Gary Gensler was sworn in Saturday to be chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he’ll be President Joe Biden’s top cop on Wall Street.
Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin swore in Gensler, 63, at a ceremony in Baltimore, the new chairman’s home town, three days after the Senate approved his nomination on a 53-to-45 vote.
“As Chair, every day I will be animated by our mission: protecting investors, facilitating capital formation, and promoting fair, orderly, and efficient markets. It is that mission that has helped make American capital markets the most robust in the world,” Gensler said in a statement.
Under Gensler the SEC is poised to confront everything from the fallout of the recent GameStop Corp. trading frenzy to the deluge of special purpose acquisition companies to the collapse of Archegos Capital Management.
He’ll also face intense pressure from progressive Democrats, who want him to promptly toughen oversight that was weakened during the Trump administration.
Gensler’s expected to continue SEC acting Chair Allison Herren Lee’s recent focus on environmental, social and governance issues.
Crypto enthusiasts are optimistic that Gensler, who recently taught courses about digital currencies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will prompt the SEC to be less stringent. A top hope is that the agency will quickly approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund during his tenure.
Gensler was chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the Obama administration, served as a Treasury undersecretary in the Clinton administration, and helped author the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act as a Senate staff aide.
© Copyright 2021 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.