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SEC Chair Gensler’s Mixed Feedback at Senate Hearing

Regulatory Insights | Sep 13, 2023

Unsplash Harold Mendoza Capitol Washington - SEC Chair Gensler's Mixed Feedback at Senate Hearing

Image: Unsplash/Harold Mendoza

SEC Chair Gary Gensler recently appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, where he faced both praise and criticism regarding the oversight of his department.

Some key takeaways from the hearing:

Oversight and Regulatory Approach

  • Gensler was questioned about the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • His regulatory approach drew criticism, especially from Republican Senator Tim Scott. Scott accused Gensler of potentially increasing costs for public companies with climate disclosure rules and hindering pro-growth initiatives.
  • Scott emphasized a need for a slower regulatory pace, stating:

"The breakneck pace you are pumping out regulations should not be applauded."

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Ruling and Crypto Oversight

  • Gensler was asked about a judge's ruling in favor of Grayscale in its bid to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF. Gensler mentioned that his team is still reviewing the decision.
  • Gensler commented on the crypto field, mentioning that it is rife with noncompliance. He stated:

" [my] 44 years in financial markets, [I haven't] seen noncompliance to this extent in any other field, calling it "daunting."

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

Climate Disclosure Rules

  • Gensler faced questions regarding the SEC's proposed climate disclosure rule. Critics, including Senator Scott, believe that this rule could quadruple costs for public companies.
  • Democratic Senator Jon Tester also expressed concerns about the impact of these rules on local Montana farm ranchers.

Watch the On-demand Video

The hearing highlighted the challenges and responsibilities faced by the SEC under Gensler's leadership. While some praised his efforts, others expressed concerns about the pace and direction of regulations, especially concerning climate disclosure rules and cryptocurrency oversight.

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