The Myth Of SEC Underfunding

I was wandering around the web this afternoon and stopped by Rortybomb’s blog for a dose of progressivism. As chance would have it, his most recent post advanced the meme that lack of funding for regulatory agencies factored into the crisis.

Ezra Klein and others had a series of posts and twitter exchanges about the increases in SEC funding and the role of regulator discretion in the financial reform bill.

First off, when I was making my mental list of things that could be done if the financial reform bill failed to pass, tripling the budget of the regulatory agencies was up there. They’ve been starved of adequate resources quite consciously post 1980, which leads to brain-drain and revolving doors.

I said that there was some fortuity in landing here because a post by Arnold Kling on somewhat the same subject produced the real numbers on the
SEC’s budget and staffing. It comes from a post by Robert Murphy. I won’t do a lot of excerpting from it, as these two graphs pretty much set forth the facts:

Look like they’ve been on a starvation diet to you?

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