What a Democrat-controlled SEC means for markets

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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

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Yankees adopt Brett Gardner’s dugout antics for new celebration

first_img Three Yankees ejected by multiple umpires during tight game vs. Indians #BangGangpic.twitter.com/rxeOh6wegz— Jared Saul (@JaredSaul) August 18, 2019“He’s one of the leaders of this team,” Judge said after the game ( via yankees.com ). “We do a lot of crazy things in that dugout. We’re showing support for him. He’s a leader of this stuff, so we’re supporting him with that. You’ll be seeing a lot more of that.”For some context, Gardner has had a career year when it comes to dugout demolition. Since busting own lip by slamming his helmet earlier this season, the veteran made an adjustment and started banging his bat against the roof of the dugout to blow off some steam. Related News Mets’ Pete Alonso breaks National League rookie home run record In case you were wondering what Brett Gardner has done to the top of the #Yankees dugout … #LetBrettBang pic.twitter.com/CO9QO60uDh— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 18, 2019Gardner’s latest outburst got him tossed from a Yankees win Saturday, along with manager Aaron Boone and teammate CC Sabathia. Once back on the field Sunday, Gardner gave the fans what they wanted during roll call with a mimed version of the roof beating and a two-armed flex. Imagine not loving Brett Gardner. pic.twitter.com/s0o9l7isi3— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) August 18, 2019“I know the fans out in right field were loving it,” Judge said. “He gave them a little dugout hit with a muscle-up [flex]. That was a good one.”This newest celebration seems to the 2019 version of the “thumbs down” craze of 2017 — which was taken from a Mets fan who disapproved of a Yankees homer. If nothing else, it’s another unifying symbol for a tight-knit team with baseball’s best record (83-43).Yankees doing the thumbs down for Todd Frazier because of the thumbs down guy 😂 pic.twitter.com/9V8vPm4Qlq— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) September 15, 2017″Those guys are really close,” Boone said. “There’s little things that happen throughout the course of the year that are inside things between guys, so that today was probably a little more of that.” In an act of solidarity (and maybe a bit of passive-aggressiveness), the Yankees have brought Brett Gardner’s dugout bat banging onto the field.After hitting a single Sunday against the Indians, Aaron Judge stood on first base, looked into the New York dugout and mimicked Gardner’s familiar act of protest. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. injury update: Blue Jays rookie pulled with left knee discomfortlast_img read more

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Record in sight as Langley shoots flawless 10-under

first_img In his last event he was disappointed with his putting and has practised hard in the run-up to this championship. “I’ve worked really hard on my mid-range putting and it certainly paid off today. Most of my putts today were in the 10-20ft range, although I holed from about 35ft on the 17th. That was a bonus.” “I play on my days off now and I enjoy it so much more now, it’s like a privilege,” he said.  Berkshire golfer David Langley led an astonishing day of low scoring with a flawless 10-under par 61 in the first round of qualifying for the English amateur championship.  Altogether 103 players beat par today at The Berkshire – and if they keep up the standard tomorrow there will be a record low cut for a place in the match play stages, which start on Thursday.  Among the others who made their mark were 2016 Amateur Champion Scott Gregory and Lytham Trophy winner Jack Singh Brar who were both seven under, playing the Blue and the Red respectively. Late in the day they were joined by boy international Danny Daniels (Essendon, Hertfordshire) who had a bogey free round on the Red and remarked: “I played lovely.” 1 Aug 2017 Record in sight as Langley shoots flawless 10-under He’s already shown his form this season by reaching the third round of the Amateur Championship, but this round is his career best. “I’ve shot nine-under twice before and walking up the last I thought it would be cool to hole the putt and push that record,” he said. He duly sank the 10-footer for his birdie three.  Click here for full scores Wilcox (North Hants), is the British mid-amateur champion and prepared for this event with a four-day break at Centre Parcs with his 10-year-old daughter. “That was my warm-up, five hours in the swimming pool each day helped!” he said. It did him no harm, however, as he too shot a bogey free round with six birdies and an eagle. The 23-year old from Castle Royle is a past BB&O (Berks, Bucks & Oxon) county champion, who has just graduated from university in the USA, where he has won on the college circuit.  But all the talk today was of Langley’s 61 on the Blue course, which included eight birdies, an eagle and just 25 putts.  Defending champion Dan Brown (Masham), Hampshire’s Tom Robson (Rowlands Castle) and Surrey’s David Corben (Hindhead) are all six under and 12 players shot five-under, including Coby Cartwright (Cosby,Leicestershire) who was in the first group out at 7.30am.  Towards the end of the day, Northumberland’s Matty Lamb (Hexham) set the low score on the Red course with his eight-under 64.  Gregory, who recently tied fourth in a EuroPro event, where he also shot seven-under in the first round, commented: “I really enjoyed this, I just played really well and there are a lot of positives going into tomorrow.” Singh Brar, who predicted 10-under was on the cards, started with three consecutive birdies and was five-under at the turn. “I don’t think I’ve ever been five-under at the turn, I normally do it the other way round.” He had three more birdies and one bogey on the way home, concluding: “I’ll never be disappointed with seven-under – it could have been better but it’s a great start and you don’t have to win the stroke play. His round was also bogey-free and is a personal best. “I didn’t hole many putts but tee to green was probably the best I have ever hit it,” said the 19-year-old who has just completed his first year at university in the USA.  There’s an interesting mix of full-time golfers and full time workers among the leaders. The working brigade includes Coby Cartwright, 18, who says “I probably enjoy it more than I did as a junior; Matt Wilcox and Tom Robson, who is the assistant secretary at his club and was previously at college in the USA.  His playing partner, Matt Wilcox of Hampshire, went round in eight-under and joked afterwards: “I’m very disappointed with that now!”  The top 64 players and ties will qualify for the knockout and the previous record included two players on level par.  Caption: David Langley (image copyright Leaderboard Photography).  “I really enjoyed this, I just played really well and there are a lot of positives going into tomorrowlast_img read more

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Soiled Savior

first_imgWhat goes around comes around. All spiritual debts must be paid in full. Karma not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. If you do dirt you may have to eat dirt or least take a hot soapy shower somewhere along the way. On or around Jan. 1, the short lived tenure of Michael Haywood the first African-American football coach “hired” at the University of Pittsburgh came to a screeching halt after barely more than a fortnight. The media immediately began doodling away as they circled the wagons preparing to scalp Mr. Haywood. They hunkered down and began the process of devaluing and degrading Haywood, his coaching staff and his family. Bob Smizik wrote; “Acting swiftly, boldly and correctly, Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg today fired football coach Michael Haywood. The firing, announced in a statement, came little more than two weeks after Haywood had been named the successor to Dave Wannstedt.”Pete Hamel of the NY Times chimed in; “The firing [of Haywood] and its aftermath are likely to place significant pressure on Athletic Director Steve Pederson, who hired Haywood and praised him at the time by saying, “Most importantly, Michael is a man of character and integrity.” When Pederson was at Nebraska, he hired Bill Callahan as the Cornhuskers’ football coach. After four seasons, Nebraska fired Callahan after he compiled a 27-22 record—an unacceptable mark at a university that expects to compete for national championships. Pederson himself was fired by in 2007, shortly before Callahan.”H’mm, Pederson himself was fired by Nebraska, yet he comes back to Pitt and he is immediately restored to sainthood? If Pederson can be rehired and exalted after initially abandoning Pitt to pursue his “dream job” at Nebraska then why shouldn’t Haywood be rehired as the next head coach of the Panthers after Todd Graham, the man that they praised as the next “Savior” of the program hopped the nearest camel and moseyed on out to the Arizona desert? Would bringing back Haywood be the right thing to do? Hell yeah! Would Pederson and the powers at Pitt ever remotely consider doing it? Hell no!Was the confluence of the Mon, Allegheny and Ohio rivers too much for Graham to bear or was the addition of a few million more pesos the deciding factor for him to abandon ship?There was no respect or empathy for Haywood displayed by anyone even remotely associated with the University (not that he deserved any for his alleged actions). However, it seems a travesty that a student/athlete who never played one down for the man would be given a forum to gloat. Pitt usually controls the interviews of its players but according to a story written by Jerry DiPaola of Tribune Review on Nov. 29, Pitt Senior defensive lineman Chas Alecxih had this to say regarding the downfall of Heyward. “I was happy [that he was fired]. [He was] a real (jerk). You should have seen our first meeting. He came in with a wrinkled suit, the worst suit I had ever seen. It looked like he had picked it up at Goodwill. [He was] very arrogant.”Alecxih also said; “[Todd Graham] came in and said, ‘You had a great coach before (Dave Wannstedt), which we did, but we’re going to take this program to the next level. He told us he had a plan and we needed to trust him.” After Graham broke camp for Arizona, Alecxih only had this generic comment about his defection saying, “How is it in college football, if a player wants to leave he has to do all kinds of stuff, he has to fill out paperwork, he has to sit out a year but if a coach wants to leave he can up and leave without so much as a moment’s notice?” Chas also forgot to mention the apparel of his now former coach.There is a dark tar-like substance oozing from the pores of college athletics. The elements of this hideous material are racism, cronyism, nepotism, sexual discrimination and all of the things that embody the opposite of what college athletics are supposed to be about. Standout running back Ray Graham had a season ending injury running his heart out for Todd Graham. No one gives a damn if he ever receives one penny as a professional athlete. Let the NCAA put the “boy” on the auction block, fake like they care if he gets an “edu-mication.” As far as his injury, oh well he knew the risks. However, I cannot with a clear conscience totally blame Todd Graham for “getting ghost.” Pitt considered it strictly business to fire Haywood while snickering behind the scenes. It was also a business decision for Todd Graham to do what was best for him and his family by accepting the job as the head football coach at Arizona State. But ya know what guys and dolls?The man that Pitt had undiluted faith and trust in to lead them to the next level, had the last laugh.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741. Bruce is also the NFL/AFC North analyst on the “Odd Couple Sports Show” streaming live on Fox Sports radio; WCWA 1230am, Toledo, Ohio, Wednesdays from 11-11:30 a.m.)last_img read more

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Rejuvenated Harrison thriving for Steelers

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison (92) yells at an official from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH (AP) – The game ball sat innocently in the gold-painted locker, an oblong tribute to a career revival no one saw coming.Not even James Harrison.Two months ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker was retired, weary from more than a decade as one of the NFL’s most intimidating players.Now the 36-year-old’s unlikely renaissance has his suddenly streaking team poised to make a run.From the couch to a fixture in the Baltimore Ravens backfield in all of eight weeks. Hardly the play of a guy who’s lost a step, even if the five-time Pro Bowler is trying to downplay his re-emergence as the teeth of a pass rush that has rediscovered its inner snarling self.“As old and slow as I am, (God) is driving the bus,” Harrison said.Whoever is at the controls, the results feel awfully familiar. A half-decade removed from his prime in his first go-round in Pittsburgh, Harrison is back to “doing James Harrison-type things” as coach Mike Tomlin put it.Namely, creating havoc.A year after a quiet season in Cincinnati that seemed anticlimactic and sort of odd, Harrison is validating his decision to come back for a final go-round with the Steelers one foray across the line of scrimmage at a time.He has four sacks in his past two games, including a pair in a surprisingly easy 43-23 victory over the Ravens on Sunday night that pushed the Steelers to 6-3 heading into a trip to New York to face the struggling Jets.The player who served as a largely ineffective pass-rushing specialist with the Bengals in 2013 has multiple sacks in consecutive games for the first time since 2009, when he was one of the most dominant defensive presences in the league.That’s a lifetime ago by NFL standards, though Pittsburgh cornerback William Gay dismisses the notion that the expiration date on Harrison’s effectiveness has long since passed.“That’s crazy how we use the words ‘old man,’” Gay said. “(Harrison) is not old. He’s the strongest person in the league. I’ll put any type of money on that.”The proof is in Harrison’s busy Twitter and Instagram accounts. Hours after beating the Ravens, Harrison was posting video of himself lifting the equivalent of a small pickup truck.On Tuesday, he did push-ups with 303-pound Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey lounging on his back.It’s that diligent commitment to his body that has enabled Harrison to say yes when the Steelers called him in mid-September after linebackers Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier went down with injuries.Though Harrison had announced his retirement two weeks earlier during a brief ceremony at the team headquarters, he couldn’t resist when his phone started ringing with old friends asking if he wanted to get the gang back together for one last run.Harrison insists he did nothing “football specific” during the nine months he was away from the game.“I hadn’t really planned on playing again,” he said. “Everything I did was just working out and staying in shape because I like to work out, that’s about it.”The first few weeks were unkind. Though he won’t get specific, Harrison allows he’d put on weight during his extended offseason. He looked like a player whose best days were in the rearview mirror as the Steelers eased him back into the lineup.He was a nonfactor for a month, his No. 92 largely invisible as Pittsburgh’s defense struggled to generate any of the chaos that has long been its trademark.There was no panic. Instead Harrison quietly went about his business, working his way back into “football shape” and mentoring younger teammates such as Arthur Moats. Harrison remained confident if the Steelers could find a way to play from ahead, the menace would return.The first glimmer came against the Colts. Up 25 points in the second quarter, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau started to get exotic with his blitz packages. The results were two Harrison sacks of Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck.“I felt like we were meshing a little better,” Harrison said. “We got a lead and when you’ve got a lead you’ve got the opportunity to pin your ears back and take off.”At the moment, Harrison is soaring. He put together perhaps his finest game this decade against the Ravens. He sacked the Ravens’ Joe Flacco in the first quarter to cut short a Baltimore drive.He was chasing down Flacco in the second quarter, forcing Flacco into an inexplicable throw to nowhere that Jason Worilds picked off and returned 30 yards to set up the second of Ben Roethlisberger’s six touchdown passes.While he left briefly with a sprained MCL in his right knee, Harrison returned to another sack in the third quarter, grabbing Flacco by the ankle to force the Ravens to punt with the game still in doubt. Though Flacco said he “can’t tell who it is out there,” his coach certainly noticed.“I thought 92 looked really good,” John Harbaugh said.So did the rest of the Pittsburgh defense. It’s not a coincidence, even as Harrison stresses plenty of work remains. And no matter how the next seven games go, this is his final go-round.“Obviously everything happens for a reason,” he said. “I guess this is the road I was supposed to take.”___Online: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

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