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December 9, 2021

Better Markets Report Examines Ways the SEC Can Address Racial Economic Inequality Through Securities Regulation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Contact: Doug Walker at 202-618-6430 or dwalker@bettermarkets.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Legal Director and Securities Specialist Stephen Hall issued the following statement on the release of a new Better Markets report, How Can the SEC Address Racial Economic Inequality Through Regulation of the Securities Markets for All Americans?

“In a new Better Markets report, we examine ways in which the Securities and Exchange Commission can address racial economic inequality through regulation of the securities markets. We show that corporate policies on racial justice have a direct impact on stakeholders and corporate profits and that they are clearly material to investors. Additionally, we cite evidence that companies with greater ethnic and cultural diversity outperform less diverse firms. The report reviews the tools the SEC can use to combat racial economic inequality, including disclosure, proxy voting and proxy advice rules, enforcement, and expertise within the agency’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.

“In addition to the well-established importance of conveying material information to investors, the emergent ESG movement also promises forward progress in addressing racial economic inequality in the U.S. Under Chair Gary Gensler, the SEC has shown welcome signs that it will move proactively to exercise its authority in this area, and we commend it for undertaking the initiatives it has placed on its agenda. Our report, however, calls on the agency to do more to meaningfully reverse the legacy of 400 years of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, and racial discrimination. That history continues to contribute to serious racial economic inequality in our society and a profound racial wealth divide.”

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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.org.

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