An irreverent Wall Street Blog
by Bill Singer
 
Join BrokeAndBroker blog on Facebook  Follow the BrokeAndBroker blog on Twitter  Connect with BrokeAndBroker on LinkedIn  Join Bill Singer on Google+  Subscribe to RSS Feed

LOST: One Securities and Exchange Commission Regulatory Priority
Written: May 18, 2010

Oh, puhleaaaaase, somebody, anybody, help! 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced yet another public meeting of yet another advisory committee.  One more laughable event in an endless stream of idiocy.  Apparently, the new theory of Wall Street regulation is that if you can't do anything to prevent securities fraud, maybe you can talk it to death.

Count 'em: Four SEC commissioners and one SEC Chair. These five professionals were presidentially appointed because they supposedly brought something to the job -- background, experience, insight. Despite those credentials, these SEC leaders have no opinions and no workable ideas.  Why do I say that?  Well, SEC Press Release after SEC Press Release after SEC Press Release reference an inexhaustible supply of panels, roundtables, committees, subcommittees, and subgroups, which, we are told, are necessary to advise, guide, and educate those in charge of the federal regulator. Which sort of raises the question: Why were they appointed in the first place if they are as clueless as the press releases imply?

On May 13, 2010, the SEC issued the following Press Release, which I present to you verbatim (except for the detailed Meeting Agenda, which you can read for yourself at http://sec.gov/news/press/2010/2010-77.htm):

SEC Investor Advisory Committee Announces Meeting Agenda, List of Participants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2010-77

Washington, D.C., May 13, 2010 — The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee today announced the agenda for its public meeting to be held on May 17, 2010. The Committee was formed by the SEC in 2009 to advise the Commission as to its regulatory priorities.

Dan Ariely, an expert on behavioral economics and author of Predictably Irrational, will discuss his work with regard to factors that influence investor decision-making. The Committee will also hear from a panel of experts on the topic of mandatory arbitration provisions in customer agreements with brokers. The panel will consist of Linda Fienberg of FINRA, Patricia Cowart of Wells Fargo Corp., Jennifer Johnson of Lewis & Clark Law School, and Barbara Black of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Other issues to be discussed include the fiduciary responsibility of investment professionals (including advisers and brokers), money market fund “net asset value” calculation, and the potential use of public service announcements to provide investor information. The Committee’s subcommittees will also report on the status of their activity, including analysis of potential disclosure regarding environmental, social and governance issues.

The meeting at the SEC headquarters building at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C., will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The meeting also will be webcast on the SEC’s website.

For additional information about the meeting, contact the SEC’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 551-4120.

Lemme see if I got this.  In 2009, over a year ago, they formed an SEC Investor Advisory Committee "to advise the Commission as to its regulatory priorities." Is this truly a puzzle?  Am I to honestly believe that the SEC's Chair and four commissioners have no idea as to what their regulatory priorities are?

How about I give you folks a clue:  Your regulatory priority is to protect the public

Sadly, a year later,  it doesn't appear that the SEC Investor Advisory Comittee has accomplished much. After all, the SEC continues to hold public hearings in 2010 in order to figure out what its regulatory priorities should be.  Of course, let's be blunt if not a tad indelicate here: This mammoth struggle is little more than seeking a useless answer for a nebulous academic question. These are just not the days for philosophizing about regulatory priorities.

At the Investor Advisory Committee's public meeting about what the SEC's regulatory priorities should be, Mr.  Dan Ariely is slated to discuss "factors that influence investor decision-making."  Mr. Ariely is an expert on behavioral economics.  Okay, not exactly sure what that is but it sounds impressive. Moreover, Mr. Ariely is the author of a tome titled Predictably Irrational.  What I'm not getting is why does the SEC need to schedule a public meeting for Mr. Ariely to inform the SEC of his opinions and positions?  Isn't that all in his book?  Wouldn't it have been a hell of a lot more efficient to simply have sent the SEC Chair and commissioners a copy of his book in 2009?  

I also note from the Press Release that bureaucratic mitosis has already divided the vaunted Investment Advisory Committee into multiple Subcommittees, each of which is slated to report on the status of its own activities.  I'm sure it will be standing room only when the subcommittee folks analyze "potential disclosure regarding environmental, social and governance issues."

It's bad enough that the SEC chartered this Investor Advisory Committee over a year ago, it's bad enough that this committee has already split into multiple subcommittees, and it's bad enough that they are holding public meetings to propagate this silliness.  What's more troubling is that SEC staff and executives will likely waste time sitting in on the public meeting -- as if there aren't more pressing matters demanding their attention (and, no, I am not talking about the annual online pornography awards show). At some point, isn't enough, enough? Does the SEC have endless hours and staff to waste with such nonsense?

Are you folks at the SEC aware that on February 6, 2009, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro delivered a Speech http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/2009/spch020609mls.htm  at the Practising Law Institute's "SEC Speaks in 2009" Program  and said the following:

[I]n addition to our enforcement priorities, the Commission will of course also have a full plate when it comes to our policy and rulemaking agenda.

In deciding upon regulatory priorities, it is vital that the SEC re-engage with the people we serve: investors. The investor community — from the largest pension fund to the family who has saved in their 401(k) or 529 plan — needs to feel that they have someone on their side — that they can go to the SEC to seek redress, or to have their opinions heard.

To that end, we will form an Investor Advisory Committee to ensure that the Commission hears first hand about the issues most concerning to investors.

Fifteen months ago, Chair Schapiro said that the SEC had a full plate for its agenda -- but it doesn't look like anyone has yet to touch their food. She said that it was "vital" for the SEC to re-engage with public investors and that we need to feel that someone is on our side. She promised to fling open the doors at the SEC so that we could seek redress and have our opinions heard. Sadly, over a year later, the SEC is floundering about in search of its mission.

Fine words and blustery committee meetings only go so far. Doesn't Chair Schapiro think that a great way for the investor community to feel that they have someone on their side is for the SEC to actually do something beyond creating committees and holding public meetings?  If Chair Schapiro is truly concerned about hearing our opinions, then set up an interactive website or forum -- boy, will you get all the opinions that you want.  Then there is the misplaced perception that we want the SEC to hear us. The problem isn't whether the SEC is hearing us.  The problem is that the SEC (and most bureaucracies) never seems to be listening to us.

Years ago, before the Great Recession, before Wall Street shook and crumbled around us, that was the time for all this leisurely chatting. That was when the SEC needed to have created a Plan A, a Plan B, and and Plan C.  Instead, they created Roundtable A, Committee B, and Subcommittee C. No, I'm sorry, but enough with these damn SEC public meetings and fanciful panels. Fix the mess.  Do something. Talk is cheap -- and yours seems to be endless.

For some additional context, please read


 
[^top^]

Previous Entries
October 24, 2014
Voices were raised, a waitress was upset, and large man with hotel bar intervened. Now if that doesn't pique your interest, I might as well get m... Read On
October 23, 2014
What would you think if I told you that the BrokeAndBroker.com Blog was a live performance or that an email was a theatrical correspondence event? Sou... Read On
October 22, 2014
FINRA has this thing about registered representatives engaging in so-called "Outside Business Activities" ("OBA"). Frankly, I don't agree with certain... Read On
October 21, 2014
Stockbroker, Compliance, Legal, and Regulatory JobsEmployment Page BrokeAndBroker.com Jobs#wallstreetjobs @brokeandbrokerNOTICE TO EMPLOYERS... Read On
October 20, 2014
Once upon a time, Wall Street's regulators seemed to view so-called "Failure To Supervise" matters as a last resort -- the final arrow in a quiver. &n... Read On
October 18, 2014
Athena No Goddess Says SEC in HFT SettlementOctober 17, 2014In an effort to cultivate an orderly daily closing, ten minutes before the close at 3:50:0... Read On
October 17, 2014
In an effort to cultivate an orderly daily closing, ten minutes before the close at 3:50:00 p.m., NASDAQ releases a Net Order Imbalance Indicator, whi... Read On
October 17, 2014
Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar and his often like-minded colleague, Commissioner Daniel Gallagher, are the... Read On
BrokeAndBroker.com Job Search
Related Topics
Tag Cloud
Internet FINRA Bear Stearns Bloomberg SEC NASD NYSE Money Laundering Due Diligence Waiver Forbes China Chepucavage Broy Woody Allen Madoff NAC NPR Marketplace Stanford UBS Ketchum Antitrust NASDAQ RRBDLAW Schapiro Bill Singer BrokerAndBroker USERRA Brokeandbroker.com Morgan Keegan Arbitration Counterclaim BrokeAndBroker.com Khuzami BrokeAndBroker Aleynikov Goldman Sachs brokeandbroker Promissory Note U4 Bill SInger EFL CFTC Huffington Post Flash Crash arbitration RBC RRBDLAW.com Ponzi Affinity Fraud Wachovia Raymond James BrokeandBroker.com Expungement Fraud Securities Fraud Outside Business Activity Registered Rep Magazine FOREX BrokerAndBroker.com FBI Banc of America Pro Se Supreme Court Morgan Stanley Smith Barney E*Trade Margin email Galleon Penson U5 Defamation Protocol Wells Fargo Punitive Damages Citigroup Merrill Lynch ARS Employee Forgivable Loan Street Legal Morgan Stanley AWC Fidelity Bankruptcy Broke And Broker HFT David Sobel Day Trading Ameriprise Commissions Spouse Schwab Commission CRD Kenneth Starr IRS CNBC Complaint ATM Skimming Hacking Phishing Malware Naskovets Poteroba Koval Lincoln Financial Selling Away Outside Business Activities Rakoff 2nd Circuit Second Circuit IRA 401k Forgery Tax RRBDlaw.com Email Netschi Moore Whistleblower Street Sweeper Tran Bharara Facebook Online Severance Bonus Eligibility Rule TD Ameritrade Hedge Fund SAC 1099 Smith Barney Lehman Brothers SIPC IC3 Scottrade Lehman JPMorgan Chase Hertz Insider Trading Bank of America Department of Justice Elles Bribe Auction Rate Securities Raiding Spam Edward Jones Medicare Diabetes Dow Schumer Walter Bid Rigging Real Estate Discrimination Wall Street Statutory Disqualification Form U4 Form U5 Indictment Boyland DOJ Corruption bill singer FTC Do Not Call FINRA Arbitration Costa Rica Settlement LIBOR Varney Plea Rule 8210 Eligibility RRBDlaw Appeal Fowler LPL Johnson US Airways Reg D MSSB Vault Loan SunTrust Discovery Employment Rosenthal Recruiting Lawyer Trading Platform JP Morgan Employment Tuesday Wrongful Termination Bank Guarantee WaMu Solicitation REIT Martin Credit Cards Away Account Credit Repair PN Advisor Placement Group Forex Mortgage Private Placement Moon Merrill Anderson Exam Lee Borrowing Tax Lien Conversion Oppenheimer Wedbush Felony Misdemeanor Expenses ING Lien OTR Estate Jobs Florida Credit Card Elderly Flash Drive Annuity Expense Reimbursement FNMA BrokeAndBroke TIC DWI Promissory Notes Suitability Will POA Power of Attorney Casino NSF MF Global Counterfeit Preet Bharara Corzine Hacker RIA Prison Disclosure NASAA Aguilar FCPA Subway Identity Theft Gold Dell Bar Injunction Bank Deutsche Bank Hospital God HSBC Private Placements Eric Stein Wire Fraud CCO Joshua Brown Backstage Wall Street Obstruction of Justice Reuters Retaliation Variable Annuity Arbitraiton Outside Account Options Telephone Wine Social Media ADA Pacifico Non-Prosecution Agreement Confirm Tax Fraud Retirement OBA Equity Indexed Annuities EIA MetLife Continuing Education OIP Tax Liens Willful CE Unregistered Impersonation Annuities BBVA Business Expenses ETF JOBS Act Mail Fraud Parking Variable Annuities Signatures BitTorrent Impersonator Wire Transfer Wire Crowdfunding Nasdaq Away Accounts WSP Laptop Dodd Frank Checks RMBS AML PST Solicited Unsolicited Congress SRO Wife Discretion Non-Solicitation Restaurant Commodities Private Securities Transaction Offer of Settlement Money Market employment jobs Great Recession Chase Investment Services Arrest Barclays Liens Failure To Supervise Apple Time And Price T&P Willfully Husband Letter of Authorization LOA Sexism Debit Card Knight Test Practice Sale Unfair Competition Signature Judgments Undisclosed Settlement Trainee Fee Trust Laser Side Bar Mattera Female Sales Assistant Kennedy Charge Sexist NML Argentina Embezzlement Silver Judgment Bank Fraud Deceased TSSB Mary Jo White Trustee Motion To Dismiss Frumento Conspiracy 6th Circuit Proctor Rule 3040 Class Action Beneficiary NYAG Schneiderman Gallagher White Self Regulation Short Sale Compromise Website TRO Supervision Vacatur SDNY BrokeAndBroker Bill Singer Piwowar Rule 1122 Article V signature Inside Information VA Regulation SP Customer Rule 3270 OWB Stockbrokers
 
Email Bill Singer Connect with Bill Singer on Facebook Follow Bill Singer on Twitter Link up with Bill Singer on LinkedIn Join Bill Singer on Google+