SEC Chief Says Agency Needs Money To Hire 102 Hedge Fund Staffers

Mar 11 2011 | 11:59am ET

The Securities and Exchange Commission needs more than 100 new staffers to handle its hedge fund oversight powers, the regulator's chairman told a skeptical Congress yesterday.

Mary Schapiro went to Capitol Hill to explain why the agency needs a nearly 25% increase in its budget to $1.4 billion for the next fiscal year. Republicans, who now control the House of Representatives, have countered with a $25 million budget cut for the agency.

"This year finds the SEC at an especially critical juncture in its history," Schapiro told a Senate Banking Committee subcommittee. "Dodd-Frank will require significant additional resources or a substantial reduction in the performance of our core duties."

Implementing Dodd-Frank will cost $123 million on its own, about half the total increase in SEC funding sought by the Obama administration.

A big chunk of that money will go to hiring 102 people to focus specifically on hedge funds.

That is, if the SEC can get it. House Republicans, no fans of Dodd-Frank in the first place, argue that the SEC must join other government operations in facing cuts in the midst of a budget crunch.

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