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Maxine Waters, Ranking Member, Delivers Opening Statement During Capital Markets Subcommittee Hearing

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the following opening statement during a Capital Markets Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Examining the Agenda of Regulators, SROs, and Standards-Setters for Accounting, Auditing.”

Today we will hear what happens when Wall Street and other parts of the industry police themselves. So-called self-regulatory organizations, like FINRA, are tasked with government functions most Americans would assume are done by government officials, like writing rules, examining records, and levying fines. FINRA, whose leadership is appointed by Wall Street, imposes weaker penalties compared to government regulators, lets broker misconduct go unchecked, permits board member conflicts of interest, and lacks any cap on executive compensation. In fact, FINRA’s CEO, Mr. Cook, made $3.6 million last year, which is roughly fifteen times the salary of SEC Chair Gary Gensler. Moreover, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, which has broad, sector wide regulatory authority similar to FINRA, wasn’t even invited to testify here today.

Reforms are long overdue. I’ve already started planning and I hope Members will join me in writing legislation to finally rein them in.

I yield back.


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