May 28, 2013

Two New SEC Commissioners Nominated from the Senate Banking Committee

On Thursday, President Barack Obama nominated Kara Stein to succeed SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter whose term has expired. Kara is a lawyer and a long-time aide to Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who is a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee. The President also nominated Michael Piwowar to succeed SEC Commissioner Troy Paredes whose term expires at the end of June. Michael is the Senate Banking Committee’s Republican chief economist and has served in that role since ’09 – he previously worked as a staff economist for the SEC for four years. Here’s a Bloomberg article – and one from DealBook.

Since they both work for the Senate Banking Committee, their confirmation hearings should be smooth…and some think the fact that they both come from Congress will lead to more bipartisan work at the SEC. As if those in Congress provide a beacon of bipartisanship…

PCAOB Starts Making Nice With Chinese Regulators (Or Vice Versa): Access to Work Papers

As noted in this DealBook article, a memorandum of understanding between the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Finance for China and the PCAOB was signed on Friday that should finally give access to work papers that the PCAOB has sought for quite some time (as noted in this blog). But it’s baby steps as the agreement applies only to enforcement cases against auditors; not cases against companies. Another big caveat is captured by this excerpt from the article:

Whether the agreement will result in more cooperation remains to be seen, however. China retained the right to reject requests if they violated Chinese law or “essential national interest.” In addition, the agreement covers only enforcement actions, not routine inspections of audit firms.

Happy 80th Birthday to the Securities Act of ’33!

Many of us owe our livelihood to deals (or did at some point in our career). Thus, it’s appropriate to recognize the 80th anniversary of the enactment date for the Securities Act of 1933, which was yesterday. Lionel Richie says it best:

Well my friends the time has come
raise the roof and have some fun
throw away the work to be done
let the music play on

Everybody sing everybody dance
lose yourself in wild romance
we’re going to party, fiesta forever
come on and sing along
we’re going to party, fiesta forever
come on and sing along

– Broc Romanek