J. W. Verret

J. W. Verret

  • Member, Financial Markets Working Group
  • Affiliated Senior Scholar
  • Assistant Professor, George Mason University School of Law

J.W. Verret is a senior scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.  From May of 2013 through April of 2015, Verret was on leave to serve as chief economist at House Financial Services Committee. Verret rejoined the Mercatus Center in May of 2015.

As a member of the Mercatus Center's Financial Markets Working Group, he regularly briefs Congressional staff, members of Congress, SEC Commissioners, and other financial regulatory agencies on financial regulation topics. Verret is an assistant professor of law at George Mason University School of Law. His primary research interests are corporate governance, securities regulation, and executive compensation.

He received his JD and MA in public policy in 2006 from Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, respectively. While in law school, Verret received an Olin Fellowship in Law and Economics at the Harvard Program on Corporate Governance under the guidance of Professor Lucian Bebchuk.

Verret served as a law clerk for Vice-Chancellor John W. Noble of the Delaware Court of Chancery. Prior to joining the faculty at Mason Law, Verret was an associate in the SEC Enforcement Defense Practice Group at Skadden, Arps in Washington, DC. He has written extensively on corporate law topics, including a recent paper, Delaware's Guidance, coauthored with Chief Justice Myron T. Steele of the Delaware Supreme Court. His academic work has been featured in the Yale Journal on RegulationThe Business Lawyer, the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law, the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, and the Virginia Law and Business Review. Verret was selected by the Northwestern Law School Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth for a 2009-2010 Searle-Kaufmann Research Fellowship.

Verret has been invited to testify before various Congressional committees regarding all of the central provisions of the Obama administration's 2009 financial regulatory reform proposals.

Verret has been featured in media outlets nationwide, including ABC News, theAssociated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Investor’s Business Daily, and the Wall Street Journal. Verret's writings have been published by outlets including The Chicago TribuneForbes, and the Orange County Register.

Published Research

Working Papers

Policy Briefs

Testimony & Comments

J. W. Verret | Sep 30, 2015
The explosive growth in federally backed loan and guaranty programs has been an appropriate focus of congressional oversight in recent years. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates the federal government supports over $3 trillion in loans and guarantees. Those loans and guarantees are often shrouded by indirect government support and unreasonable assumptions in government accounting practices. I submit that the Securities Investor Protection Corporation’s (SIPC) provision of securities custody insurance should be an appropriate part of that conversation.
J. W. Verret | Apr 17, 2012
After a careful review of the legislative requirements that the SEC consider investor protection, efficiency, competition and capital formation in adopting new rules, I would like to simply offer a list of six items that would demonstrate a sincere commitment by the SEC to fulfill its statutory mission. The first five I will list are in fact required by law if one carefully reads the legislative and judicial history of the SEC’s mandate to consider the economic impact of new rules.
J. W. Verret | Sep 15, 2011
J.W. Verret testified before the House Committee on Financial Services about proposals to improve the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
J. W. Verret | May 04, 2010
Professor J.W. Verret discusses the question of fiduciary duties for Wall Street brokers and the possible implications new regulations could have on markets.

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Expert Commentary

Apr 23, 2013

Proxy season has begun, and it’s expected to be a hot one. More than half of publicly listed U.S. companies will hold annual meetings between now and the end of June. There will be votes on more than 200,000 questions, ranging from approving auditors to disclosing political contributions.
Apr 17, 2013

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s proxy voting rules were meant to ensure well-informed proxy votes that reflect the interests of shareholders. However, the rules have instead given rise to two influential proxy advisory firms that have an inordinate amount of influence on corporate governance, according to a new report released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Jan 08, 2013

In its January 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the First Amendment rights of corporations and unions to spend money in support of causes important to their members. In response, Democrats in Congress introduced a bill requiring publicly traded corporations to disclose these expenditures. The so-called Disclose Act would have expanded the Securities and Exchange Commission's authority to require disclosure of financially relevant information to include small political expenditures.
Jul 20, 2012

Two years later, after being praised by politicians as the financial system’s magic bullet, Dodd-Frank is, in effect, riddled with half-baked solutions, corrupted by special interests, and poised to create, not prevent, the next financial crisis.
' '