SEC Chair outlines priorities for 2009

June 6th, 2009

After a year in which trillions of dollars of wealth were destroyed, the SEC is stepping up its efforts to protect investors. Speaking before the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on June 2, 2009, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro described the specific areas on which the Commission will focus on in 2009:

  • Reinvigorating the SEC’s Enforcement Division. Led by a new Enforcement Director, the SEC staff will be allowed more latitude in the use of subpoenas to obtain documents and testimonies from witnesses.

  • Strengthening risk-based oversight. The Commission is working on a risk-based oversight methodology that will improve its risk-based oversight of brokers-dealers, investment advisers, and mutual funds.

  • Improving transparency. In addition to working with the FASB on improvements in accounting standards, the SEC is focusing on the effectiveness of controls put in place for broker-dealers and investment advisers to prevent the spreading of false information, and additional reforms are expected in 2009 to address investments in municipal securities and harmful pay-to-play practices by investments advisers to public pension funds.

  • Combatting abusive short-selling. Already, the Commission has proposed two approaches to placing restrictions on short sales. These approaches were discussed at a roundtable held in May.

  • Filling regulatory gaps. Some of the areas that might be subject to more regulation include credit default swaps, hedge funds and other unregulated private pools of capital, and differences in the regulations that apply to broker-dealers and investments advisers.

  • Strengthening shareholder rights. Areas of focus include proxy access by shareholders and corporate disclosures that will provide more insights into why a board has chosen a particular leadership structure and how a company’s board of directors manages risks. The Commission will also consider whether more disclosures are needed about executive compensation.

  • Improving money market and mutual fund regulation. The SEC will consider proposals to strengthen to money market fund regulatory regime, to determine whether more regulation is needed over so-called “target date funds,” and whether changes are needed to Rule 12b-1 which permits mutual funds to compensate broker-dealers and other intermediaries for distribution and servicing expenses.

The full speech is available at http://www.sec.gov/news/testimony/2009/ts060209mls.htm.

Copyright © 2009 Center for Financial and Accounting Literacy        

 

 

 

Entry Filed under: Governance

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