Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton made remarks at the University of Pennsylvania, which covered a broad range of topics. Chair Clayton noted that under his tenure the SEC’s Reg Flex agenda has become less aspirational and has been more focused on identifying the near-term actions that the SEC expects to undertake. To that end, Chair Clayton reported that the SEC advanced 23 of the 26 rules in the near-term agenda, or 88% of all items. Of the 26 rules, the 11 listed for adoption by 2018 were all completed. The number of items on the SEC’s near-term agenda increased to 39. As of the date of his remarks, the Chair noted that the SEC has advanced 33 of those 39 rulemakings, or nearly 85% of the items. The Chair then turned to a discussion of the importance of modernizing regulations to keep up with market and other developments, and pointed to a number of examples of rulemaking undertaken by the SEC that are examples of the efforts to modernize the regulatory framework.

The Chair spoke about the SEC’s rule in market monitoring, which is not commented on much. Chair Clayton noted that the SEC is monitoring developments relating to monetary policy. With respect to the debt markets, Chair Clayton noted that a much larger and growing share of debt, including corporate debt, is now held outside of banks, including by funds. The SEC is evaluating what this may mean for market structure. He discussed the SEC’s collaborative efforts with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and other agencies. In addition to monitoring the size of corporate debt, the SEC also is monitoring the location and type of holders, and credit quality, as well as interrelatedness, such as the connections among banks and non-banks arising from credit lines to investment and other types of funds, clearing banks’ supply of balance sheet capacity to permit client clearing, exposure of banks to funds— of all types—public, private, open, closed, levered, etc.—through derivatives, and overlaps in portfolio holdings, particularly those holdings susceptible to similar price and liquidity shocks.

See the text of his full remarks here.