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SEC Objects to GOP Bill on Regulation


September 15, 2011 (washingtonpost.com) A Republican proposal would make it harder for the Securities and Exchange Commission to do its job of policing and regulating the financial markets, the chairman of the agency argues in testimony prepared for delivery Thursday.



The House bill calls for the SEC to weigh a variety of factors before issuing regulations, including, potentially, whether the rules are tailored "to impose the least burden on society."

The term "society" includes "businesses of differing sizes," the bill says.

The bill, by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) and other members of the Financial Services Committee, guides the SEC to assess "the best way of protecting" both the public and "market participants."

That language could conflict with the SEC's mission, SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro says in written testimony.

"The SEC's mission is to protect investors, which in some cases means protecting them from certain market participants," Schapiro says.

The bill, called the the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, would require the SEC to issue orders only if it first determines that the benefits justify the costs.

That could undermine the SEC's ability to take enforcement action against wrongdoers, Schapiro says.

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