An Old Foe of Banks Could Be Wall Street’s New Top Cop

From WSJ, 16 January 2021, by Paul Kiernan and Scott Patterson:



Gary Gensler [who ran the Com­mod­ity Fu­tures Trad­ing Com­mis­sion from 2009 to 2013] is expected to be Joe Biden’s pick to take over the Securities and Exchange Commission. ‘He will do things that are controversial.’

…The fi­nance in­dus­try has thrived un­der the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s light reg­u­la­tory touch. Mr. Gensler, who sources fa­mil­iar with the tran­si­tion say is likely to be tapped by Mr. Biden for SEC chair­man …would be tasked with tough­en­ing reg­u­la­tion and en­force­ment of pub­lic com­pa­nies and the fi­nance in­dus­try.

… Lawyers, reg­u­la­tors and lob­by­ists say Mr. Gensler would likely be the most ac­tive, pro-reg­u­la­tory SEC chair­man since … the early 2000s… They also ex­pect a re­newed ea­ger­ness to pur­sue en­force­ment cases against ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions and Wall Street banks. …Mr. Gensler earned a rep­u­ta­tion for an ag­gres­sive, sharp-el­bow style of man­age­ment more rem­i­nis­cent of Wall Street than Wash­ing­ton, at times even clash­ing with of­fi­cials in his own party.

Mr. Gensler’s record …fits with the De­mo­c­ra­tic Par­ty’s pro­gres­sive wing, which hopes to use the SEC as a lever for dri­ving do­mes­tic pol­icy goals. These in­clude com­bat­ing cli­mate change and racial in­jus­tice, forc­ing more trans­parency around cor­po­rate po­lit­i­cal spend­ing and tilt­ing the bal­ance of power from ex­ec­u­tives to work­ers and small in­vestors…

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