Doing so could prove controversial in the era of President Donald Trump. While he regularly calls articles he doesn’t like “fake news,” it would escalate things if an independent regulator sought to routinely suppress unfavorable content.

“The safety of employees and the integrity of the investigative process is important, but this proposal raises serious free speech issues,” said Chris Ullman, who now runs his own public relations firm after stints at Carlyle Group LP and leading the SEC’s public affairs office. “The proposal is so broad as to possibly infringe on the public’s ability to criticize the commission.”

Image Rehab
The SEC has been rehabilitating its reputation over the last decade after failing to spot Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme and for missing warning signs of the 2008 financial crisis. The failures prompted policy makers to discuss dissolving the agency and giving its responsibilities to other regulators such as the Federal Reserve.

Since then, the SEC has brought a record number of cases and sought billions of dollars in penalties from alleged wrongdoers.

The most recent high-profile case came against Musk. The Tesla Inc. chief executive officer was accused of violating securities laws when he tweeted last August that he was considering taking the automaker private. He settled the allegations weeks later only to go on “60 minutes” and declare that “I do not respect the SEC.”

Former hedge fund manager Cooperman initially fought SEC allegations in 2016 that he traded on inside information. He took to CNBC and Bloomberg Television to air his grievances, but then decided to settle the claims without admitting fault. Dallas Mavericks owner Cuban fought and won an SEC case against him in 2013 over claims that he also traded on inside information.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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