Barney Frank has decided to retire at the end of his current term, but he's going to fight for his regulatory goals -- including, just maybe, keeping advisory firms under a SEC mandate.
Frank recently announced in a press conference that he's "skeptical of self-regulatory agencies" and "would not want to detract at all from the responsibilities of public agencies."
That seemingly bland statement is one of the strongest arguments against moving regulatory responsibility for RIAs to FINRA or some other self-regulatory organization I've seen come out of Washington in ages.
Momentum on Capitol Hill supports starving the SEC and forcing the rest of the regulatory universe to bend around that goal.
That would likely entail shifting RIAs -- many of which have protested -- to FINRA as a matter of political expediency.
Frank would rather "give the public agencies enough money."
But with austerity emerging as a factor in Washington budgets, that answer might not go as far as it once did.
Frank is going to have his hands full over the next year. Now that he's identified himself as a fan of keeping the SEC's mission statement intact, advisors who really care about their regulator need to get in touch with his office and find out how they can help.