OPINION: The CAT is Almost Out of the Bag
The Consolidated Audit Trail reached yet another significant milestone as the US Securities and Exchange Commission finally approved the plan proposed by the self-regulatory organizations earlier this week.
It likely will be the last major decision made by the market regulator for at least the next six months.
SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced that she would be stepping down at the end of the current administration. This will leave Commissioners Kara Stein (D) and Michael Piwowar (R) as the only remaining sitting commissioners. Or at least until Commissioner Stein’s term ends in 2017.
Depending who President-elect Donald Trump nominates to fill the three vacant seats on the Commission as well as how well the US Senate’s Republican two-seat majority gets along with the Democratic minority, their confirmations could sail through the chamber.
The early signs coming from Trump transition team, however, lean towards a long and deliberative confirmation process for his nominees.
The SROs now have up two months select the plan’s processor through a two-round vote in which each SRO gets one vote.
If they take the entire period to make their selection, their final deadline would be approximately January 9, 2017, depending if the regulator meant 60 days or two calendar months.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the SROs decided not to wind down the clock and made their selection before mid-December when everyone is still in the office.
At least one of the three remaining organizations bidding to be the plan processor- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FIS, and Thesys Technologies will have a nice end of their fourth quarter.
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