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Jul
18

SEC Finalizes Most Expensive Regulation of Trump Era

From: American Action Forum

Dan Goldbeck, Dan Bosch

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The driver of the week was the SEC rule regarding “Regulation Best Interest: The Broker-Dealer Standard of Conduct.” The rule is SEC’s attempt to update certain investor protections in light of the demise of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) “Fiduciary Rule.” The American Action Forum’s Thomas Wade explained the proposed version here. There is some controversy over whether or not this rule is the proper replacement for DOL’s previous regulation, but there’s no denying that it establishes quite the administrative regime in-and-of itself. In examining simply the paperwork burdens involved, SEC estimates that the price tag for this rule is “approximately $27.5 billion.” Of course, SEC is an independent agency outside of the direct control of the White House and not subject to the regulatory budget under Executive Order (EO) 13,771. Nevertheless, it is a remarkable total given the overall regulatory trends of the past couple of years.

TRACKING THE REGULATORY BUDGET

In terms of rules that do factor into the EO 13,771 tally for fiscal year (FY) 2019, the highlight of the week was EPA’s “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule – its plan to “repeal and replace” the CPP. As we further detail here, what many expected to be one of the premier deregulatory actions of this administration (at least for EO 13,771 purposes) turned out to be among the most regulatory of its final rules. Under the new baseline that essentially disregards the CPP and presents the ACE rule as a functionally de novo action, affected entities can expect annual compliance costs of $110 million, or $970 million in present value under a 7 percent discount rate. This pushes EPA even farther back from its FY 2019 goal of $817.8 million in net savings with only two and a half months left to bridge the gap.

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