Departures Likely to Reshape SEC
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Daniel Gallagher is expected to announce his planned departure from the agency. Gallagher will join fellow Commissioner Luis Aguilar, who is also planning on stepping down later this year. The small, five-person bipartisan commission is easily altered by the departure of any commissioners. The vacancies will open the door for two new commissioners, one Democrat, one Republican.
Notably, Republican Commissioner Aguilar is the only remaining member that was active during the 2008 financial crisis. Contrastingly, Commissioner Gallagher has been a vocal critic of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) required rulemakings, recently stating an interview that “Dodd-Frank has been an awful distraction to the agency.” In the same interview, Gallagher expressed frustration with the enormous volume of rule writing required of the SEC over the past four years. In particular, the exit of a vocal critic will change the public tone of the commission as well as the SEC’s rulemaking agenda.