Mark Cuban slams SEC chief Gary Gensler for complex market rules – and tells him to engage with retail investors

Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban. Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times
  • Mark Cuban urged SEC chair Gary Gensler to clarify market rules and engage with retail investors.
  • The “Shark Tank” star criticized the regulator for posturing to Wall Street in a Twitter thread.
  • Cuban has accused the SEC of regulating through litigation and bullying small investors.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Market regulators should clarify the rules, answer people’s questions, and focus more on understanding retail investors’ needs than on trying to impress Wall Street, Mark Cuban argued this week.

The technology billionaire made the suggestions to Gary Gensler, after the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission tweeted that investors shouldn’t even come close to breaking the rules. Gensler added that his agency seeks to protect people from threats such as market manipulation and accounting fraud.

“If you really want to make the markets safer, rather than puffing up your chest and posturing to or with Wall Street, talk to small investors about what they want to see and how they want to be communicated with,” Cuban tweeted.

“If you were working on behalf of investors, you make it easy for questions by investors and businesspeople to be asked and answered,” he continued. “You make it near impossible. Those who can’t afford lawyers can only guess.”

The “Shark Tank” star and Dallas Mavericks owner has been a vocal critic of the SEC since the agency charged him with insider trading in 2008. He was ultimately acquitted by a federal jury in 2013.

Cuban has accused the government body of regulating through litigation and intentionally keeping its rules opaque to give its army of lawyers plenty of scope to sue and intimidate. The SEC also gives Wall Street an edge by suing individual investors who can’t afford to fight back, and cryptocurrencies are more beneficial to businesses than the agency’s oversight, he’s said in the past.

“There is no more crooked federal agency than the SEC,” he tweeted in 2014. “They are everything that is wrong w the government.”

Gensler’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.