The AFR Education Fund sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission responding to a request for comment on regulatory options for money market funds in light of the collapse and bailout of many money market funds during the March 2020 coronavirus financial shock. The letter called for strong new regulatory steps to fix incentives that create financial instability for these products. It also questioned whether additional regulation should be extended to other types of fixed-income investment funds beyond money market funds narrowly defined, as there is evidence that these types of fund arrangements can also contribute to financial instability.
If he’s confirmed to run the SEC, there will be a lot that needs fixing, says Marcus Stanley, who worked with Gensler as a Senate staffer after the financial crisis. Stanley is now the policy director of Americans for Financial Reform. “It’s an absolutely critical regulator,” says Stanley, about the SEC. But, he says, “the SEC as an organization needs some change.” He says perhaps more than any other regulator, the SEC “continued with its pre-2008 record of deregulation, even after the financial crisis.”
We applaud the nomination of Rohit Chopra to lead the CFPB. His commitment to consumer protection, his effectiveness at using the tools of government to serve the public interest, and his willingness to challenge powerful corporate interests when necessary are exactly what the Bureau needs to fulfill its crucial consumer protection mission.
“There’s an emphasis on working people, racial justice and inequality, and that’s a good place to start,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, an advocacy group that met with Ms. Yellen this month. “But reversing things that the current Treasury Department has done is not enough.”
Gary Gensler has a strong track record from his time at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission of being willing to take on powerful industries. Under his leadership, this small and underfunded agency led the way to the first comprehensive regulation of U.S. over-the-counter derivatives markets, despite heavy opposition from industry lobbyists. Gensler will need to bring the same spirit and drive to the even greater task of bringing needed reform to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“The C.F.P.B. should make sure companies are complying with all emergency protections on the books, and maximizing assistance to consumers to prevent garnishments, foreclosures and repossessions,” said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform.