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Friday, August 24, 2012

Why Did Aguilar Stand Up to Schapiro?

News summary by MFWire's editors

On Wednesday SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro revealed that she had failed to win enough votes to push through her proposed money fund regulations, and now the Wall Street Journal offers a glimpse of what made the swing voter, Luis Aguilar, turn against Schapiro.

Andrew Ackerman and Kirsten Grind report that it was Schapiro's office pushing a money fund risks report out to Congress that pushed Aguilar, a former general counsel for Invesco, into opposing the proposals. Yet the SEC told the WSJ that all five SEC commissioners agreed to distribute the report.

Fundsters saw the opportunity to turn Aguilar, a Democrat, against Schapiro in this fight. Citing the SEC's public records, the WSJ points that money fund firms including Fidelity, Schwab and even Invesco met Aguilar at least 10 times from March to June. In contrast, fundsters met with the other Democrat commmissioner, Elisse Walter, only twice, and they didn't meet the two Republican commissioners at all. The report makes no mention of any fundster meetings with Schapiro herself.

The WSJ also talked to ex-SEC chairman Arthur Leavitt, who claimed he spent most of an hour on the phone with Aguilar trying to persuade the latter to support Schapiro's proposals for money fund capital buffers and floating NAVs. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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