SEC Chairman Clayton to Step Down

  • At present, Biden's transitional period has just begun. Many current government officials plan to leave.
  • Bank of America and investment companies have begun to worry about the replacement of SEC chairman.
  • Clayton, 54 years old, is a business lawyer and was appointed by Trump as the chairman of the SEC in 2017.

According to Bloomberg News, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton, who was originally scheduled to step down in June next year, announced on Monday that he will step down early at the end of this year, ending his three and a half years.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is a large independent agency of the United States federal government that was created following the stock market crash in the 1920s to protect investors and the national banking system.

At present, President-Elect Joe Biden’s transitional period has just begun. Many current government officials plan to leave. Bank of America and investment companies have begun to worry about the replacement of the SEC chairman.

SEC Chairman Resigns Early

Clayton, 54 years old, is a business lawyer and was appointed by President Trump as the chairman of the SEC in 2017. During Clayton’s tenure, the SEC initiated a number of high-profile lawsuits.

These include the accusation that Tesla founder Elon Musk’s privatization news on social media was “false and misleading” in 2018. In the end, Musk settled with the SEC, resigned from Tesla chairmanship, and paid a fine of $20 million.

In addition, the SEC took a tough stance on digital currency under Clayton’s tenure. In 2018, the SEC urged cryptocurrency trading platforms to register and accept further supervision, and believed that in addition to Bitcoin and Ethereum, other digital cryptocurrencies are securities and should be regulated by the US Securities Law.

The above is also a kind of securities issuance that needs to comply with specific regulatory requirements. At the same time, since 2018, the SEC has postponed and rejected applications for Bitcoin ETFs from many asset management companies due to freedom from market manipulation and unclear regulatory rules, which aroused investor dissatisfaction.

The SEC stated that during Clayton’s tenure, the SEC completed the formulation of 65 final rules, imposed a fine of $14 billion, and paid about $565 million, including a record $114 million bonus. It is the largest award in the history of the project.

In addition, according to Politico, the total number of 3,152 law enforcement cases under Clayton’s tenure is higher than the previous SEC chairman. However, Clayton also carried out a series of deregulation measures during his tenure.

Democrats criticized him for not implementing the supervision sufficiently, and also criticized him for lowering the threshold for private equity issuance, proposing to drastically reducing the information disclosure of hedge funds and relaxing broker Code of Conduct.

Another proposal was to allow all companies to communicate with potential investors before IPO, making it easier to go public.

Who Will Succeed Clayton?

It is understood that the chairman of the SEC generally resigns after a general election, especially when the regime changes between the two parties. After the chairman resigns, the most senior member of the committee will temporarily replace the chairman until the new president appoints a new chairman and is approved by the Senate.

According to informed sources, the candidates currently involved in SEC Chairman competition include: the United States during the Obama administration commodity futures Chairman and Exchange Commission (CFTC)

  • Gary Gensler, Chairman of the Commodity Futures and Exchange Commission (CFTC) under the Obama administration
  • Preet Bharara, whom President Trump fired as former federal prosecutor in Manhattan
  • Kara Stein, former Democratic SEC commissioner
  • Robert Jackson Jr, former SEC non-party commissioner
  • Allison Lee, current SEC Democratic High Commissioner
  • Chris Brummer, an African-American law professor at Georgetown University
Gary Gensler is Professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, Co-Director of MIT’s Fintech@CSAIL and Senior Advisor to the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative.

Gary Gensler, Preet Bharara Favorites

Gary Gensler served in the Treasury Department of the Clinton administration and served as the chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration. He was one of the important promoters of the Dodd-Frank Act and brought important changes to the financial regulatory market.

When leading the CFTC, he implemented new rules to strictly supervise the bank’s lucrative swap desks. During his tenure, he also filed a lawsuit against a large investment bank suspected of manipulating Libor worldwide, causing the bank to pay billions of dollars in fines.

As a former federal prosecutor, Preet Bharara is known as the “Wall Street Plague.” He has prosecuted nearly 100 Wall Street executives, reached historic agreements and fines with the four major banks, and has handled many insider transactions on Wall Street.

Well-known is the fall of the hedge fund SAC Capital. At that time, this 20-year-old hedge fund company with a management scale of more than $15 billion was forced to close outside investors and paid a sky-high $1.8 billion fine and settlement.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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