Acting SEC Chairman Michael Piwowar strongly supports the SEC’s use of enforcement as the mechanism to ensure fair capital markets that enable economic growth. In a recent speech, he said that “appropriate enforcement efforts” including a willingness to “assess penalties where appropriate and take back proceeds of fraud from the bad guys” facilitate capital markets by ensuring a fair and level playing field, thereby lowering the cost of capital. He also advocated for enforcement as the best way for regulators to focus “limited resources on a risk based approach to addressing the problems in the market, in contrast to burdensome and ultimately futile attempts to regulate away the problems.” Mr. Piwowar also believes in complete and transparent disclosure but cautions against overregulation that impedes capital formation.
OUR TAKE: It does not appear that the new SEC administration will pull back from its heavy enforcement agenda that dominated the last several years. If anything, Mr. Piwowar suggests a greater enforcement push coupled with lesser regulation and enhanced disclosure.