The Regulator US Financial Markets Need
Gary Gensler, the chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, cannot solve every problem in American finance. But, despite recent criticism of his tenure in the financial press, an SEC with Gensler at the helm is much better than the alternative.
WASHINGTON, DC – When Gary Gensler became chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission in April 2021, he started to tighten regulation on some parts of the financial sector. Eighteen months later, the industry’s pushback is becoming intense.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page calls Gensler’s approach “fast and furious,” claiming that writing too many rules is undermining investor protection. Leading industry representatives argue that the comment period on proposed rules is too short. And The Economist has implicitly accused him of hubris, snarkily asking, “Can Gary Gensler Solve Every Problem in American Finance?”
None of this criticism makes any sense, because it ignores how little was achieved by Gensler’s predecessors. The rules governing securities markets in the United States have been allowed to slip over the past dozen years, enabling some dangerous practices to take root. Gensler and his colleagues are indeed working fast and furiously, but primarily to help markets from becoming massively unfair.
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