A Regulator’s Key Role in Failed Mutual Fund Reform

Luis A. Aguilar, one of five members of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is generally known as one of its strongest advocates for tougher oversight of the securities industry. In public statements this year, he has pushed his S.E.C. colleagues to be more aggressive, contending that the commission was not protecting investors assiduously enough.

But last week, Mr. Aguilar derailed one of the most significant current efforts to tighten regulations on the financial industry. His opposition to a proposal put forward by the S.E.C. chairwoman, Mary L. Schapiro, which was intended to improve the safety and soundness of a popular investment, money market mutual funds, put Mr. Aguilar in lock step with the powerful and aggressive mutual fund industry in which he worked as a lawyer from 1994 to 2002. Mr. Aguilar’s decision to oppose Ms. Schapiro’s plan last week became the third and deciding S.E.C. vote against the proposal.  Read more

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