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September 24, 2019

SEC’s Release on Private Markets Will Hurt Public Markets and Main Street Investors, Better Markets Details in Comment Letter

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Washington, D.C.  –  Dennis Kelleher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, issued the following statement in connection with filing a comment letter today on the SEC’s Concept Release on Harmonization of Securities Offering Exemptions:

“The SEC’s so-called ‘harmonization’ concept release contemplates building on and expanding its three decades of enabling and incentivizing the expansion of dark private markets.  These are anti-public markets actions that have robbed public investors of opportunities, transparency and accountability, and an economy of much-needed capital formation. 

“Rather than supporting public markets, the SEC has created a vast, complex web of exemptions and exceptions that have permitted private and dark markets to balloon. Indeed, today companies raise twice as much funding through dark markets as they do through public markets. That would not be possible without the SEC’s actions.   

“Instead of fixing this major public policy failure, the SEC is now contemplating to increase exemptions, and, worse, expose less sophisticated retail investors to highly risky, illiquid, unregistered securities. Compounding those errors, the SEC is doing this with virtually no supporting data, all as we detail in our comment letter here.

“While the SEC bemoans the size and vitality of the public markets, this far-reaching and ill-considered release would simply make matters worse.  The SEC should hit the “pause” button, collect and analyze data, and provide the public with a meaningful opportunity to comment on a re-issued release.”


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

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