Gary Gensler’s Nomination as SEC Chair Sparks Hope for Increased Financial Accountability and Transparency
Washington, DC — Today, President-Elect Biden formally nominated Gary Gensler as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to lead the agency’s Wall Street oversight and investor protection efforts.
Gary Gensler brings key public sector experience to the position, having served top roles in the U.S. Treasury Department and as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for five years under President Obama. As CFTC Chairman, he advocated for transparency in derivatives trading; countered rigged interest rates; and overhauled the oversight regime of the swaps market, previous abuse of which played a major hand in the 2008 financial crisis.
Ian Gary, executive director of the FACT Coalition, issued the following statement:
“President-elect Biden has sent an important signal to Wall Street in nominating Gary Gensler, who has dedicated much of his public life to countering corporate financial abuse. If confirmed, we expect him to be a fierce advocate for investors and the public based on his demonstrated commitment to advancing a transparency and anti-corruption agenda.
“The FACT Coalition urges Mr. Gensler to include combating global corruption and curbing tax avoidance through requiring country-by-country tax reporting among the top priorities of his term. The SEC under Mr. Gensler’s leadership should update its disclosure regime for the 21st century and, in addition to other environmental, social, and governance disclosures, require companies to publicly disclose key financial information – including where they pay taxes – on a country-by-country basis. Public disclosures on tax have been shown to reduce tax avoidance practices in other jurisdictions, would mitigate risks for investors, and would level the playing field for small businesses, who are unable to exploit the same accounting tricks used by big corporations to minimize their tax liability.
“The SEC should also revise and strengthen an eleventh-hour, 2020 rule gutting Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose their payments to governments worldwide. In doing so, Mr. Gensler would answer calls from investors and restore US leadership and credibility on transparency of the oil and mining industry, a sector known for corruption risks.
“Finally, Mr. Gensler should consider other means of advancing a corporate anti-corruption platform: for instance, increasing SEC enforcement of and transparency around US anti-bribery laws, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, requiring disclosures of all corporate subsidiaries to protect investors’ material interests, and improving oversight of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
“The FACT Coalition looks forward to working with the SEC on the implementation of these vital reforms.”
Note to the Editor:
- Click here to read the FACT Coalition’s top policy recommendations for the Biden Administration.
Government Affairs Director, The FACT Coalition