SEC Forms Team To Monitor COVID-19's Market Impact

By Dean Seal
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Law360 (April 24, 2020, 6:43 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Friday afternoon that it has convened a temporary, cross-divisional internal team to help the agency coordinate its actions and analysis related to COVID-19's impact on markets and investors.

The so-called COVID-19 Market Monitoring Group will consist of representatives from across the agency, including the SEC's Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, Office of Compliance Inspections and Activities-Based Monitoring Committee, and was formed to bolster both the SEC's response to the pandemic and its support of other federal financial agencies' efforts.

"At the SEC, our monitoring of, and responses to, the effects of COVID-19 on our capital markets often must take into account complexities, interconnections and continually evolving dynamics of our markets," SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in the announcement. "This work benefits from the input of multiple SEC divisions and offices."

The agency has been assembling a working group of this kind since early February, initially focused on monitoring the coronavirus outbreak's effect on public companies, but that focus has expanded to include outreach to clearing agencies, exchanges, broker-dealers, public accounting firms and a variety of other financial market players.

The formation of the SEC's new market monitoring group will help the agency "continue and expand upon this interdisciplinary work," Clayton said, while also aiding the SEC's support of its domestic and global regulatory partners, including the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Financial Stability Board.

The temporary, senior-level group will help the agency respond to requests for information, analysis and assistance from those other regulators and public sector partners.

The team will be chaired by S.P. Kothari, the SEC's chief economist and director of its Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, with assistance from the SEC's senior counsel and policy adviser for market and activities-based risk, Jeffrey Dinwoodie.

"The importance of understanding what is happening in the markets is greater than ever," Kothari said in the announcement. "Collaboration both within the SEC and with our regulator colleagues is vital to this effort. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to provide advice and analysis that benefits from their diverse and pragmatic experience."

--Editing by Amy Rowe.

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