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SEC Staff Issues Report on “Meme” Stock Events and Market Structure Considerations

The onset of fall signals a sad realization that summer has ended, but also the joy that “market structure” season has arrived for securities industry participants and policy wonks.  Right on cue, in early October, SEC staff issued a report on equity and option market structure conditions related to the…

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SEC Seeks Input on BD and RIA Digital Engagement Practices

The SEC recently solicited public comment on digital engagement practices (DEPs) used by some broker-dealers and investment advisers, including predictive data analytics, differential marketing, and behavioral prompts (such as gamification).  The public comment window closes October 1, 2021.  Comments letters submitted already are available here—viewpoints run the gamut and are…

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SEC Charges 27 Firms with Form CRS Failures

Word to the wise: when a regulator kindly reminds you on multiple occasions that you need to comply with its rules, you should probably heed those warnings.  On July 26, 2021, the SEC announced settlements with 21 investment advisers and 6 broker-dealers that apparently did just the opposite.  In particular,…

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Time’s Up! Broker-Dealers Must Comply with the Customer Protection Rule When Borrowing Customer Securities

On April 16, 2021, the staff of the SEC Division of Trading and Markets reminded broker-dealers borrowing fully paid and excess margin securities from their customers (FPL programs) that they are obligated to comply with Exchange Act Rule 15c3-3 (Customer Protection Rule), and in particular, paragraph (b)(3).  This reminder was…

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CFTC Announces New Climate Risk Unit — the “CRU”

On March 17, 2021, Acting CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam announced that the derivatives regulator had established a new interdivisional group called the Climate Risk Unit or the “CRU” to focus on the derivatives markets’ role in addressing climate-related risk and transitioning to a low-carbon/net-zero economy.  The CRU (sounds like an…

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Climate Clash at the Commission?

A flurry of recent climate-related announcements from the SEC forecasts an upcoming policy battle at the agency.  Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee has signaled that “ESG” will clearly be in focus across the SEC’s various divisions, including Examinations, Corporation Finance, and Enforcement.  Presumptive incoming SEC Chairman Gary Gensler also indicated…

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SEC Enforcement Updates: Interim Director Named; Staff Investigative Powers Bolstered; “Bad Boy” Waivers Less Certain

The past few weeks have ushered in signs of what’s likely to come from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement under the Biden Administration, including a greater number of investigations and a tougher path to “bad boy” waivers for issuers.  The SEC’s enforcement program plays a critical role in the agency’s…

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