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    SEC Officials Say Agency Turned ‘Blind Eye’ to Oppenheimer

    Two members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission blasted the agency’s decision to spare Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. from additional sanctions related to a recent settlement, saying regulators were turning a “blind eye” to the investment bank’s pattern of misconduct. SEC Commissioners Luis Aguilar and Kara Stein, both Democrats, said they opposed a waiver of a penalty that would have barred Oppenheimer from raising money for private firms and hedge funds after the company admitted last week to improperly selling billions of shares of penny stocks. More on Bloomberg here.

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    After Inspecting Private Equity Funds, S.E.C. Examiners to Broaden Focus

    Officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission have said they discovered numerous problems when examining private equity firms during a two-year review that ended recently. Now, a specialized group of examiners is set to train its focus on hedge funds and other funds that invest in illiquid products like real estate, timber and energy assets, an S.E.C. official said on Thursday. These new examinations will be more limited in scope than the examinations of private equity firms, taking a “thematic and systematic” approach, said the official, Igor Rozenblit, who leads the agency’s private funds unit. That unit, part of the agency’s office of compliance inspections and examinations, will conduct the new exams. More in the New York Times here.

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    SEC Moves Closer on Swap Rules

    WASHINGTON—U.S. securities regulators are inching closer to completing postcrisis rules designed to bring more sunlight to the multitrillion-dollar swaps market. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to complete a package of rules establishing data hubs to collect and store information on swaps trades for the portion of the market overseen by the agency. The data hubs are seen as crucial for monitoring potential risks in the swaps market. The agency also voted 3-2 to approve a framework of standards for the public reporting of the swaps transactions. More in the Wall Street Journal here.

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    SEC Approves Rules Requiring Public Reporting of Swap Trades

    U.S. regulators are poised to approve rules today that will require most swaps trades to be reported to the public, a response to lax derivatives oversight in the run-up to the financial crisis. The rules up for a vote at the Securities and Exchange Commission will specify what information has to be reported publicly as well as data intended for regulators who surveil the market. The regulations are the latest step in efforts by the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to increase transparency in the $691 trillion swaps market. The SEC’s rules come more than six years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and government rescue of American International Group Inc. (AIG) that was rooted in part in unregulated swaps. By creating a record of swaps trades, regulators aim to monitor for systemic risk while giving investors a better idea of fair prices. More on Bloomberg here.

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    SEC panel on high-frequency trading won’t include Stiglitz: report

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Securities and Exchange Commission is blocking Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz from joining a panel advising regulators on high-frequency trading and dark pools, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Stiglitz is a high-profile critic of high-frequency trading (HFT), and his supporters are concerned the SEC panel won’t have enough critical voices. On the other hand, IEX Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brad Katsuyama, one of the most prominent opponents of HFT, is expected to be named to the group, Bloomberg said, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. More on MarketWatch here.

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