WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said the agency is considering new rules for Wall Street.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler testified before the House Committee on Financial Services Thursday. It was the last of three hearings to examine the GameStop-Robinhood-Reddit saga, where amateur investors on Reddit worked together in January to drive up stock prices for the video game company GameStop — taking on Wall Street investors who bet the company would fail.
“What happened on Jan. 27 and 28 was not good for millions of investors,” Gensler said.
Democrats, including California Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California), said it’s time Congress and the SEC holds Wall Street more accountable.
“It is critical for our cops on the block at the SEC to protect investors and ensure that our markets are transparent and fair,” Waters said.
Waters said the SEC needs to crack down on private funds, especially hedge funds. But Republicans argue more rules would only make it harder for Americans to invest.
“They are exploiting a high-profile situation to push a radical progressive agenda… will only further prevent regular Americans and investors from accessing our capital markets,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan).
Gensler told lawmakers his agency is examining the role of social media platforms on market volatility.
“I’m not concerned about regular investors exercising their free speech rights online. I’m more concerned whether bad actors potentially take advantage of influential platforms,” said Gensler.
Gensler said the SEC plans to release a full report on the unprecedented events surrounding GameStop stock this summer.