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RealClearMarkets: Why Judges Aren't Buying Cities' Climate Change Lawsuits

Patomak Senior Adviser Luther Strange opines in RealClearMarkets:

Climate change is a serious issue that impacts every person, deserving a serious public-policy debate through our democratic process… Lawsuits will not develop sound public policy, and they will certainly not halt climate change. And the reality that two federal judges have now dismissed city climate cases should send a strong message to other local leaders: the courts are not the proper place to make climate policy.

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Morning Consult: Billions of Dollars Have Migrated to the Blockchain. Now What?

Token Alliance co-chairs Paul Atkins and Jim Newsome write in an op/ed in Morning Consult:

The private sector drives innovation; it is one of the best characteristics of the American economy. In contrast, the government operates deliberately and carefully.

That is why we worked with Token Alliance, an initiative of the Chamber of Digital Commerce representing more than 350 blockchain and token experts from around the globe, to develop a comprehensive set of guidelines now to help shape the responsible growth of the token marketplace. The collaborative report is designed to be used as a resource among industry innovators, consumers, and policymakers to address so-called “utility tokens,” an aspect of the token economy fighting to be recognized.

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Ianthe Zabel
Forbes: Token Alliance: Utility Tokens 'Under Threat Of Extinction By Regulation' In U.S.

Forbes contributor Aaron Staley writes: “…An overly expansive interpretation and application of the Howey Test could threaten the utility of blockchain technology and could stifle innovation,” states a new report from the Token Alliance, a coalition led by the Chamber of Digital Commerce - the U.S. blockchain and digital asset trade group...

“These industry-developed principles are an important tool for responsible growth and smart regulation that strikes the right balance between protecting investors while allowing for innovation in this new technological frontier,” said Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners and a former SEC commissioner.

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Coindesk: A Blueprint for Reforming the Crypto Token Market

Chairman of the Advisory Board for CoinDesk, Michael Casey writes:

“…if digital tokens are to matter and if they are to enable networks of distributed trust, the industry needs to advance to adulthood…

…As such, it is encouraging to see proactive efforts to promote best practices. The latest such effort comes from the Token Alliance, an industry initiative of the Digital Chamber of Commerce that comprises 350 global industry participants, including blockchain and token experts, technologists, economists, former regulators, and practitioners from over 20 law firms.

On Monday, the Alliance will release its first white paper, one that aims to bring two important constituencies – industry leaders and regulators – into alignment around the appropriate business and legal treatment of digital token issuances.

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P&I commentary: Public pension funds must not divest from reality

Paul Atkins writes in an opinion piece exclusive to Pensions & Investments:

“Pension funds must invest long-term to meet the anticipated needs of retirees. Every dollar counts, and long-term growth is essential, especially because markets do not always go up. Managing other people's money is not a trivial pursuit — it demands prudence, patience and perception, not political gamesmanship. “

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P&I: Wary investors applauding SEC call to examine stock buybacks

Pensions & Investments reporter Hazel Bradford writes:

…Former SEC commissioner Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners LLC, a Washington financial consulting firm, said that post-tax reform, companies are supporting economic growth in several ways, such as distributing cash through buybacks to shareholders, including those in and saving for retirement. "Buybacks are a basic function of capital markets that drive reinvestment. Share buybacks benefit those very shareholders, seniors and the broader economy," Mr. Atkins said.

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WSJ commentary: Leave Broker Disclosures to the SEC

By Paul S. Atkins and Gregory F. Jacob

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Labor Department have both asserted the authority to regulate investment brokers. The two of us—a former SEC commissioner and a former labor solicitor—have a word of advice for Labor concerning its recent efforts to adopt new rules on broker conflicts of interest: It’s time to pass the baton.

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Patomak News: Former U.S. Senator Luther Strange Joins Patomak Global Partners as Senior Advisor

April 26, 2018, Washington, D.C. – Former U.S. Senator Luther J. Strange, III has joined Patomak Global Partners, a strategy, risk-management, and enforcement consulting firm, as a Senior Advisor. Senator Strange draws on his experience as a U.S. Senator and Attorney General for the State of Alabama to provide strategic counsel to clients, including on corporate investigations, monitorships, compliance, and enforcement matters.

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News ReleaseIanthe Zabel
Bloomberg: Short-Term Senator Strange Returns to Washington to Help Banks

Former U.S. Senator Luther Strange, who lost a Republican primary race in Alabama last year despite the backing of President Donald Trump, is returning to Washington to advise financial firms.

Strange is joining Patomak Global Partners, a regulatory consulting firm with close ties to the Trump administration. The ex-prosecutor spent a year in the Senate after he was appointed
to the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general.

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In the NewsIanthe Zabel
WSJ: Silicon Valley Is Into Bitcoin. It Wants to Keep Washington Out.

WSJ reporters Gabriel T. Rubin and Dave Michaels write:

WASHINGTON—Big Silicon Valley backers of cryptocurrencies have sought a broad exemption from federal oversight they say would slow digital coin growth, as the industry steps up lobbying to limit government oversight of the burgeoning world of cryptocurrencies...

...The cryptocurrency industry’s more established players last December scored a victory for their legitimacy when two of the biggest derivatives exchanges, CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets , launched bitcoin futures. By allowing the contracts to come to market, the CFTC signaled that the bitcoin exchanges whose indexes were used to reference the contracts had proper safeguards against fraud and manipulation.

“It was good to help institutionalize bitcoin and have those on supervised platforms,” Mr. Atkins, the former SEC commissioner, said April 11 at a cryptocurrency conference.

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Ianthe Zabel
MarketWatch: Volcker, Angelides in opposition on regulatory rollback

By Frances McKenna

The Senate is expected to approve this week the most significant reversal of regulatory requirements for financial services firms since the financial crisis, including a significant retrenchment of the heightened scrutiny for banks with less than $250 billion in assets that was implemented by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010...

Paul Atkins, chief executive of Patomak Global Partners, LLC...told an audience of international bankers at a conference in Washington on Monday that rather than what was being characterized by critics and in the press as a wholesale upheaval of Dodd-Frank regulation, the proposal was a 'refinement' of an 'absurdly low threshold' for bank regulatory scrutiny.

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Morning Consult: Choose Investors Over Special Interests

Opinion by Paul Atkins

Just as Washington is becoming more investor-friendly, some politicians are going back to fighting in favor of well-connected special interests over Mr. and Mrs. 401(k). The latest example: A policy rider (let's call it what it is - an earmark) attached to an appropriations bill that would prevent a long-overdue effort to save retirees and investors more than $300 million a year by modernizing how mutual fund reports are delivered to shareholders.

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Washington Examiner: What to expect from the Jerome Powell era at the Federal Reserve

Jerome Powell won’t run the Federal Reserve too differently than Janet Yellen would have. But, because he is not her and was not President Barack Obama’s nominee, he will start a four-year term as Fed chairman Monday while she begins as a think tanker at the Brookings Institution.

...The Powell era, however, will include another key Trump appointee, Randal Quarles, serving as the vice chairman for supervision, a position with oversight of regulatory affairs that was never filled under Obama.

Quarles, a former private equity investor and George W. Bush Treasury official, is likely to push for changes to several key features of the post-crisis rules, said Paul Atkins, chief executive of the financial services consultancy Patomak Global Partners, including new capital requirements for banks, internationally coordinated rules, and the Volcker Rule.

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In the NewsIanthe Zabel
Ignites: Hold the Phone: SEC Makes Case for Mobile Fund Reports

By Jill Gregorie

Investors in the age of mobile are tired of relying on Gutenberg-era fund communications, according to the SEC’s investment management unit head...

“We’re in the 21st century. It’s about time that mutual fund investors can access information in a way that is meaningful to them, rather than being married to the 1930s construct of paper delivery and disclosure,” says Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners, who served as an SEC commissioner between 2002 and 2008.

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In the NewsIanthe Zabel
Pensions & Investments: 2018 to Bring Changes to Congress

Pensions & Investments reporter Hazel Bradford writes:

Many on Capitol Hill watch are expecting the action in 2018 to shift to regulators at the Department of Labor, the SEC and the Treasury Department, which oversees the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

"The real play is going to be on the new people coming into the agencies," including the SEC, which has its first full commission since 2015, said Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners, a Washington financial services consultancy. Mr. Atkins, a former SEC commissioner, is optimistic the agency will address market structure issues that should be less partisan. "What's good for investors should be good for markets," he said. On the enforcement side, he expects SEC officials to press for more personal accountability of officials whose companies are prosecuted for investor fraud.

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In the NewsIanthe Zabel
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