Because Epic Failure is Always Cause For a Raise
FINS reveals that the SEC, CFTC and IRS want to add 6,200 staff and $1.5 billion to their budgets in 2012, presumably due to increased regulatory duties that have fallen on said agencies in the wake of this whole financial debacle.
The agency is requesting just over $1.4 billion for its 2012 budget, a $264 million (27%) increase over the level at which it's currently operating in fiscal year 2011.
The increase will allow the agency to support 4,827 positions (4,460 of them full-time), an increase of 780 (612 of them full-time) over fiscal year 2011 levels.
-- 312 for strengthening core SEC operations, like gathering market intelligence, monitoring the financial disclosures of large corporations and overseeing money market funds and specialized product.
-- 468 positions for the implementation of new rules stemming from the financial regulatory bill. Many of the hires will focus on the derivatives market, hedge funds and whistleblowing.
The hiring won't stop in 2012: The SEC believes 296 additional positions will be required in fiscal year 2013 to continue implementing Dodd-Frank.
Besides examiners, the agency will hire those with experience in derivatives, credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations and securitized products. Compliance officers will also be hired.
The agency requested $308 million for fiscal year 2012, up from its current budget level of $169 million, an 82% increase. It wants to grow headcount to 983 in 2012 from its current level of 667.
Of the 316 new staff, 238 would focus on implementing the financial regulatory bill. The hires will be focused on both oversight and enforcement. The agency will need examiners, economists, audit staff and analysts.
The agency requested $13.3 billion for fiscal year 2012, a $1.1 billion, or 9.4%, increase from current levels. It wants to add 5,112 new full-time employees, an increase of 5.4% to 100,537 employees.
The budget justification calls for more staff to handle new information reporting requirements, increase compliance with regards to offshore tax evasion, expand enforcement efforts among corporate and high-wealth taxpayers, and improve the tax preparing service. For example:
-- 377 for international service and enforcement.
-- 519 for tax preparation assistance services.
-- 413 for collection and tax debt coverage.
-- 497 for tax law and compliance issues.
-- 834 for the tax credits unit.
Conservatives for smaller government should be cringing right about now. Reasonable folk who don't care either way should also be cringing, as this sort of news goes to show the audacity of our government to demand more when it failed miserably with what it had in the first place.
SEC Chair Mary Schapiro wanted to make sure everyone knows that the SEC's increased budget won't actually add to our massive deficit, saying:
“These funds will provide the SEC with the resources needed to carry out both our longstanding core mission as well as our new responsibilities for derivatives, hedge fund advisers and credit rating agencies. By law, the 2012 funding is entirely offset by transaction fees such that the SEC budget will not add to the deficit.”
Transaction fees? (like the ones it quadrupled last year) So what's the issue? Let them come up with a $42 bazillion budget for all we care, right?
It sounds like some sort of sick financial mob, forcing investors to pay their own protection money. And for what? At least the mob will keep a shopowner from getting robbed most of the time in exchange for their protection money.
Dodd-Frank namesake and ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank chimed in, saying “The SEC is not perfect, but it has a new set of responsibilities. What we're seeing here is ideological opposition to reform of the financial system.” It was awfully presumptuous of Dodd-Frank to grant the SEC a 18% increase in funding for FY 2011 and so far, the agency has been forced to operate at its current budget level. Fuck it! “We are making some difficult choices,” Schapiro said about the SEC's short financial leash. “That's having an impact on our ability to fulfill our core mission.”
What she means by that is that the SEC cannot waste money on technology, travel and trinkets to help it fulfill that core mission which, allegedly, has been to protect investors. Let's all ignore the fact that they couldn't protect us in 2008 and haven't protected us yet. Let's also ignore the fact that they still don't have an answer for last year's Flash Crash (and every mini crash since) and are busy chasing Amish Bernie Madoff while Wall Street continues to securitize little babies for Satan or whatever it is they do all day.
Please. Someone protect us from the SEC. Who else would pay for that?!