SEC Chief Says Funding 'A Strain'

Feb 7 2011 | 8:56am ET

If it is the Republicans' aim to starve the financial regulation reforms they so bitterly opposed last year to death, it may be working, according to the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chairman Mary Schapiro said last week that the budgetary wrangling is keeping the SEC from hiring needed talent and investing in technology, to say nothing of its increased regulatory and rulemaking burden following the passage of lat year's Dodd-Frank law.

"It is a strain that is already having an impact on our core mission--separate and apart from the new responsibilities that Congress gave us to regulate derivatives, hedge-fund advisers and credit-rating agencies," she said at a Practising Law Institute forum.

The agency is required by Dodd-Frank to write more than 100 new rules and conduct 20 studies. Among the new rules are hedge fund and private equity regulations requiring registration and vast new disclosures, which were proposed last month. On top of that is its increased caseload in enforcement actions; Schapiro said the agency's "pipeline of significant cases remains full."

But she urged Congress to come up with the funding the regulator requires.

"We need to ask ourselves if we want our market analysts to continue to use decades-old technology to recreate market events or to monitor trading that occurs at the speed of light."

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