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SEC Does Less, Wants More Money

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Are we the only ones who don’t think that the lack of enforcement actions coming from the SEC is a sign of the apocalypse? As predictecd by Christopher Byron in yesterday’s New York Post, the SEC announced today that enforcement actions are down this year. The stunning decline: 9%.
There is at least one good reason to think that maybe there’s just less wrong-doing out there to enforce against—and it’s called Sarbanes-Oxley. Afterall, the SEC’s enforcement division spends most of its time on accounting fraud. With Sarbanes-Oxley putting chief executives personally on the hook for their financials, you’d expect that there would be less fudging and less outright fraud. If Sarbanes-Oxley is having any effect deterring fraud, there ought to be a drop off in corporate wrong-doing.
But you won’t hear that from the boys and at the SEC, of course. They’ve got budgets they want raised and staffers they want to hire. So for them its all about not having enough guys to get the job done.
SEC Enforcement Cases Decline 9% [Washington Post via DealBook]