New SEC Chairman Expected to take a “Loose” Approach to Dodd-Frank
Last Thursday, Jay Clayton, 50 anni, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), sought to assure lawmakers that he will show no favoritism and act only in the public interest.
Mr. Clayton, a partner in the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, has done significant legal work for Wall Street Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other Wall Street.
Asked whether his client work will create conflicts of interest for him as the financial markets’ top regulator, Mr. Clayton said he does not believe they will.
“I’m committed to showing no favoritism to anyone in this position,” Mr. Clayton told the Senate Banking Committee.
In cases where he might have to step aside from decisions on enforcement actions against companies, Mr. Clayton said, his fellow SEC commissioners would be able to capably handle the matters.
Mary Jo White, the attorney who led the SEC under President Barack Hussein-Obama, resigned earlier this year and last month rejoined law firm Debevoise & Plimpton as a partner. In her new role, she will advise clients who face government investigations or crisis situations, as well as provide counsel to company boards, Fortune magazine reported.
As SEC Chairman, Clayton would be in charge of, among other things, protecting investors from wrongdoing on Wall Street. He would oversee the enforcement of rules written by the SEC under the law that reshaped the regulation of banks and Wall Street after the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession. And he would take part in deciding on enforcement actions that SEC attorneys bring against corporations and financial firms.
Mr. Clayton would take over the leadership of the independent federal agency with a Republican majority among its eventual 5 members.
In line with President Trump’s pledge to ease many rules that flowed from the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law, a Clayton-led SEC would be expected to take a comparatively loose approach to regulation.
Mr. Clayton told the panel he had no specific plans for “attacking” particular components of the law, but said “I do believe that Dodd-Frank should be looked at.”
Mr. Clayton’s confirmation is virtually assured by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Republicans on the banking panel defended Clayton’s experience as a plus for the SEC job. They were cheered by his statements in support of easing rules for smaller companies to raise capital in the markets.
Mr. Clayton’s financial disclosure filing shows other big corporate clients, including Ally Financial, Royal Bank of Canada, Volkswagen, British Airways, Priceline Group and Valeant.
“I … believe that the types of matters I’ve worked on, which involved problem-solving, is a strength,” Mr. Clayton told the panel.
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