New SEC Commissioner Visits WCC

Current SEC Commissioner Robert J. Jackson paid a visit to the WCC Valhalla campus on November 12, on an invitation from the school’s Accounting Club. He received a warm welcome from students and faculty gathered at Davis Auditorium in the Gateway Center before addressing the audience.

Jackson was appointed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by President Donald J. Trump earlier this year.

Jackson, who shared the podium with members of his family as well as school administrators, began his talk by sharing his life experiences and the quest to find his passion in life. The audience responded with applause and laughter as he continued telling his story.

“He’s inspiring,” said WCC student Jose Rivera. “You don’t get to see many people from a high level position in the federal government very often.”

Jackson’s speech, along with the audience’s questions, covered many economic topics. These included the 2008 housing market that caused a great economic recession, the importance of following your passion instead of striving for wealth, and the importance of young people investing early in their lives.

One prominent question Jackson was asked was his opinion on cryptocurrencies and whether they have a place in the current market.

(Cryptocurrency is a new form of investment that uses cryptography for security. It is very different from stocks, bonds, mutual funds and REITs, which tend to be the standard options for most investors. These investments are backed by the federal government and vary in risk depending on circumstances. Cryptocurrencies on the other hand, are designed to work as a medium of exchange, and are not backed by any real currency recognised by any government. This makes cryptocurrency a very risky investment.)

He replied by voicing his concerns on the effect cryptocurrency will have on the market, but made it abundantly clear that it’s not his role as SEC commissioner to tell investors what they can and cannot invest in, but rather to help people to fully understand what they are investing in.

Jackson closed by recognizing the faults within the SEC, and how they could have done things differently to avoid the 2008 economic recession.  He acknowledged that the SEC did not catch the signs that ultimately led to many Americans losing their homes and assets, but expressed confidence that the Trump Administration will do a better job preventing the same thing from reoccurring.

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