-placed statistic can … Read more
Last week, along with our co-authors Kate Andrias and Michael Barr of the University of Michigan Law School, we filed an amicus brief on behalf of fifteen professors of law and finance in MetLife v. Financial Stability Oversight Council. MetLife has challenged the FSOC’s determination that the company’s distress could threaten U.S. financial stability—and, thus, that MetLife should be subject to Federal Reserve supervision. The case, which is currently before the federal trial court in Washington D.C., represents the first major challenge to an FSOC designation. Our brief explains why the court should reject this challenge.
Our brief reflects … Read more
Last month, we released a new study, How the SEC Helps Speedy Traders, covered here by the Wall Street Journal, revealing that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s systems have been giving certain investors market-moving corporate filings before those same filings are made available to the investing public. In the days after the Journal published its article, the Senate Banking Committee issued a bipartisan letter to the SEC, “urg[ing] the SEC to quickly investigate this timing disparity for company filings and take the necessary steps to eliminate it.” Based on our subsequent research, the Journal later reported that the … Read more
Our Blog’s most recent Marketplace for Ideas series has considered whether the SEC should tighten its rules under the Williams Act, which now require that investors must disclose purchases of a 5% or greater stake in public companies within ten days of crossing the 5% level. This debate began in March 2011, when Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz first petitioned the SEC to reduce the disclosure window from ten days to one, and SEC Staff immediately signaled that they were indeed inclined to tighten the disclosure period. In response, Lucian Bebchuk and I filed a comment letter urging the SEC … Read more
Since the financial crisis, federal regulators have been searching for ways to rein in excessive risktaking in the financial sector. Many scholars and regulators have argued that executive retirement benefits can serve this risk-curbing function. Because top managers might not receive their promised retirement payouts if their firm goes bankrupt, the theory goes, generous retirement benefits encourage them to manage their firms more carefully. This view—sometimes called the “inside debt” hypothesis—assumes that, through retirement benefits, managers continue to be exposed to the firm’s credit risk after they retire. But no previous work has tested that assumption empirically. In our new … Read more