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Democrat Robert Jackson and Republican Hester Peirce kicked off their tenures as SEC commissioners Jan. 11 by telling a new agency advisory panel they are eager to learn from it.
Peirce and Jackson joined more than 20 members of the Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee at the Securities and Exchange Commission for the group’s inaugural meeting after the commissioners were sworn in that morning. The panel, which focuses on corporate bond and municipal securities markets, held discussions on liquidity throughout the day.
Jackson said in brief opening remarks he is focused more on listening, than speaking, at this point. He is on leave from the New York University School of Law, which he recently joined as a professor after spending more than six years on Columbia Law School’s faculty.
“I look forward to learning from the diversity of views, experiences, and market perspectives sitting around the table,” Jackson said.
The panel’s meeting came as the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee’s charter expired this week and wasn’t extended by the SEC. The commission will hold “targeted roundtables on discrete equity market structure issues” in lieu of the EMSAC, which focused on the stock market, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said.
“Too often in the past, it’s been easy for the SEC to focus only on equity markets and focus less attention on fixed income,” said Peirce, who most recently was a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. “So, I’m really supportive of the formation of this committee.”
The importance of fixed income markets is “difficult to overstate,” Clayton said, noting the value of outstanding corporate bonds rose 76 percent between 2006 and 2016, compared to equity market cap growth of 40 percent.
“Individual investors are key participants in these markets, both directly and indirectly through pension funds and other pooled vehicles,” Clayton said, adding that he intends for the commission to continue focusing on these investors.
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