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Gensler’s Remarks at 2023 Securities Enforcement Forum

Regulatory Speech | Oct 26, 2023

SEC Chair Gary Gensler's Remarks at the 2023 Securities Enforcement Forum, 'Not Weary of the Fight'

In fiscal year 2023, the SEC’s dedicated staff filed more than 780 actions, including over 500 standalone cases, showcasing their determination to “not weary of the fight.” This robust enforcement led to judgments and orders totaling a staggering $5 billion.

Notably, the SEC’s endeavors resulted in $930 million being distributed to harmed investors, underscoring their dedication to remedying the adverse effects of financial misconduct and reinforcing investor confidence.

5 Themes From His Remarks

With a clear focus on economic realities, accountability, and the crucial role of gatekeepers, the SEC has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to enforcing compliance and penalizing misconduct.

1. Economic Realities Over Labels

  • Gensler emphasizes the importance of looking beyond labels to the underlying economic realities of financial products and transactions.
  • He draws parallels to the financial markets of the 1920s, highlighting the SEC’s active enforcement in the crypto asset securities markets and stressing the need for compliance with securities laws.

2. Accountability is Key

  • The SEC is committed to holding both firms and individuals accountable.
  • Gensler mentions various high-profile cases involving crypto asset trading platforms, banks, and other entities, underscoring the SEC’s dedication to enforcing securities laws and protecting investors.

See:  SEC Drops Charges Against Ripple Execs: Crypto Regulation Shifts

3. Focus on High-Impact Cases

  • The SEC aims to change behavior and promote compliance through high-impact cases.
  • Gensler discusses the SEC’s efforts in this area, including cases involving fraud, Ponzi schemes, and other deceptive practices.

4. Efficient and Fair Process

  • Gensler highlights the SEC’s commitment to ensuring fairness and timeliness in its processes. He discusses the critical role of public tips, complaints, and referrals in the SEC’s enforcement work, and the importance of cooperation and self-reporting in achieving positive outcomes.

5. Gatekeepers in Positions of Trust

  • Trust in the markets depends on the integrity of gatekeepers such as auditors, lawyers, and underwriters.
  • Gensler provides examples of cases where the SEC has held gatekeepers accountable for failing to uphold their responsibilities, emphasizing the importance of trust and accountability in the financial markets.

See:  Wall Street Opposes a Controversial Retail Investor Proposal by SEC Chair Gary Gensler

These takeaways reflect the SEC’s ongoing commitment to protecting investors, ensuring market integrity, and holding those who violate securities laws accountable.

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