The SEC Overhaul

On July 11, 2011, the President issued Executive Order 13579, “Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies,” which states that independent regulatory agencies should promote the goals set forth in Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 that applies to executive agencies. He is asking the SEC, CFTC and other independent agencies to focus on a regulatory system that protects “public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.” The Securities and Exchange Commission responded to Executive Order 13579 by inviting “interested members of the public to submit comments to assist the Commission in considering the development of a plan for the retrospective review of its regulations.”

Before you get too excited and submit a comment about repealing your most hated SEC rule, the SEC’s comment request is only for general comments on what the scope and elements on the development of a plan for retrospective review of existing significant regulations. So it’s just comments on the plan to review existing regulations.

1. What factors should the Commission consider in selecting and prioritizing rules for review?
2. How often should the Commission review existing rules?
3. Should different rules be reviewed at different intervals? If so, which categories of rules should be reviewed more or less frequently, and on what basis?
4. To what extent does relevant data exist that the Commission should consider in selecting and prioritizing rules for review and in reviewing rules, and how should the Commission assess such data in these processes? To what extent should these processes include reviewing financial economic literature or conducting empirical studies? How can our review processes obtain and consider data and analyses that address the benefits of our rules in preventing fraud or other harms to our financial markets and in otherwise protecting investors?
5. What can the Commission do to modify, streamline, or expand its regulatory review processes?
6. How should the Commission improve public outreach and increase public participation in the rulemaking process?
7. Is there any other information that the Commission should consider in developing and implementing a preliminary plan for retrospective review of regulations?

The Commission is not soliciting comment in this notice on specific existing Commission rules to be considered for review. Hopefully, that will come soon.

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