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Investment News: Brokerages won't know bite of Reg BI until enforcement begins

Paul Atkins shared his view with Investment News reporter Mark Schoeff about any parallels between two recent SEC initiatives, “Perhaps there is parallel in that firms under [the share-class selection disclosure initiative] and Reg BI still do not have clarity on the SEC's view of the law regarding how to comply, but the crucial distinction is that Reg BI is a brand new, duly adopted rule that will be fleshed out over the coming months, just like any other newly adopted rule, while SCSD is simply imposing new regulation through enforcement without the legally required opportunity for dialogue with the public.”

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In the NewsIanthe Zabel
Federalist Society podcast: Agency Staff Regulatory Guidance

Agency staff regulatory guidance, speeches, and settled enforcement actions can be helpful to the regulated community when seeking to comply with the law; but when agencies use those statements as if they are the law, thereby bypassing the Administrative Procedures Act, such actions can take the regulated by surprise and run afoul of due process.

Tune in to the full podcast to hear the discussion moderated by Paul Atkins.

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PodcastIanthe Zabel
The Hill: Yet another festering regulatory problem growing in Washington

In a joint opinion piece in The Hill, Peter Wallison of American Enterprise Institute and Paul Atkins of Patomak Global Partners write, “It is much more equitable, more investor focused, and a better use of federal resources for a regulatory agency to provide clear and forward looking guidance or rulemaking on an issue, particularly one that has been festering for years.”

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Bloomberg BNA: More SEC Cases Over High Investor Fees Expected, Official Says

The SEC likely will bring more enforcement actions against investment firms that pushed mutual funds with higher fees on clients who had cheaper options, a senior agency official said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative has been “phenomenally successful” since it launched in 2018, Steven Peikin, a co-director of the agency’s Enforcement Division, said June 25.

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Ianthe Zabel
Morning Consult: Root Out This Rot: Special Interests in Attorneys General Offices

Patomak Senior Advisor Luther Strange opines, “Just as there is no free lunch in life, there’s no free legal support under this NYU scheme. Instead, these lawyers are paid for, and subject to influence by, special interests to pursue specific policy goals.

In fact, under the agreements in question the State AG office must regularly report back to the NYU Center on the activities of the SAAG and must “collaborate” with the Center on public announcements relating to environmental issues the SAAG worked on. This arrangement exposes the heart of the problem. The NYU scheme allows climate activists to carry out their agenda under the authority of state governments, with zero transparency into who is paying for what.”

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Opinion, In the NewsIanthe Zabel
Barron's: ESG Investing Suffers a Setback in California

Barron’s reporter Vito Raccanelli writes

“A funny thing happened recently in the left-leaning Golden State. In a board election last month, members of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers, the biggest pension fund in the nation, threw out their president and gave ESG investing a bloody nose…

“It’s too early to tell if this election will have ramifications beyond Calpers,” says Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners and a Republican SEC commissioner from 2002 to 2008. “But a lot of funds are already using ESG, and investors don’t know to what extent they are using it.”

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In the NewsIanthe Zabel
WSJ: California Public Employees Vote Against Pension-Fund Activism

By Paul Atkins

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System this month said no thank you to pension-fund activism. Government workers unseated Priya Mathur, the sitting Calpers president. She was defeated by Jason Perez, a police-union official who criticized Ms. Mathur’s focus on environmental, social and governance investing, or ESG. Mr. Perez emphasizes the agency’s fiduciary duty to maximize investor returns.

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Opinion, In the NewsIanthe Zabel
Bloomberg Law: House Lawmakers Plan Bill to Preempt State Crypto Regulation

House lawmakers are drafting legislation to preempt some aspects of state licensing and regulation of the virtual currency industry in a bid to help U.S.-based crypto exchanges and blockchain companies remain competitive in a global market.

“We have 50 states here, and those states have many different people who have interests in securities markets,” Paul Atkins, a former commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission who now leads the financial services consulting group Patomak Global Partners LLC, said during a panel.

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In the NewsIanthe Zabel
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
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