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SEC Office Unveils Examination Priorities for 2018

On February 7, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) revealed its annual list of exam priorities. This year’s examination priorities are divided into five categories: Compliance and risks in critical market infrastructure Matters of importance to retail investors, including seniors and those saving for retirement FINRA and MSRB Cybersecurity Anti-money laundering programs More on the OCIE’s 2018 examination priorities is available in the news release.

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SEC Chairman Discusses Virtual Currencies with Senate Committee

On February 6 before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Jay Clayton spoke on the state of virtual currencies. The SEC chairman testified that despite their infancy, cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering markets are growing fast and have become popular in the public eye and among retail investors. He also cautioned that previous instances have occurred where the economy has benefited from popular investments, but investors expose themselves to numerous risks if they do not follow the SEC’s laws. Risks that Clayton listed include false disclosures, volatility, fraud and theft. Despite. Read More.

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Timothy Timura Named SEC Deputy Chief Economist

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has announced that Dr. Timothy Timura, CFA, will be Deputy Director and Deputy Chief Economist in its Division of Economic and Risk Analysis. In his new role, Dr. Timura will support SEC Chief Economist Dr. Jeffrey Harris on various agency activities. His initial responsibilities will focus on economic policy in SEC rulemaking. With over 30 years of experience as a professional money manager, Dr. Timura joins the SEC after being a faculty member of the Kogod School of Business at American University. Additionally, Dr. Timura has experience serving in senior management positions with private. Read More.

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SEC Approves 2018 PCAOB Budget and Accounting Support Fee

In its recently issued order, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (“PCAOB”) budget and annual accounting support fee for 2018. This year’s PCAOB budget is approximately $259.9 million, which is a 3.2 percent (or $8.6 million) drop from the 2017 budget. The PCAOB approved its 2018 fiscal-year budget in November. The order states that due to budget control requirements, the PCAOB budgeted expenses requires a slight reduction.

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SEC Government Shutdown Operations Plan Released

Ahead of last weekend’s government shutdown, the Securities and Exchange Commission published an Operations Plan Under a Lapse in Appropriations and Government Shutdown . The document outlines how the SEC will operate due to a lapse in appropriations that causes a complete shutdown. If an actual shutdown occurs wherein the SEC must implement its operating plan, supplemental guidance from the Office Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, and the General Services Administration would also apply. Read the government shutdown operating plan on the SEC website.

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Freedom of Information Act Regulations Changes Proposed

The Securities and Exchange Commission is proposing changes to its regulations under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). Issued as the proposed rule, Amendments to the Commission’s Freedom of Information Act Regulations, the proposed amendments would reflect required changes according to the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The changes would also clarify and revise the language of numerous procedural provisions. Comments on the proposed FOIA changes are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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