SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar shares take on economy

Recently, The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, The Economic Club of Utah and several staff and faculty within the David Eccles School of Business worked together to bring United States Securities and Exchange Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar to campus. Nick Thiriot, research analyst at the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, is The Economic Club of Utah’s secretary. Here’s how he describes Piwowar’s groundbreaking visit:

United States Securities and Exchange Commissioner Michael Piwowar paid a visit to the David Eccles School of Business this past Tuesday, offering his perspective on the current regulatory environment in the United States, impacts of the financial crisis and what has been done since to prevent such an event from happening again.

Speaking before a group of both undergraduate and graduate business students, Piwowar provided an overview of the work done by the SEC, which includes protection of investors, maintaining fair and orderly markets and facilitating capital formation. As only the third Ph.D. economist to serve on the SEC since its formation in 1934, Piwowar provided a unique perspective on the work being done to regulate the nation’s securities and stock exchanges.

Topics addressed included the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a 2,300-page bill aimed at preventing future financial crises as seen in 2008 and 2009. Several students engaged the commissioner, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013, with questions and even carried on personal conversations about their own research following the discussion.

Following a lively discussion with students, Piwowar addressed a group of local economists and school faculty that provided a different yet equally enlightening perspective. The commissioner discussed the difficulties seen in forming new capital across the nation, and how he remains skeptical yet optimistic regarding the political will in Washington to institute new and long-lasting reforms to the nation’s financial regulatory structure.

Though it was often serious in tone, Piwowar kept it light-hearted at times, quoting from Ronald Reagan: “Not to worry, folks: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

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