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Unfinished business, lingering questions guide regulators into New Year

Joe Mont | December 31, 2018

Polishing a crystal ball to predict future actions by any regulator can be a nearly impossible task.

These agencies, by nature, are typically a step behind marketplace trends and risks. Much of the regulatory agenda submitted to the White House on a semi-annual basis pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act has traditionally been treated as check-the-box, grunt work that offered little in the way of specifics or actionable timelines.

For observers of the Securities and Exchange Commission, these old assumptions have changed under the watch of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. Early in his tenure, he pledged greater transparency into not just the Commission’s rulemaking process, but the timing and order of those initiatives. The plan hasn’t been perfectly realized, but it has been a marked improvement over a regulatory calendar he has called “too aspirational.”

During testimony before the Senate Banking Committee in December, Clayton said his Commission advanced 23 of...

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