Occupy the SEC works to ensure that financial regulators act in the public interest, not for Wall Street and its lobbyists. We are a group of concerned citizens, activists, and financial professionals with decades of collective experience working at many of the largest financial firms in the industry. If you live in NYC and would like to join us, or would like to help remotely, feel free to contact us.

New: OSEC Produces House Rankings

Recent Actions

Petition to Congress Against H.R. 37

January 14, 2015We organized a petition asking Congress to oppose H.R. 37, a smorgasbord of amendments that would gut key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act. While proponents of H.R. 37 argue that it is merely a collection of technical amendments to Dodd-Frank, the fact is that many of these changes would embolden regulated financial companies to continue undertaking the kind of risky financial activities that led to the Great Recession of 2008. The bill embodies the first salvo in the Republican-dominated 114th Congresss bid to bring about the death of Dodd-Frank through a thousand cuts. A link to the petition can be found below:

Petition to Congress Regarding Dodd-Frank Deregulation

December 10, 2014We have organized a petition asking Congress to oppose current attempts to roll-back crucial parts of the Dodd-Frank Act. Specifically, the petition opposes Section 630 of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 83 (Omnibus Bill) and Title III of the Houses current version of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2014 (TRIA). Section 630 would gut Dodd-Franks swaps pushout rule, and Title III would free so-called end-users from margin requirements in derivatives trading. If passed, Section 630 would increase the chances that risky derivatives trading would once again require government bailouts. Similarly, Title III would proliferate credit risk from discrete end-users to the broader global economy. These provisions are nothing more than an attempt by Wall Street lobbyists and their friends in Congress to eviscerate important derivatives reforms implemented by the Dodd-Frank Act. Links to the petition and the accompanying letter can be found below:

Letter to Congress Regarding Private Bonuses for Public Employment

December 8, 2014We submitted a letter to members of Congress, asking them to help close the spinning revolving door that exists between the private sector and government agencies. Specifically, the letter seeks to raise attention to morally bankrupt deferred compensation schemes through which private sector companies are able to indirectly influence executive branch employees. In its letter to Congress, OSEC advocates that language be added to Section 209 of Title 18 that specifically prohibits an executive branch employee from receiving any private sector bonus that rewards the acceptance of a government position, regardless of whether the bonus is paid before or during government employment. The letter and the accompanying press release can be found below:

Comment Letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Regarding Liquid Alternative Mutual Funds

November 25, 2014We submitted a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), recommending that the agency promulgate tough new regulations covering so-called “liquid alternative” mutual funds. In our letter, we warn the SEC about the outsized risks that these alternative funds present to investors and the economy. “Liquid alts” are a variety of mutual funds that promise high yields to investors, based on the utilization of risky investment strategies typically favored by the likes of hedge funds. These alternative funds have grown in popularity and growth estimates anticipate assets in liquid alternatives to amount to $2 trillion by 2020. The letter and the accompanying press release can be found below:

Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court in Omnicare v. Laborers

September 5, 2014We submitted an amicus brief in Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, a case that is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case centers on a key provision of the Securities Act of 1933 , Section 11, which creates an express right of action against issuers and their agents for material misrepresentations contained in the offering materials of registered securities. Section 11 is an important tool that aggrieved investors can use to seek remedy for misleading statements made by issuers and their agents. For example, Section 11 has been extensively used to combat the sort of shoddy-mortgage backed securities that led to the last recession. The brief and the accompanying press release can be found below:

Comment Letter to Commodity Futures Trading Commission Regarding Position Limit Regulations

August 7, 2014We submitted a comment letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regarding that agency’s notice of re-proposed rulemaking regarding position limits on certain commodities contracts and derivatives. Unfortunately, the proposed position limits regime is rife with numerous exemptions, such as broadly permissive provisions for hedging. The CFTC’s proposed rules also fail to adequately regulate commodities speculation in non-spot months. In its comment letter, OSEC has recommended that the Commission promulgate simple and effective per se regulations that are both transparent and useful in regulating market conduct. The letter and the accompanying press release can be found below:

Comment Letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Regarding Clearing Agency Regulations

June 10, 2014We submitted a comment letter to the SEC regarding its request for comments on the its proposed clearing agency rules. As numerous commentators have asserted, swaps and other exotic OTC derivatives contributed to the recent financial crisis. The Dodd Frank Act has sought to shed light on these opaque markets, by requiring derivatives to be cleared through registered agencies. In some ways the risk associated with derivatives has not gone away - it has simply shifted to clearing agencies. Thus, it is vital that the Commission not only promulgate strong regulations covering such agencies, but also enforce such regulations in a vigorous manner. The letter and the accompanying press release can be found below:

Comment Letter to Federal Reserve Regarding Commodities Regulations for Banks

March 29, 2014We submitted a comment letter to the Federal Reserve regarding its request for comments on the current state of commodities regulation vis-a-vis banks and Systemtically Important Financial Institutions ("SIFIs"). As noted in our letter, banks must divest from commodities activities because the current status quo features a plethora of risks including:
  • system-wide proliferation of discrete environmental risks
  • market domination and antitrust risks
  • systemic magnification of commercial tail risks
The letter and the accompanying press release can be found below:

Comment Letter to FDIC Regarding the Resolutions of Too Big to Fail Institutions Under Title II of Dodd Frank

March 18, 2014We submitted a comment letter to the FDIC regarding its proposed rule implementing Title II of the Dodd Frank Act, which covers the orderly resolution of Systemtically Important Financial Institutions ("SIFIs") without putting any burden on taxpayers. OSEC has recommended that the FDIC impose stringent conditions on troubled SIFIs under resolution.

Comment Letter to Financial Regulators Regarding the Treatment of TruPS CDOs in the Volcker Rule

February 12, 2014We submitted a comment letter to the financial regulators regarding their recent concessions made to the industry on how to treat TruPS CDOs in the Final Volcker Rule

Letters to Congress Regarding the "Fairness for Community Job Creators Act"

January 21, 2014We submitted letters to both the House and Senate regarding companion bills that would carve out an exemption in the Volcker Rule for TruPS CDOs.