Before the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on March 29, Gary Gensler, the chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), requested $2.436 billion from the government’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget to enable the agency to carry out its mandate and better protect investors as they are put “on a better track for the future.”
The SEC Pitching For A Higher Budgetary Allocation
Gensler said the agency would better act and ensure stability and efficiencies in the financial markets with more funding. As he justified the mega-budget, the chairman explained that their oversight roles were vast and that they had grown over the last seven years.
Presently, the agency has 30 divisions and offices across 11 regional locations besides its headquarters in Washington. Additionally, the regulator is tasked with supervising credit rating agencies.
Gensler emphasized the importance of the agency, saying since the first securities laws were enacted 90 years ago, the regulator has been a steadfast client of the 330 million Americans. These clients, he said, actively invest their 401(k)s and IRAs through brokerage apps, participate in the capital markets, fund their businesses, and bring to life new ideas and innovation.
Because of this, the SEC, the chair said, must drive efficiencies, therefore, helping protect financial stability and modernize existing rule sets for the $100 trillion market in line with what’s laid out by Congressional authorities.
To better carry out its mandate, the SEC will use the majority of this budget on enforcement, upgrading their tools, and acquiring new resources to boost capacity in light of the rapid technological innovation across the industry, including in crypto.
Last year, Gensler noted that even with “limited resources,” the agency’s division brought in more than 750 enforcement actions resulting in $6.4 billion in penalties and disgorgement.
Crypto Is The Wild West
Gensler notes that the modernization of the markets and the incorporation of technology has, per his assessment, been beneficial but also introduced challenges, increasing the probability of wrongdoing. Accordingly, he appeared to be calling on his agency to be strengthened to meet the match of bad actors.
His concern also leaned on the cryptocurrency market, which he described as “rife with non-compliance.” Before the sub-committee, Gensler said the crypto market is the Wild West, and digital assets were speculative.
The SEC has been cracking the whip on cryptocurrency firms in recent months. The regulator has served several Well Notices to top crypto firms, including Coinbase and Paxos.
Gary Gensler and the team at the SEC are also convinced that not only is the BUSD stablecoin a security, but most crypto assets fall under their purview.
Feature Image From Canva, Chart From TradingView