SEC Chair Testifies Before Congress on Priorities

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler in his first appearance before Congress since being confirmed outlined his priorities before the Senate Banking Committee and sparred with lawmakers on issues, including ESG and cryptocurrency. According to the Wall Street Journal, Republican lawmakers have argued that the SEC’s agenda under Gensler is partisan and risks limiting investors’ opportunities. Lawmakers also suggested that Gensler’s gestures toward greater regulation and policing of cryptocurrency markets could force financial innovation overseas. Gensler’s testimony covered potential reforms in the funds and investment management space, including money market funds and market resiliency and private funds, among others. Gensler emphasized the staff’s focus on funds that market themselves as green or sustainable, as well as payment for order flow, as the SEC recently requested information form market participants on the use of trading apps and other emerging technologies. Gensler added that staff are developing a proposal for the Commission’s consideration on cybersecurity risk governance, which could address issues such as cyber hygiene and incident reporting.