Overloaded Regulators Press On10.20.2011
The Securities and Exchange Commission is stretched thin in terms of both human and operational resources, but is doing its best to comply with the burden of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The passage of Dodd-Frank essentially created a handful of new tasks for the Commission without properly funding the regulator. Addressing an audience at the 2011 MFA Outlook event in New York City, Chairman Mary Schapiro noted that the SEC is overwhelmed now that it must regulate hedge funds, municipal advisors, OTC products and credit rating agencies.
“The SEC needs more resources,” said Schapiro. “[Dodd-Frank] dramatically expanded our scope without adding any additional resources.”
Schapiro called the current situation “unacceptable” saying that the American people are being let down by Congress.
Former SEC Chairman and Chief Executive of Kalorama Partners Harvey Pitt moderated the discussion, fielding questions sent in by MFA member firms. Conversation turned to Form PF, a hot topic among hedge funds and other asset managers.
Form PF requires investment advisers to submit data to regulators so that the Financial Stability Oversight Council, established by Dodd-Frank, can establish whether a firm poses systemic risk to the U.S. financial system.
Schapiro was reluctant to speak at length about Form PF seeing as how the Commission is voting on its final adoption next week. However, she did mention that the SEC understands funds will be reporting sensitive data and will do its best to prevent leaks of non-public trading strategies and that it has been working closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The bipartisan Lummis-Gillibrand bill requires segregation of customer assets and unbundling of custody.
The agencies found a shortcoming related to data quality and data management.
Technology does not change the need for transparency in corporate structures, governance, audit and controls.
Blockchain technology can be compatible with the existing federal securities law framework.
The Committee expects to hear from companies and individuals, including Sam Bankman-Fried, in December.