Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement officials are expected to focus on disclosure and pricing abuses as well as increased oversight of municipal advisors during the coming year, according to regulators and market participants.
However the departures of SEC chair Mary Jo White and enforcement division director Andrew Ceresney, who have been responsible for many first-of-a-kind cases in the municipal bond market, may slow commission activity for a while.
Elaine Greenberg, a shareholder with the law firm Greenberg Traurig here and former SEC muni enforcement chief, said that if the SEC falls to only two commissioners, it could limit the number of enforcement actions that get through the commission.
"Unless they both agree on a particular enforcement action, that action isn't going anywhere," Greenberg said. That problem is most likely to become apparent if there are cases based on rules that may not be perceived as being very clear or were only approved recently, according to Greenberg.
"Those areas that people view to be regulation by enforcement [or] those that don't rise to the level of clear fraudulent conduct may have a more difficult time getting through the approval process," she said, adding that such difficulties would also likely exist to some extent with a full panel of commissioners.