One Reason the SEC Can’t Regulate Wall Street
Regulators, particularly those within the SEC, took a lot of criticism for their inability to prevent the financial crisis in 2008. And rightly so. The complex CDOs and credit default swaps were all poorly regulated and this whole cottage industry that arose to, in essence, gamble on the real estate industry brought the global economy to the brink.
So feel free to continue piling on the regulators. I’m sure I will.
But sometimes you see something that adds a little more perspective. And today that comes from Forbes, which published the well-titled piece “10 Wall Street Expenses That Make The SEC’s Budget Look Pathetic” in response to the ongoing Washington debate over the size of SEC’s budget. (President Obama wants to raise it from the current $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion while House Republicans want to chop $25 million off the current total, according to Forbes.)
It isn’t apples-to-apples, but their list makes you wonder how always-behind-the-times-anyway bureaucrats could ever hope to compete with the savvy titans of the Street. The most glaring comes in looking at the $4 billion JPMorgan maintains for its litigation reserves alone. As Forbes writer Halah Touryalai puts it, “Yes — that means the money JPM is saving so it can fight or settle lawsuits is 4x the size of what the SEC has to regulate the entire securities industry.”
Kind of like taking a spork to a gun fight.