Investors left exposed as Trump’s SEC gives America Inc a helping hand

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States’ top market cop is slowly taking the shackles off corporations.

Since becoming head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2017, Jay Clayton has presided over more than two dozen measures which make life easier for America Inc, according to a Reuters analysis of SEC announcements and interviews with more than a dozen lawyers, academics and advocacy groups.

The changes — 17 implemented so far with a further nine proposed — are part of a broader push to help reverse a 20-year decline in U.S. public company listings by modernizing disclosures and cutting regulatory costs for firms.

But a majority of them will weaken investor safeguards or diminish their rights, according to lawyers, consumer and investor groups and SEC sources.

“Under Clayton’s leadership, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been quietly chipping away at an array of rules, many quite technical in nature,” said Anna Pinedo, a partner at law firm Mayer Brown.

“Although individually these haven’t gotten much attention, in aggregate the SEC’s rulemaking agenda under Clayton adds up to positive changes for public companies.”

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