What a Democrat-controlled SEC means for markets

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

What a Democrat-controlled SEC means for markets

first_img– Advertisement – What would a Democrat-controlled Securities and Exchange Commission look like? It’s early, but speculation is already raging on Wall Street. Who will be the next SEC Commissioner?  Former CFTC chair Gary Gensler, who aggressively implemented Dodd Frank while CFTC Chair under Barrack Obama, is in charge of the review group for the Biden transition team on the Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Regulators, which would include the SEC. There are no obvious choices, but given that Democrats are historically very aggressive on: 1) more regulation to protect consumers, and 2) aggressive enforcement of those regulations, some feel that it’s likely that a prosecutor-type would get serious consideration. – Advertisement – “Inspections and enforcement actions will likely increase, because they have not been very high under the current administration,” David Franasiak, an attorney with Williams & Jensen who specializes in corporate law, told me. Nick Morgan, a partner at Paul Hastings LLP and a former SEC senior trial counsel, told Law360 that “given [former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York] Preet Bharara’s history with President Trump, he seems a likely candidate.”Others agree that an “aggressive” candidate stood a good chance of approval.  “Maxine Waters is in charge of the House Financial Services Committee, and they (the Democrats) will look to her for regulatory guidance. I think she will be a swing vote in who gets appointed,” Pat Healy from Issuer Advisory Network told me, noting that he would expect her to push for a “very aggressive” appointment.What would the SEC priorities be?- Advertisement – “You will see more climate-related and ESG related policies,” Jim Angel, associate professor of finance at Georgetown University, told me. “They will look at ESG disclosures, like climate and risk disclosure — how much carbon and greenhouse chemicals are you putting into the air?”Indeed, expansion and standardization of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) principles was the most commonly referenced priority when I spoke with SEC watchers. More involvement in corporate governance, climate change, worker pay, worker treatment, diversity, and health care.SEC Commissioner Allison Herren-Lee (a Democrat, who could be interim chairman as a new chair is considered) has recently argued that the SEC should consider standardized reporting by public companies and investment funds regarding climate risk. What does the SEC have to do with climate risk? In a recent speech to the Practicing Law Institute,  Herren-Lee argued that the SEC is tasked with protecting investors, facilitating capital formation, and maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets. “Broadly, we must ensure that we work with fellow regulators to understand and, where appropriate, address systemic risks to our economy posed by climate change,” she said. “To assess systemic risk, we need complete, accurate, and reliable information about those risks,”  which starts, she says, with public company disclosure.She went on to encourage the development of more standardized disclosures around ESG in general.To many observers the requirement to “disclose” risks around climate change masks a broader agenda:  “What is the goal here?  Is it to get companies to disclose environmental risk, or is the goal to use disclosure requirements to require companies to take climate action?” one longtime SEC observer, who asked to remain anonymous, told me.Another longtime SEC observer, who also asked to remain anonymous, echoed that sentiment:  “Disclosure is used as the hook. The way this is advanced is, ‘Oh, it’s just disclosure.’ And then if you don’t have a policy around, say, climate change or diversity, it becomes a shaming exercise for companies that don’t have procedures that fit with a certain line of thinking.”“These are matters not germaine to the SEC,” the same person went on to say.  “They are trying to bootstrap social agenda items into investor protection and disclosure, but it’s not the SEC’s role to solve these problems.”A bigger push for public markets?The SEC has recently moved to make it easier for some people to invest in private companies. Tyler Gellasch, executive director of Healthy Markets, said the Dems will likely try to pull more companies — particularly large ones that have remained private for years — into the public markets.“The SEC has been aggressive in expanding the pool of private markets, making it easier to raise money,” he told me. “A huge part of the market has gone dark, in private equity hands. The Democrats would likely try to reverse those trends, they would say, once you are a big enough company, you should be a public company. You can’t go through an endless round of fundraising to stay private.”Regulation Best InterestRegulation Best Interest, known as Reg BI, was a 2019 rule that required broker-dealers to only recommend financial products that were in their clients’ “best interest,” but not require that they act as fiduciaries. That did not sit well with Democrats. “They don’t describe a fiduciary standard, but they [the Democrats] would likely make everyone including brokers a fiduciary,” Franasiak told me.“The big fight is likely over compensation schemes,” Angel told me. “The pro-fiduciary crowd [the Democrats] basically wanted to eliminate sales commissions, and said advice should either be charged by the hour, or as a percentage of assets under management. The anti-fiduciary crowd didn’t want to change anything, and realized that any new regulations would increase their compliance costs.”Shareholder Proposal RuleThe SEC also recently adopted new rules for shareholder proposals. Under the old rule, a shareholder was required to have continuously held for one year at least $2,000 in market value, or 1% of a company’s voting securities, to be for inclusion in the proxy materials.The new rule requires a shareholder to have continuously held voting securities with the following market values for the following periods:$2,000 for at least three years;$15,000 for at least two years;$25,000 for at least one year.“The shareholder proposal rule is right up there with some of the regulations the Democrats would like to roll back,” Chris Nagy, president and founder of KOR Trading and also with Healthy Markets, noting that both Democratic commissioners dissented from that proposal.Don’t expect quick changesThose expecting quick movement on a new chairperson are likely to be disappointed, Nagy said. “Don’t look for immediate appointment of a new Chairman,” Nagy said. “The Republicans will not want to have a quick nomination early.  Right now [assuming Chairman Clayton resigns] you have a 2-2 Commission, so if you had a Democratic Chairperson appointed you would have a 3-2 SEC Commission, with Democrats in the majority. The Republicans want to drag that out as long as possible.”Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.center_img – Advertisement – An exterior view of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) headquarters in Washington.Jonathan Ernst | Reuterslast_img read more

Continue Reading

Asian Games Asian Games 2018: Who is Bajrang Punia? 5 facts about India’s first gold medallist

first_imgNew Delhi: India got its first success of Gold medal in the Asian Games 2018 as freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia defeated Daichi Takatani on Day 1. Punia, who looked at home while taking on the mat was confident throughout his way to the final. There were a lot of hopes from two wrestlers specifically, one being the two-time Olympic medallist and the other being Bajrang Punia.Asian Games 2018, Day 2: India’s complete Schedule, TimingsWhile Sushil Kumar got eliminated in the qualifying round in what is being termed as the biggest shocker till now in the Asian Games 2018, Punia did not disappoint as he dominated his way to the yellow metal.Here are 5 interesting facts about Bajrang Punia:Bajrang Punia has won the bronze in the 2013 World Championship, silvers in 2014 Commonwealth and Asian Games and golds in the Commonwealth 2016 and 2017 editions.Bajrang Punia was born in Khudan village in the state of Haryana and started his wrestling career at the age of seven after getting motivated by his father. His family shifted to Sonepat so that Punia could attend the regional center of Sports Authority of India.The 24-year-old Haryana wrestler works as a Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) with Indian Railway. However, his family has demanded for the post of Deputy Superintendent of police with the Haryana police.Punia has been training hard under the supervision of four-time Olympian and Indian wrestling legend Yogeshwar Dutt since his early days and it was Dutt who asked Punia to move to the 65kg category from 61kg as it was not an Olympic category.Punia, alongside Sushil Kumar, was given a green ticket to the Asian Games 2018 without a trial as the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) thought the duo were far more superior than the other domestic competitors in their respective categories. For all the Latest Sports News News, Asian Games News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Whitworth already looking ahead to 15th NFL season

first_img SUBSCRIBE TO US Associated Press Television News COMMENT Last Updated: 25th December, 2019 12:49 IST Whitworth Already Looking Ahead To 15th NFL Season Andrew Whitworth wants to keep playing football. The left tackle for the Los Angeles Rams doesn’t see any reason why he should stop 8 months ago King Felipe’s Christmas message to Spain LIVE TV FOLLOW US First Published: 25th December, 2019 12:49 IST 8 months ago Aus authorities: NSW fires could fester for months Andrew Whitworth wants to keep playing football. The left tackle for the Los Angeles Rams doesn’t see any reason why he should stop. The 38-year-old Whitworth said Tuesday he wants to come back for a 15th NFL season, but he understands Sunday’s game against Arizona could be his last one with the Rams.“Obviously people talk about age, but I would say, you know, for me as a player I feel better and have played better this year than I played the year I became a free agent and came here,” Whitworth said. “So it is what it is, so we’ll see how it works out.”Whitworth is in the final season of a three-year contract with Los Angeles. He has played all but 10 of the Rams’ 1,028 offensive snaps, providing stability to an offensive line that has been limited by injuries and inexperience.The starting five against the Cardinals will look almost nothing like the group that opened the season, let alone the line that took the Rams to the Super Bowl.The constant turnover is one reason why the Rams (8-7) missed the playoffs for the first time in three seasons under coach Sean McVay.“For me, it’s a season that didn’t work out how we wanted but still a lot to be proud of,” Whitworth said. “Really just going through a season like this where you lose as many guys up as we did upfront and play with as many young guys as we did, I’m just proud to go through it and play it and feel like I played well.”Penalties have ticked up for Whitworth. He has been flagged 12 times, including eight holding calls, but he believes his game has held up in spite of the notion that time has caught up with him.Whitworth was amused by a recent article looking ahead to the impending free agency of Arizona offensive tackle D.J. Humphries, comparing the 25-year-old to other young linemen such as Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari and Houston’s Laremy Tunsil.Whitworth wondered how he can be “right there in the same category with all of them, actually less than ‘em in most everything, but it’s like the narrative is you’re old and you’ve hit a wall and those guys are like up-and-coming superstars. And it’s like, ‘Well, wait a minute. Statistically, we’re the exact same, so how does that work,’ you know what I mean?“Quarterback Jared Goff also thinks Whitworth is still playing at a high level. What has allowed Whitworth to maintain that form is the relentlessness with which he approaches the physical preparation leading up to a game, the trait that has impressed Goff most in their time playing together.“The way he practices every day, and you just see the way that he works, and you realize guys like him and guys around the league and guys that have played for that long, they are not there by accident,” Goff said. “They’re not in their 14th year playing at a high level because they’re physically gifted. It’s because of the work ethic and you see the way he works every day, the way he runs from drill to drill and treats each rep in practice like it’s his last. And it’s something that I’ll definitely hold with me for as long as I play.”While he wishes Los Angeles was preparing for a game with postseason implications, Whitworth is looking forward to showing what he is still capable of against Arizona.“To me, in these moments and these games is when you send a message of what kind of football player you really are,” Whitworth said. “The way you compete, the way you execute. Even when it doesn’t mean as much and it can’t bring you something, it’s still a great representation of who you are as a football player.” Written By WATCH US LIVE 8 months ago JMM’s Hemant Soren to meet ally Sonia Gandhi, extend invitation for swearing-in ceremony WE RECOMMEND 8 months ago Not easy to swim against the tide in Bollywood: Emraan Hashmilast_img read more

Continue Reading