SEC’s Gensler tells US House that market needs greater transparency on short selling

Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler, testified to the House of Financial Services Committee on January’s market volatility.

“At the center of January’s market events was significant short selling of a number of the meme stocks. While FINRA and the exchanges currently publish or make available certain short sale data, Congress directed the SEC under the Dodd-Frank Act to publish rules on monthly aggregate short sale disclosures.

“In addition, Dodd-Frank provided authority to the SEC to increase transparency in the stock loan market. I’ve directed SEC staff to prepare recommendations for the Commission’s consideration on these issues.

“Additionally, I wanted to mention briefly the events in late March related to the failure of the family office Archegos Capital Management and the significant losses incurred by several global financial institutions that provided prime brokerage services to Archegos. At the core of that story was Archegos’ use of total return swaps based on underlying stocks, and significant exposure that the prime brokers had to the family office.

“Under Dodd-Frank, Congress gave the SEC rulemaking authority to extend beneficial ownership reporting requirements to total return swaps and other security-based swaps. Among other things, I’ve asked staff to consider recommendations for the Commission about whether to include total return swaps and other security-based swaps under new disclosure requirements, and if so how.”

Read the full remarks

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