At press time in early January, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect KamalaHarris completed filling out their economic team — which included announcing their plans to nominate BostonMayor Marty Walsh, a former top unionleader, to head the Labor Department.
If confirmed, a more stringent Laborfiduciary prohibited transaction exemption to align with the Securities andExchange Commission’s Regulation BestInterest is likely on tap under Walsh.
With a Democratic sweep in the Senate,
House and executive branch, Biden “is
likely to get all of his Cabinet nominations
approved,” Greg Valliere, chief U.S. strate-
gist for AGF Investments, said in his early
January email briefing, with the possible
exception of Neera Tanden to head the
Office of Management and Budget.
Tanden “has Democratic detractors,”
Valliere said. “But Biden will not have
to spend political capital on his nomina-
tions, and he now has the upper hand on
Biden also said on Jan. 8 that he
planned to “lay the groundwork” for the
next COVID economic relief package dur-
ing the week of Jan. 11. The $900 billion
bipartisan COVID relief package passed
in December “is an important step, but
just a down payment,” Biden said.
All eyes will also be peeled on Biden’schoice to fill the SEC chair seat.
Names being floated to replace SEC
Chairman Jay Clayton under Biden include
Gary Gensler, former chairman of the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission,
and Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for
the Southern District of New York under
former President Barack Obama.
Clayton left the agency on Dec. 22.
SEC Commissioner Elad Roisman, a
Republican, was named interim SEC chair.
Under the Biden administration, “Idon’t expect the SEC to scrap Reg BI andstart from scratch,” said Barbara Roper,director of investor protection for theConsumer Federation of America. “I doexpect [the SEC under Biden] to moverelatively quickly to clarify the meaningof best interest, and to do so in a waythat represents a clear enhancementover suitability, and to clarify how itdetermines whether policies and procedures mitigate conflicts of interest.”
LABOR FIDUCIARY PTE
Walsh, a Democrat, was sworn in to servea second term on Jan. 1, 2018. He was previously a member of the MassachusettsHouse of Representatives, serving inthat office from 1997 until 2014 and representing the Thirteenth Suffolk district.If confirmed as Labor Secretary, alleyes will be on whether Walsh decidesto amend or scrap Labor’s fiduciaryprohibited transaction exemption toalign with the Securities and ExchangeCommission’s Regulation Best Interest.Beginnings
By Melanie Waddell
Biden Fills Out Economic Team, Picking
Boston Mayor to Head Labor
A revamped Labor fiduciary rule as well as the SEC’s Reg BI could be on tap
in the New Year.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh