SEC’s Gensler aims to be ‘transformational’ Wall Street cop
4 weeks ago
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Wall Street executives are scrambling to figure out if Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler is serious about imposing new "woke" disclosure mandates on companies. And the answer they’re getting is a resounding "yes."
FOX Business has learned that top c-suite officials from the big banks have been setting up meetings with the relatively new chairman of the SEC in recent weeks to get a better idea of his agenda as head of Wall Street’s top cop.
Gensler nominated, by Democratic President Biden for the post, was confirmed by the Senate in April. People who have met with him say he hasn't yet fully moved into his office at the commission's Washington, DC headquarters. They say he is still largely working from his home in nearby Baltimore.
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From his home office, however, Gensler is plotting to be a "transformational" SEC chair, according to Wall Street executives who know him. His top priority, he has signaled to these people: significant changes in what corporations must disclose to the public that reflect certain political, environmental and social goals an increasing number of investors are demanding.
Gensler is also telling executives that he will not ignore the traditional parts of his job and will be looking to enhance protections for small investors who have flooded the market in recent years, embracing risky financial products on a scale not seen since the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.
"He's worried about small investors getting ripped off, but the highest priority will be the new disclosure rules that appeal to the environment and issues like that," said one c-suite executive who asked not to be named.
An SEC spokesman had no comment.
Gensler, well-known and mostly well regarded among the Wall Street elite given his long years as a banker at the prestigious investment house Goldman Sachs and later while serving in various government finance-related roles including chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under former President Obama.
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His politics have transformed over the years from a left-of-center liberal on financial issues to someone who now embraces progressive edicts from the likes of Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a fierce critic of corporate America. Wall Street executives say Gensler is so close to Warren he often confers with her on policy issues. A spokesman for Warren didn't return a call for comment.