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Opening Statement at the October 2018 Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee Meeting

Oct. 29, 2018

Thank you, Chairman Clayton, and thank you to all of the members of the Committee for contributing your time and expertise for our meeting today.  Thank you also to the staff from the various divisions and offices within the SEC for your efforts to make this Committee an important part of our work to improve the fixed income markets.  I am pleased to be a part of this fourth and final FIMSAC meeting for 2018—my first as a Commissioner—and I look forward to this group continuing its important work into 2019.  One of the areas on which I plan on focusing during my time on the Commission will be the steps the SEC can take to further improve the fixed income markets for investors and the overall U.S. capital markets.

The Commission oversees several important markets that are interconnected and increasingly global in nature.  The U.S. fixed income market is a significant and vital part of this framework and our capital markets—one that directly affects U.S. corporations, our states, cities and towns, and individual investors.  Despite this, the Commission has historically focused on the fixed income market less than it has, for example, on the equities market. This has occurred even though the U.S. fixed income market outsizes the U.S. equities market and has large, direct retail participation.  I commend Chairman Clayton for establishing this Committee and for giving the fixed income market the attention it warrants.

While FIMSAC’s role is advisory in nature, it is an incredibly important one—providing the Commission with a forum to draw from the members’ and panelists’ insights and varying perspectives on fixed income market structure and operational matters.  The Committee’s prior feedback has already included thoughtful discussions and ideas, including exploring changes to post-trade reporting for block trades in corporate bonds and further work that can be done to improve transparency in the corporate and muni markets. 

I am eager for the Commission to continue its consideration of how we can contribute to making the U.S. fixed income market as favorable to investors as our equity markets. This includes exploring efforts to achieve reliable pre- and post-trade transparency in our fixed income markets, a topic the Committee has discussed before and continues to deliberate. I am also very interested in your new draft recommendations, including regarding collection and dissemination of reference data.  I also hope to learn more about your views on best execution and other topics that receive considerable attention in the equities context. I look forward to hearing each of your perspectives on these important topics. 

I will close by reiterating my appreciation to Chairman Clayton, the Committee members, and SEC staff, and my eagerness to work with my fellow Commissioners to consider these topics in a meaningful and balanced way.

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