Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bachus Proposes to Restructure the SEC

What's wrong with the SEC, and what's the solution?  Does the agency need restructuring or more money?  Rep. Bachus, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is drafting legislation to restructure the agency.  Financial Services Committee Chairman Bachus Proposing “SEC Modernization Act” According to Rep. Bachus,

“The SEC is structurally flawed and suffers from operational inefficiencies and organizational incoherence.  This legislation will be a comprehensive restructuring of the SEC.  It will make the SEC more efficient, consolidate duplicative offices, enable the agency to use better technology, and strengthen ethical safeguards to avoid conflicts of interest.”

Others (i.e. Democrats) assert that what the agency needs is additional funding to accomplish its responsibilities, including those added by the Dodd-Frank Act.  (Note:  the SEC is funded by industry fees, not from taxpayer revenues, so the industry benefits directly if Congress does not increase its budget.)

The Washington Post reviews the Bachus reforms; Two takes on SEC restructuring: Modernization or evisceration.  Among them, the Office of Investors' Advocate authorized by Dodd-Frank (but not yet in place) would have a diminished presence, while an Ombudsmans' Office would be created to address complaints from businesses.

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