Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Monday, November 7, 2016

Brown on Mutual Funds

Stewart L. Brown has posted Mutual Funds and the Regulatory Capture of the SEC on SSRN with the following abstract:

Regulatory agencies are created to act in the public interest but often end up acting in the interests of those regulated. This is known as regulatory capture. The mutual fund industry is the custodian of massive levels of wealth of the investing public and is regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission (“the SEC”). Mutual fund assets are currently in the neighborhood of $16 trillion and these assets generate revenues in excess of $100 billion per year for the firms that manage mutual funds. The investment management industry is incentivized to influence the regulators by whatever means available to maximize profits for their owners. This paper documents how the investment management industry has captured the SEC in certain key policy areas. As a result, the industry is able to siphon off billions of dollars per year in excessive and often hidden fees. The SEC has within its power to unilaterally blunt some of the worse abuses if it was willing to act in the public interest.

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