SEC To Review Autonomy Granted To Enforcement Lawyers


According to Bloomberg, last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s interim chief (Michael Piwowar) has quietly requested an examination of what’s known as delegated authority. It gives senior attorneys across the SEC powers to start probes, inspect firms and sign-off on some financial products without seeking approval from Piwowar and the other politically-appointed commissioners who oversee the regulator.

Any rollback of authorities could be felt particularly hard in the SEC’s enforcement division. It’s now common practice for officials to issue subpoenas and negotiate settlements without SEC commissioners weighing in, except in the biggest and most-sensitive cases. Staff attorneys argue the process allows them to move quickly and avoid getting bogged down in wrangling among commissioners.

The move by Piwowar, less than a month since he became interim chief, comes after he repeatedly asked former SEC Chair Mary Jo White to take similar action, said one of Bloomberg’s sources.

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Michael Piwowar

Securities and Exchange Commission


delegated authority


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