The SEC Needs More Employees, Unlikely to Happen

According to a recent study, reports The Washington Post, the Security and Exchange Commission is in serious need of new employees, to implement the financial-reform law and attend to heightened regulation of financial firms:

The Securities and Exchange Commission needs more money to meet its expanding responsibilities, but it hasn't made the most of the funds it already has, according to a study of the agency ordered by Congress last year.

The consultant's report, a draft of which was obtained by The Washington Post, mentioned other issues that may be undermining the effectiveness of the agency responsible for policing Wall Street. Those include low morale, few staff members with experience working in financial markets, and a slowdown in reviews of money managers and brokerage firms.

In a functioning political system, this would be immediate cause to increase funding, especially since the financial sector was responsible for the worst recession since the Great Depression. As it stands, this probably won't deter the GOP from its devoted push to downsize the SEC and delay implementation of Dodd-Frank. From the House Committee on Financial Services:

Subcommittee Chairman Garrett said, “It will be instructive for members of the subcommittee, especially some of its new members, to hear directly from the SEC’s division heads about the agency’s priorities and how it is moving forward to address its past shortcomings.  With the monumental fiscal challenges our federal government faces, agencies like the SEC that have received significant budget increases over the last decade must be focused on more effectively working within their means, rather than seeking massive budget increases.”

Two years after an unprecedented financial collapse, and the GOP is working feverishly to defund our modest steps toward a functioning regulatory system. It suffices to say that I'm amazed.

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