Yesterday's congressional spending deal did not contain all the money for which the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission had asked. The SEC will get $29 million more than its fiscal 2013 level, and the CFTC will have approximately $10 million more to spend. Proponents of larger budgets for the financial regulators seem to see a directly proportional relationship between the amount of money each agency has at its disposal and the health of our capital markets. Based on the commissions' records, one wonders. The CFTC has employed much of its budget in recent years to remake the derivatives markets in a haphazard way that could impair their ability to serve the Main Street companies, farmers, and others that rely on them. The SEC has poured resources into writing (and defending against legal challenges) rules such as the proxy access rule, which would have paved the way for backroom deals with special constituencies at the expense of other shareholders, and the conflict minerals rule, which the SEC crafted to be even more onerous than the statute requires it to be. Both agencies already have large budgets that reflect the important roles they play in our capital markets, but congressional reluctance to send more money their way is not surprising given the way they might spend it.
Regulatory Budget Battles
- Second Circuit: Pragmatism Trumps Truth
- Conflict Minerals: Unmeasured Benefits and Unspoken Burdens
- CFTC's Aimless Budgeting
- JPMorgan, Madoff, and Bureaucracy
- New Column by Walter Olson: SEC Unveils Expensive Rule on CEO Pay Ratio
- SEC Chairman Speaks Again
- Regulatory Complicity in Nasdaq's Troubles
- Better bounty hunting in securities litigation?
- More on Google's Investment in Crowdfunding
- SEC Chair Pushing to Adopt Proposed Rule to Lift Ban on General Solicitation
- The Reluctant Regulator
- Harvey Pitt on the future of the SEC
- Chairman Schapiro's Troubled Tenure at the SEC
- Interpreting the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act