The SEC's Budget: The Aggregate Numbers (Part 1)

The President's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget addressed "Wall Street Reform."  The Budget Message started with a retrospective on the financial crisis of 2008.     

  • When the President took office in 2009, financial markets were in a tailspin. The crisis left millions of Americans unemployed and resulted in trillions in lost wealth. America’s broken regulatory system was the principal cause of that crisis. To ensure financial stability for Americans and businesses, the President fought to reform Wall Street, ultimately signing a bill that represented the most sweeping financial regulatory legislation since the Great Depression. Since that time, Americans are getting back to work and regaining lost equity in their homes. But there is still work to do to protect American consumers and investors, and maintain fairness in the financial system. 

The statement then noted the importance of reform.   

  • In response to the destabilizing 2008 financial crisis, the Administration achieved landmark reform of the Nation’s financial system in 2010 with enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Wall Street Reform). In the years since enactment, Federal agencies have helped make home, auto, and short-term consumer loan terms fairer and easier to understand for average consumers, improved visibility for investors into the shadowy corners and complex instruments of financial markets, and increased financial firms’ planning for and resilience to future financial downturns.

As a result, the President proposed a budget for the SEC and CFTC that provided for significant increases.

  • The Budget continues to support Wall Street Reform implementation across agencies, including $1.7 billion for the Securities and Exchange Commission and $322 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), representing increases over the 2015 enacted level of 15 percent and 29 percent, respectively. These are the only two Federal financial regulators whose budgets are set through annual appropriations. The Budget also reflects continued support for legislation to enable funding the CFTC through user fees like all other financial regulators. The Administration will continue to oppose efforts to restrict the funding independence of the other financial regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and will fight other attempts to roll back Wall Street Reform.

In the next post, we'll look at some of the specific numbers in the budget and some of the implications.   

J Robert Brown Jr.