Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) "strongly urge[d]" President Obama to "immediately designate another SEC Commissioner as Chair of the agency."
In her letter to the President, Senator Warren explained that "Chair White's refusal to move forward on a political spending disclosure rule serves the narrow interests of powerful executives who would prefer to hide their expenditures of company money to advance their own personal ideologies." Senator Warren highlighted Chair Mary Jo White's "Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative" as part of her "anti-disclosure agenda" and charged that the SEC never has produced data to support Chair White's presumption that investors experience "information overload." She further noted that Chair White "has also refused to say how much time and agency resources have been spent on this voluntary initiative," which Senator Warren had previously requested in a letter to Chair White. Senator Warren continued:
Giant public companies have every right to advocate for less transparency in public markets, whatever the broader economic consequences. But the SEC was not created to work for them. Under a new Chair, the agency can re-direct its limited discretionary resources away from actively undermining the interests of investors and back toward its core purposes.
Senator Warren also pointed out that, "[a]s of October 2016, the SEC has yet to finalize nineteen mandatory rules under the Dodd-Frank Act."
Senator Elizabeth Warren argued that "the SEC has spent precious agency resources on a voluntary effort to reduce disclosure that appears to be aimed at addressing a problem – investor 'information overload' – that does not exist."
SEC Chair Mary Jo White reviewed the development of SEC disclosure in corporate governance. She focused on board diversity, non-generally accepted accounting principles and sustainability reporting.
SEC Chair Mary Jo White testified before the Senate Banking Committee. She noted progress and completion of rulemakings required by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act and the Dodd-Frank Act.
The SEC approved a concept release seeking comments on modernizing certain business and financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K.
The disclosure and dissemination of mine safety information mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act improves safety performance, but also causes an overall decline in productivity according to a new paper released by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
House and Senate Democrats urged the SEC to seek public comment on a proposal to require public companies to disclose the gender, racial and ethnic diversity of their respective board nominees.
Chair Mary Jo White reviewed SEC progress on a number of prominent initiatives relating to (i) asset management, (ii) equity markets structure, and (iii) SEC disclosure regimes.