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SEC chair talks independence

  • Speech — gray Image

Oct 04, 2013

At the 14th Annual A.A. Sommer, Jr. lecture, SEC Chair Mary Jo White spoke on the importance of independence for the SEC.

Ms. White noted that the SEC has a history of holding firm to its independence and provided examples in the SEC history where it stood its ground. She stressed the need to make decisions based on what is “right for investors and the financial markets, without the influence of politics or outside pressures.” However, she stated that being independent does not mean the SEC does not consider views from other organizations during the rule-making process.

Further, Ms. White commented on the SEC’s “signature mandate” of disclosure. Disclosure provides investors with relevant information needed when investing in financial markets. She stated that the SEC "needs to maintain the ability to exercise its own independent judgment and expertise when deciding whether and how best to impose new disclosure requirements,” even when faced with Congressional mandates that may fall outside of the scope of the SEC.

Lastly, Ms. White discussed judiciary involvement and how the courts should defer the agency’s interpretation of a law when the matter is within an agency’s expertise.

Full text of the speech is available on the SEC's Web site.

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