SEC Chairman Gary Gensler unveiled a grand wish list of reforms Friday including guidelines for "woke" corporate disclosures and rules to curtail the gamification of Wall Street, reports Fox News.
The 49 rules will be considered by the full commission in three stages; two of them involve mandating corporate disclosures on liberal staple issues such as climate change and corporate board diversity.
The rulings are in the form of non-traditional corporate disclosures. The diversity proposal, referred to as the "Corporate Board Diversity," involves the SEC proposing a rule that would "enhance registrant disclosures about the diversity of board members and nominees."
The climate change proposal, if implemented, would amend the rules in order to ramp up companies’ disclosures about their climate change-related risks. The gamification proposal calls for freshening up Rule 10b5-1, which has, according to Gensler, "led to real cracks in our insider trading regime."
Rule 10b5-1 allows insiders of publicly-traded corporations to set up a trading plan for selling stocks they own.
There appears to be genuine concern from a regulatory standpoint that small investors could lose all their money, given the turmoil around the so-called meme stocks that have been trading wildly this year such as GameStop and AMC, which have risen more than 1000% this year alone, according to Fox.
Meme stocks are the shares of companies that have seen a recent surge in viral activity, which is usually fueled by online social media platforms such as Reddit and Twitter. The buzz over a particular stock prompts retail traders to buy the stock with the knowledge that its share price will likely rise according to cmcmarkets.com.
The agenda also addresses possible improprieties done by short-sellers who make money when stocks fall. Some investors believe short-sellers improperly manipulate shares of companies lower in order to make a profit.
measures to require big investors to disclose more about short positions, or bets that stocks will fall, use of derivatives to bet on other stock moves and to protect small investors from trading apps that use features common to video games in order to boost risky trading activity.The full five-member SEC must have a majority approval with progressive Gensler as the deciding vote to pass each individual ruling.
The climate change and diversity disclosures will likely receive pushback from key Senate Republicans such as Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
The "securities laws are not the appropriate vehicle to regulate the climate, nor to correct racial injustice, nor to intimidate companies regarding political spending," Toomey said during Gensler’s confirmation hearing in March. The soon-to-retire Toomey serves on the Senate’s Banking Committee which provides oversight of the SEC.
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