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Remarks at the Emerging Markets Roundtable

July 9, 2020

Thank you, Chairman Clayton.  I am looking forward to today’s discussion on emerging markets.  I approach this topic the same way I approach other issues on the Commission’s agenda.  First, it is important to ensure that investors are able to build portfolios that achieve their objectives and manage risk.  In other words, we should seek to maximize investors’ opportunities so that they can choose the ones that work for them.  Second, it is important to ensure that investors get the information they need to understand those investment opportunities and the associated risks.  A necessary corollary of this is that they do not get misinformation.  Among other things, investors should know what standards apply to companies in which they are considering investing and when a jurisdiction in which they are considering investing is characterized by oversight or transparency challenges.  Investors should know, for example, whether the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is able to conduct inspections of the auditors of US-listed companies with operations in China.  Third, when we decide regulatory action is necessary to solve a problem, we should strive to minimize the costs it imposes.

Applying those principles to this context, investors should have the ability to include emerging market investments in their portfolios, but they should be given a clear picture of the associated risks.  If we decide that a change in our rules is necessary, we should strive to understand how the change will affect investors and other market participants and to minimize any adverse consequences of such a change.

I hope that today’s discussion will touch on these themes and help us to develop a clear understanding of the problems, potential solutions, and the costs and benefits associated with those solutions.  Thank you to all the panelists for joining us today to help us think through these issues.

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