On January 17, Chair White delivered a speech at The Economic Club of New York, which was titled “The SEC after the Financial Crisis: Protecting Investors, Preserving Markets.” Chair White commented on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s achievements during the financial crisis era, as well as other areas of focus, such as modernizing the regulation of asset management, addressing equity market structure issues, and related matters. Chair White noted that an area for further work for the Commission is addressing financial responsibility rules for broker-dealers. Chair White also noted that the Staff has prepared a public request for comment on Industry Guide 3 for financial institutions, which awaits the approval of the Commission for release.

In these, her last remarks as Chair, she commented on the role of the Commission, “for the SEC to be a strong market regulator, wiser from the experience of the financial crisis, we must be ready to use the full array of tools available to us – not relying on disclosure and enforcement alone. And we must do so with a fierce independence in applying our expert, best judgment to protect investors, to maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and to facilitate the formation of capital by the companies whose innovation and growth drives the American economy.”

Chair White also addressed the CHOICE Act and other measures designed to address agency rulemaking, noting:

“Another current trend pushing against the independence of the Commission are the legislative proposals from Congress seeking to remake our rulemaking process. The House passed a bill just last week that would impose conflicting, burdensome, and needlessly detailed requirements regarding economic matters in Commission rulemaking that would provide no benefit to investors beyond the exhaustive economic analysis we already undertake. These requirements would also prevent the Commission from responding timely to market developments or risks that could lead to a market crisis. And elements of the CHOICE Act, which could be re‑introduced this session, would similarly undermine agency rulemaking as well as cripple our enforcement capabilities. The next Commission must continue to challenge these efforts, and so should all of you.”

The full text is available here: https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/the-sec-after-the-financial-crisis.html.