fb-pixel Skip to main content

2 expected to be named to SEC enforcement role


2 expected to be named to SEC enforcement role

The nation’s top securities regulator is going to have a decidedly Sullivan & Cromwell look to it. Jay Clayton, who left Sullivan & Cromwell, a New York law firm, to be chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is expected to tap former colleague Steven R. Peikin to be the SEC’s codirector of enforcement, said three people briefed on the matter. Peikin, a former federal prosecutor, is said to be friends with Clayton. Peikin’s clients have included big Wall Street banks like Barclays and Goldman Sachs — a bank Clayton did significant work for, as well. But Peikin will not be alone in setting enforcement priorities and deciding which matters to pursue civil charges on. Clayton is expected to also name Stephanie Avakian, the agency’s acting enforcement director and a former white-collar defense lawyer, as codirector with Peikin, one of the people briefed on the matter said. The hiring decisions are not final but could be announced as soon as this week. Some Democrats may worry about how tough Peikin would be on big Wall Street. And Clayton has come under criticism from some Democrats over his past representation of Goldman and other corporate clients. In his confirmation hearing, Clayton said: “Again, it is not for me to make the law. It is for me to enforce law.” He added that he “would not say that Republicans are lax on enforcement.” — NEW YORK TIMES


Luxury spending to rebound in 2017 on Europe, China, Bain says

Tourism in Spain and the United Kingdom will lead a rebound in European luxury spending this year, while Chinese domestic consumption also increases, Bain & Co. said, raising its forecast for global growth in 2017. Sales of items such as designer handbags and fine jewelry will rise 2 to 4 percent to as much as $290 billion, the Boston consultancy said in a report. It had predicted growth of 1 to 2 percent in December, and the forecasts exclude currency swings. High-end labels found it hard to keep up momentum in 2016 amid flagging consumption in China and a terror-related downturn in European tourism. But market leaders like LVMH and Gucci-owner Kering reported first-quarter sales growth that beat expectations. Through 2020, sales of personal luxury goods will grow 3 to 4 percent per year at constant exchange, Bain predicted. In Europe, recovering tourist flows and increased consumer confidence will drive growth 7 to 9 percent at constant exchange in 2017; sales will grow 6 to 8 percent in mainland China, Bain forecast. In the Americas, struggles at US department stores and slumping tourism are expected to curb luxury sales by as much as 2 percent. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Draghi says euro area still needs ECB support

The euro area still needs exceptional support from the European Central Bank to absorb slack and restore stable inflation even as its economy accelerates, President Mario Draghi said. “We remain firmly convinced that an extraordinary amount of monetary policy support, including through our forward guidance, is still necessary,” Draghi said Monday at the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in Brussels. “Domestic cost pressures, notably from wages, are still insufficient to support a durable and self-sustaining convergence of inflation toward our medium-term objective.” A growing disconnect between the economy’s improving prospects and subdued price pressures is shaping the debate ahead of the Governing Council’s policy meeting June 8. Draghi and fellow policy makers have acknowledged the strengthening of the recovery while urging patience in outlining an exit strategy from negative rates and their 2.3 trillion-euro ($2.6 trillion) bond-buying program. Draghi stressed that “downside risks to the growth outlook are further diminishing.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Mexico says operations resume at key US crossing

The Mexican government has resumed import operations at one of the busiest commercial crossings on the US-Mexico border, just over a week after it was damaged by wind and rain. The federal Treasury Department said in a statement that full operations were restored Monday on the World Trade Bridge between Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Laredo, Texas. A May 21 storm damaged buildings, utility poles, trucks, and computers on the Mexican side of the crossing. Buildings on the US side experienced roof damage and flooding. Commercial traffic had been diverted to another nearby bridge. — ASSOCIATED PRESS