SEC Chairman Jay Clayton Sends His Resignation Letter

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by Godfrey Benjamin · 3 min read
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton Sends His Resignation Letter
Photo: Brookings Institution / Flickr

The protection of the American investors was one of the top priority for Jay Clayton while he served as the Chairman of the SEC.

The Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jay Clayton has sent in his letter of resignation to outgoing President Donald J. Trump. Contained in a statement published on the SEC website, the chairman noted that the 23rd of December will be his last day in office, thanking the President for entrusting such great agency under his care.

“It has been the honor and privilege of my professional life to serve the American people as Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission,” Chairman Clayton said in his letter to President Trump. “The absolute trust and unwavering support you and your economic team provided to me and the 4,500 women and men of the Commission has enabled us to pursue our mission to the benefit of the more than 65 million American households who invest in and depend on our markets. No agency leader could ask for more in terms of freedom, resources, and cooperation.”

Clayton served the agency for about three years and six months with his tenure scheduled to end in June 2021, despite this, he had revealed his plans to leave the agency as its head at the end of the year. The SEC under Jay Clayton as its Chairman stirred the American markets to new growth heights as marked by the growth of the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP: .INX) which Clayton said grew by 65% above the level it was as of December 30, 2016.

The protection of the American investors also formed part of the top priority of Jay Clayton while he served as the Chairman of the SEC. His approach to shield investors from losses was reflected in his pursuit of fraudulent securities and cryptocurrency-based offerings, the sum of which prompted the return of “a record of approximately $3.5 billion to harmed investors.”

SEC Chairman and Influence on Crypto

As one of the most pivotal regulatory agencies to the emerging world of cryptocurrencies, the ecosystem witnessed a dual-faced relationship with the SEC Chairman. Earlier in November, Clayton revealed that the agency has tagged Bitcoin (BTC) as a currency usable for cash transactions and not as a security.

The SEC Chairman told CNBC’s “Squawk Box”:

“We determined that bitcoin was not a security, it was much more a payment mechanism and stored value. Our current payment mechanisms–have inefficiencies those inefficiencies are the things that are driving the rise of bitcoin.”

This same securities classification forms the basis for which the SEC filed a $1.3 billion lawsuit against crypto payment firm Ripple and its associated cryptocurrency XRP.

The approach of the SEC was very tough on notable cryptocurrency projects including Telegram’s TON Project as well as Libra (now Diem) Project associated with social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB). Clayton did not state who would be taking the reins of leadership pending when a permanent Chairman will be appointed by the incoming President Joe Biden, but there are indications that either of the Republican SEC Commissioners Hester Peirce or Elad Roisman will fill in the gap.

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