What You Need to Know
- Gensler appeared before the Senate Banking Committee.
- Best execution, trading apps and payment for order flow need review in light of the recent trading frenzy, he says.
- Cryptocurrencies “have brought new thinking to payments."
During his nomination hearing Tuesday, Gary Gensler — President Joe Biden’s pick to be the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission — laid out the steps he’d mull to address the recent market volatility related to the GameStop Reddit squeeze, as well as his approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.
The SEC’s Regulation Best Interest, however, was not discussed during the hearing.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, stated during the virtual hearing that over the last few months, “we’ve seen unprecedented volatility in trading and many stocks, most notably GameStop — wild trading drove the stock price from $18 at the beginning of January to $325 at the end of the month.
“People are using the term ‘gamification,’ but we know Wall Street has treated markets as a game for years,” Brown said. “We can’t forget how this affects real people; real peoples’ hard-earned pension funds, their 401(k)s, small business investment, college savings, their down payments for a home — all at stake.”
Brown probed Gensler on the steps the securities regulator would take to address the volatility and its impact on investors.
Gensler responded: “In some ways it’s a story as old as markets themselves, the clash between buyers and sellers and opposing views. But in other ways, the story is about this new technology and technology changing constantly finance.”