On September 12, 2016, the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness hosted a webinar to discuss the policy recommendations outlined in its report titled “A Plan to Reform America’s Capital Markets” (the “Report”). The Report provides policy recommendations for the next administration and Congress to reform the capital markets in order to address current inefficiencies and inadequacies in the regulation and government oversight of the capital markets. The Report includes a number of recommendations relating to financial services regulation, which are not the subject of this blog post. With respect to capital formation, the Report addresses the following:

Financial reporting, corporate governance, and disclosure effectiveness: The Report recommends establishing consistent definitions of “materiality” and rules of procedure for the SEC, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and developing a disclosure framework to more clearly present pertinent information to investors. The Report asks that the SEC initiate changes to Exchange Act Rule 14a-8 and modernize shareholder resubmission thresholds. The Report also advocates the repeal of rules unrelated to the SEC’s mission, including the SEC’s conflict minerals rule, resource extraction rule, and pay ratio disclosure rule, and recommends the re-proposal of the SEC’s pay-for-performance rule and clawback rule. In addition, the Report calls for the creation of a Financial Reporting Forum, composed of SEC, FASB, and PCAOB representatives, as well as investors and businesses, tasked with identifying and addressing emerging financial reporting issues.

Capital formation and FinTech: The Report discusses the success of the JOBS Act in enabling more efficient investment for smaller companies and emerging growth companies (EGCs) and recommends passing “JOBS Act 2.0” and related bills that promote capital formation and help increase access to capital for small businesses. The Report also advocates the creation of a congressional bi-cameral committee, comprised of members of the House Committee on Financial Services and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, to study the current FinTech landscape and provide policy and legislative recommendations to both Houses of Congress.

A copy of the Report is available at:
https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/documents/files/restarting_the_growth_engine_-_a_plan_to_reform_americas_capital_markets_final.pdf