On January 18th, a few days before Biden was sworn in as President, he announced his nomination for the new Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) chairman. President Joseph Biden named Gary Gensler as his pick for SEC chairman. While Gensler still needs to be confirmed by the senate, it is expected that he will be approved. Gensler’s confirmation will create a 3-2 democratic majority in the SEC commission.
Gary Gensler has an extensive resume within the financial industry. He is a former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) chairman, and is known for supporting intensive regulation. During his tenure at the CFTC, he introduced new rules concerning derivative markets, and implemented the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Gensler has also worked inside the industry he regulated, as an executive at Goldman Sachs from 1979 to the late 1990s. Gensler has served as Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets. Currently, he is a professor of Global Economics and Management at MIT Sloan School of Management.
Gary Gensler is recognized as an aggressive regulator. He is known to be direct about his policy decisions and not straying away from controversy. Gensler’s transparent conduct can be beneficial for the SEC, and also beneficial to those who fall under SEC regulation. Transparency in decision making can make it easier to predict what new polices could be passed, but more importantly, how those polices will affect the securities industry. This is primarily because Gensler is unambiguous about what he wants to accomplish. Gensler is consistent. While Gensler is transparent about his policy decisions, he advocates for that same transparency within securities markets. Possible changes include an increase in ESG disclosures, possible new rules to “swaps” (similar to his actions as CFTC Chairman), and increased whistleblower protections.
Gensler may impact the cryptocurrency industry. Gensler is a supporter of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, however, he has also indicated the possibility of some cryptocurrencies falling under the scope of securities definitions (such as XRP). Overall, we can expect Gensler and the SEC to become more hands-on when it comes to regulation.
At Cosgrove Law Group, we will be keeping a close eye on potential new regulation by the SEC. If you have any questions regarding securities regulations and rules, please feel free to give us a call at 314-563-2490.
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