The newly confirmed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White, testified to the House Financial Services Committee on May 16 and requested an increase in funding for her agency. SEC funding does not come from federal government revenues, but from fees assessed on securities transactions. White’s request to increase the agency’s funding does nothing to increase the federal deficit or take funding from other programs. She is merely asking to spend the money the agency collects.
This is the SEC’s Budget Authority (what Congress says the SEC can spend, in the center column) and the Actual Obligations (what was spent, in the right column) for the last several years, in thousands:
There have been increases since the financial crisis in 2008, but the Budget Authority from Congress was frozen between fiscal year 2012 and 2013. Chairman White explains why this will not do:
The securities markets we oversee are continuously evolving, and the technology of today is most certainly not the technology of tomorrow. Fast-paced and constantly changing markets – fueled by financial firms whose annual technology budgets exceed what the SEC spends on its entire operations – require constant monitoring and analysis. When issues are identified, the investing public deserves appropriate and timely regulatory and enforcement responses. The securities industry also has been growing rapidly in size. In the last decade, trading volume in the equity markets has more than doubled, as have assets under management by investment advisers. It is expected that these trends will continue in the foreseeable future. At the same time, the SEC’s jurisdiction has grown to cover significant new aspects of the securities markets.
And how much of the fees that the SEC collects would Chairman White like to spend?: