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SEC has fewer employees than the Smithsonian
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2008 13:28:42 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Robert Bryce <rbryce () swbell net>
Date: September 27, 2008 12:45:53 PM EDT
To: Dave Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: SEC has fewer employees than the Smithsonian

Hi Dave,
There are many factors at work in the current financial crisis. But the most painful fact about the mess is that Congress and the White House refused to heed the lessons that were taught by the Enron collapse: the need for more financial regulators and more oversight of the derivatives market. Today's Wall Street Journal has front page story about a report from the Inspector General which found that the SEC has "failed to carry out its mission in its oversight of Bear Stearns." That's hardly surprising. Today, the SEC has fewer employees than the Smithsonian Institution. Further, and even more amazing: the proposed 2009 budget for the SEC calls for a reduction -- yes, a reduction -- in the number of enforcement personnel on its staff. Here's another metric: the US now spends more than five times as much on corn subsidies as it does on the SEC. Given the lack of funding for the single most important financial regulator in the US, why are we surprised that the financial engineers have -- once again -- robbed us blind? I wrote about these issues for USNews.com that was published this week. Here's a link:

Robert Bryce
Austin, TX 78704

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