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SEC President Clayton will leave, giving Biden the early opportunity to nominate a key regulator



The message did not say where Clayton was headed. But his departure was expected after he told House’s Financial Services Committee this summer that he wanted to return to New York. That was shortly after President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate him as an American lawyer in New York’s Southern District.

That appointment never happened because Jeffrey Berman, then a lawyer in the Southern District of the United States, refused to resign. The political flap was resolved when Berman was replaced by his deputy.

Clayton joined the SEC after more than two decades at Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell, representing banks such as Goldman Sachs. During his tenure on the regulator, he was criticized by Democrats for lightly touching law enforcement and expanding US capital markets to include wider quotas for private offerings, and proposed drastically reducing disclosures for many hedge funds.

Clayton also drew fire from Democrats for his approach to implementing a call in the remarkable Dodd-Frank Act to raise the standard for investment advice to avoid conflicts of interest between broker traders. The detractors said they did not apply the highest level of trust in care followed by registered investment advisers.

Despite criticism of his time in the market regulator, a total of 3,1

52 enforcement cases filed under Clayton’s presidency were actually higher than those of former SEC President Mary Joe White, a one-time federal prosecutor appointed to President Barack Obama during her presidency. term of office from 2013 to 2017

Clayton also leads the SEC as he enters major legal battles during an unprecedented era of celebrity venture capitalist activity. The agency sued Elon Musk for tweets about taking his private electric car maker Tesla and contacted Elizabeth Holmes’ blood test company, Theranos. Both cases have had severe consequences for managers, although some critics have said the penalties were not severe enough.

SEC veterans, including several former officials from a number of administrations who have spoken to POLITICO in recent weeks, said they expect the incoming Democratic administration to lend a tighter hand to implementation.

Biden has not yet announced a successor to lead the SEC. Bloomberg reported that the names that are carried include Gary Gensler, a financial regulator from the Obama era, or Preet Bharara, who headed the southern part of New York under Obama.

The SEC said the Clayton administration completed more than 65 final rules, imposed $ 14 billion in financial sanctions, conducted more than 10,000 exams and paid approximately $ 565 million to whistleblowers, including a record $ 114 million. , the largest single award in the history of the program. The SEC also published its first strategic plan for diversity and inclusion during its presidency.

In a statement, Clayton thanked Trump “for the opportunity and support and freedom” to lead the SEC. He also thanked the leaders of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the CFTC, the FDIC and other regulators.


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