During a recent hearing of the House Financial Services Committee held on September 27, U.S. Representative Tom Emmer strongly questioned the neutrality of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler. He suggested that Gensler’s extensive experience on Wall Street, particularly his 18 years at Goldman Sachs, raises concerns about his ability to act as an impartial regulator. Emmer pointed to this long association, during which Gensler became a partner and co-head of finance, as evidence of a potential bias in favor of large financial entities, to the detriment of innovation and the American public.
But given your 18-year career at one of the world’s largest banks and the personal financial fortune you amassed there, do you think it is possible for you to be an impartial regulator and not favor big financial intermediaries?
Continuing on this theme, Emmer referenced a previous speech by Gensler in which he mentioned concerns expressed by banking executives regarding the transfer of depositors’ funds to cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets.
Tom Emmer’s stance on crypto
It is worth noting that Representative Emmer has consistently been supportive of the crypto industry. His call for greater regulatory clarity, especially during the heightened scrutiny of crypto companies by the SEC following the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX in 2022, positions him as a prominent voice in the crypto debate. Financial records shed light on possible motivations behind Emmer’s firm position. In particular, venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz, a major player in the cryptocurrency space, appears to be one of his top financial contributors in 2021-2022. Donations from the securities and investment sectors to Tom Emmer during this period reached an impressive amount of $418,020.
The hearing also provided an opportunity for Representative Patrick McHenry to weigh in on the broader debate about the SEC’s operations. He raised the possibility of the SEC being subjected to subpoenas regarding documentation related to former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. McHenry’s statements implied a lack of transparency and collaboration on Gensler’s part, highlighting potentially deliberate actions to hinder the growth of the digital asset sphere and obscure the commission’s relationship with FTX and Bankman-Fried.