Tag: House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government

Weaponization of the SEC? The House questions the SEC Chair

Will “weaponization” be Merriam-Webster’s word of the year? On Wednesday, SEC Chair Gary Gensler testified to the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on the topic of SEC appropriations.   The SEC is asking for a 12% increase.  Why? Gensler cited tremendous growth in the markets and the “wild west of crypto,” which, he said, without prejudging any one token or exchange, was “rife with non-compliance”; the SEC was stretched thin in its efforts to investigate, but “must be able to meet the match of bad actors.”  In response, Gensler heard from some subcommittee members about heavy-handed enforcement, the “blistering pace” of rulemaking (which distracts the SEC from the work some members perceived as its real mission), and capital formation treated as just an afterthought. There was certainly some time spent questioning the vast number of proposals the SEC was making (which Gensler reminded the member was fewer than proposed during Jay Clayton’s tenure) and some attention to staffing issues highlighted in the Inspector General’s report.  By far, however, the spotlight was on climate, with much of the subcommittee going on a tear—well, as much of a tear as possible in a five-minute allocation of time—about the SEC’s climate proposal. One member even went so far as to suggest that the climate proposal represented a “weaponization” of the SEC. What impact will these criticisms have on the proposal? (See this PubCo post.)