Thank you, Terry [Lundgren], for that kind introduction. I am delighted to speak to you here at the Economic Club of New York. The Club has established itself as an esteemed, non-partisan forum for economic discourse. It is an ideal place to discuss policy of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “the Commission” or “the agency”) and its effects on the U.S. economy and the American people. I intend to do just that in this, my first public speech as Chairman of the SEC.1
Nearly six months ago, my predecessor Mary Jo White gave her last public address as SEC Chair in this same forum. In her remarks, she stated “I am confident in reporting that the agency is today a stronger protector of investors than ever before and much better equipped to meet the challenges of the fast-paced, complex, and interconnected securities markets of 2017.”2 I am pleased — and thankful — to say that I agree with Chair White. When I arrived at the Commission, I made it a priority to meet with staff across the agency. With each meeting, I became more impressed by the breadth of issues my 4,600 colleagues cover, and even more, by their dedication.
The Dodd-Frank Act of 20103 required the SEC to complete an unprecedented array of congressionally mandated rulemakings — all on top of the agency’s usual work. Under Chair White’s leadership, the Commission made great strides, adopting a number of the rules with which it was charged. Admittedly, there are still Dodd-Frank mandates to be completed. But I have inherited an agency with considerably more discretion over its agenda.