The first car I owned was produced in 1934, as was the Securities Exchange Act. I hasten to add that the car was quite used before it came into my hands, again, like the ‘34 Act. It was a good car for the needs of its day, and so were the Exchange Act and its companion, the Securities Act of 1933. But, while the federal securities laws have been the subject of numerous modernizations over the past seventy-two years, they look and function more like the original model than current automobiles look like my 1934 Ford.
From this perspective, it is a great pleasure to read and have the privilege of commenting on the seminal work that Mr. Tafara’s and Mr. Peterson’s article, A Blueprint for Cross-Border Access to U.S. Investors: A New International Framework (“the Blueprint”), represents. In the gentlest of ways, the authors have suggested that the robes of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are not non-existent, as in the Hans Christian Andersen fable, but less than fully suitable for today’s needs. And with even greater care, they have reminded us that the U.S. capital markets are not alone in the world; the SEC is no longer the emperor of global market activity.
My first and strongest reaction to the Blueprint is a blend of admiration for the authors’ insight and appreciation that individuals of their stature at the SEC have the freedom to speak so clearly of the need for new tailoring of the U.S. regulatory wardrobe. It is also a pleasure to recognize how deftly they suggest that this wardrobe needs only a few nips and tucks to facilitate the healthy global marketplace that will best serve the interests of U.S. investors in the rapidly shifting conditions they describe.
Put in more traditional terms, Mr. Tafara and Mr. Peterson offer suggestions for how the United States can enable the creation of “a new international framework.” They recognize that the United States will be unable to dominate global capital markets activity in the 21st century as it has done in the past, but they posit that it can legitimately aspire to lead one global marketplace. In addition, they make a convincing case that competing through collaboration will further the interests of U.S. investors and commerce.
* This excerpt does not include citations. To read the entire article, including supporting notes, please download the PDF.