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Senator Sherrod Brown Encourages SEC to Adopt Liquidity, Derivatives Rules

In a recent letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White, Senator Sherrod Brown, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Banking Committee, encouraged the SEC to “strengthen and complete” its rules on fund liquidity and derivatives use.  Senator Brown offered some suggestions regarding how the SEC should improve both rules.  With respect to the liquidity proposal, he recommended that the SEC provide “more explicit instruction on how to classify assets and how to determine whether a fund’s asset classification is reasonable.”  He acknowledged that providing more clarity surrounding which assets should be placed in which of the six buckets would be challenging, but that the effort would benefit and investors and the SEC “by reducing reliance on individual funds’ subjective and variable determinations.”  He also suggested that the SEC adopt policies and procedures to enhance its ability to analyze fund data and disclosures.  It is unlikely that the industry would support Senator Brown’s suggested modifications to the rule.  As the Forum’s letter cautions, the SEC’s proposed requirement to place assets into liquidity buckets is “unnecessarily rigid and prescriptive.”  With regard to the proposal on fund use of derivatives, Senator Brown suggested that the SEC provide “additional instruction with respect to assessing and determining the risk-based coverage amount of segregated assets.”