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Earlier this week, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton had to pull the plug on plans to further burnish his resume for private practice by exempting almost all hedge fund from having to disclose their holdings, on account of the literally overwhelming opposition to the move from literally everyone, including hedge funds. Well, if Clayton’s madcap, last-minute push to draw a veil around as much of the securities industry as possible is going to be stymied, well, he just doesn’t feel like doing even the smallest thing to protect investors, either. Other things get lots of comment letters, too, you know.

The SEC in November had proposed requiring broker-dealers and investment advisers to vet individual investors before approving them to trade the products, known as leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds…. In explaining the decision to shelve the provision, the commission cited an unusual volume of comment letters—numbering some 6,000—from people identifying themselves as investors concerned about losing access to the funds.

Nor is the SEC the only federal regulator getting in on the going-easy-on-corporate-America game in what might be the final days of the great deregulatory bonanza of the Trump years.

The Commodity Futures and Trading Commission is expected to release guidance Thursday spelling out how companies that self-report potential misconduct, cooperate with investigators and take steps to address underlying issues could receive a “substantially reduced” financial penalty.

SEC Shelves Measure to Protect Investors in Leveraged ETFs [WSJ]
CFTC to Offer Lower Fines to Offenders That Cooperate [WSJ]


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