It’s Olympics time once again, and that can only mean one thing: The Russians (who cannot actually compete as Russians, per se, on account of previous Russian Olympic cheating) are cheating. This has us wondering: Given the superhuman feats of regulation shown by Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler this week—first a slew of new rules putting a crimp in private equity firms’ style and a four-minute-mile-esque demand to half securities settlement times on one day, followed yesterday by another flurry of proposals demanding greater speed from activists in announcing their moves and rolling out the red carpet for whistleblowers, undoing still more of his predecessor’s legacy, such as it is—we’ve got to wonder what sort of regulation-enhancing drugs he’s on.
The proposed rule would reduce the deadline for disclosing such equity positions to five days from 10 days, among other changes, the SEC said. It would also deem holders of some derivative securities to be “beneficial owners” of the underlying company’s stock if the instruments are held “with the purpose or effect of changing or influencing the control of the issuer.”
The SEC said the proposed changes to the two amendments would allow the regulator to increase a possible award, but not lower it, and to pay whistleblower awards for actions that would be otherwise covered by a non-SEC whistleblower program.
“These amendments, if adopted, would help ensure that whistleblowers are both incentivized and appropriately rewarded for their efforts in reporting potential violations of the law to the Commission,” Mr. Gensler said in a statement Thursday.
And that’s not all, for this regulatory biathlete is also shooting down corporate efforts to block shareholder proposals, at least partly making up for the trouble he’s causing activist investors above.
The Securities and Exchange Commission in November overturned several mechanisms that companies routinely use to shoot down shareholder proposals, and specified that shareholders were allowed to press companies on issues of broad social importance…. The SEC-permitted proposal directed at Apple, for example, highlighted a persistent area of concern: the extent to which companies have sought to handle sexual-harassment complaints by pushing employees into closed-door sessions…. The proposal directed at Disney comes from a shareholder—the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank—which argued that the company’s antiracism training discriminates against white employees. The SEC rejected Disney’s arguments that the proposal could be excluded from its proxy statement.
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