For a brief instant in the post-Markopolos period their was a flash of brilliance: Totally gut the SEC and use the occasion to develop a new regulator without the ass-backwardsness that has become the Commission's hallmark. It is a useless regulator with little or no redeeming qualities except perhaps as a refuge for failed bankers, stockbrokers and attorneys- such that they could be kept busy and away from other mischief (a quick look at Congress will remind you that there is nothing more dangerous than a bunch of idle attorneys and finance types with no meaningful work and unlimited access to visual aides). That fleeting flash of brilliance, however, has faded. Now, the answer appears to be to throw cash at the SEC and hope a tall pile of bills buries whatever smoking memos of other Ponzi schemes and frauds may otherwise have been discovered.
President Barack Obama's fiscal 2010 budget request would give federal securities and commodities regulators additional resources to investigate fraud and manipulation in the financial markets.
According to budget figures released by the Obama administration Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission could see its budget go up by about 6.8% to $1.027 billion from an estimated $961 million budget obligation for fiscal year 2009. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, meanwhile, would see its budget go up by about 8.8%, to about $161 million from an estimated $148 million budget obligation in fiscal year 2009.
The SEC would use some of the budget increases to invest in technologies for the enforcement division that are "similar to those used by the law firms it faces during investigations and litigation."
Obviously, we can look forward to more PTA-like "Meet Your Regulator" pieces in the Wall Street Journal, owing to an expanded public relations budget.
SEC, CFTC Would Get More Enforcement Resources [The Wall Street Journal]