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July 20, 2017

New SEC Agenda Leaves Too Many Critical Investor Protections Behind

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or njacobs@bettermarkets.com

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, released the following statement on the release of the SEC’s regulatory agenda:

“Mr. and Ms. 401(k) would not be happy about the new regulatory agenda published by the SEC today.  While it includes some important items that may improve our markets and protect investors, it falls far short of achieving the kinds of Main-Street-Investor oriented goals that the SEC exists for. 

“The good news is that Order Routing Disclosures, Municipal Securities Disclosures and an Anti-Disruptive Trading rule remain on the agenda and they are all worthy and important goals.  However, the agenda fails to address many critical concerns of Main Street investors, which Chairman Clayton himself talked about only two weeks ago during a speech in New York. 

“For example, today, nine years after the 2008 crash, company directors and officers still get to keep their compensation windfalls even if they bankrupt the company.  It is indefensible that there is still no SEC rule requiring the claw-back of such ill-gotten compensation.  Main Street investors also want to see prohibitions on executives being compensated when they decide to take egregious risks that hurt consumers, investors and destabilize financial markets, all of which recently happened at Wells Fargo.  Investors also care about directors protecting themselves from stock losses by hedging their own holdings of company shares, leaving ordinary investors holding the bag.  All these rules are mandated by Congress, leaving no discretion to the SEC, but none are on the SEC’s new agenda. 

“If Chairman Clayton is serious about helping Mr. and Ms. 401(k), and we believe he is, then he needs to reconsider the agenda released today and put investors’ interests and investor protection first and foremost.”

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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.com.

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