Hester Peirce Slams SEC, Says Productive Interactions Between Regulator and Public ‘Few and Far Between’

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner Hester Peirce criticizes the agency for making little public engagement.

During a speech, Peirce says that those who approach the securities watchdog with their concerns more often fail to get the response that they need.

“Productive interactions with the SEC are fewer and further between than they were in the past. When individuals and entities come to the SEC with their novel ideas, their feedback, their concerns, their objections, their questions about the implementation of a new rule or application of an old one to new circumstances, too often now they are met with… well, crickets.”

Peirce says the SEC has adopted practices that prevent its staff from engaging in helpful discussions with the public.

“The root of the problem, though, is that the Commission discourages the staff from offering much more than silence, shrugs, sighs, and slow-walking. The culture at the top of the SEC has changed, which in turn has changed the way the agency interacts with the public.”

The commissioner says there are even concerns that meeting with the SEC is not only unproductive but also inadvisable. She says the regulator’s view that crypto is lawless fuels fear that discussions with the agency may lead to enforcement actions.

“Other people have told me that they are less inclined now than in the past to keep us updated during times of market stress because they fear subsequent rulemaking premised on the fact that those conversations occurred. 

We are scaring people off from coming in and having a conversation with us.”

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