Dodd-Frank Act in Middle of Battle Brewing Over SEC Funding

by Gary Larkin for The Conference Board, February 22nd, 2011.

While it may not be on the level of the historic protests in the Middle East or the budget battle playing out in Wisconsin, the funding “war” being waged against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is worth noting if you are involved in the corporate governance function of your company.

If anything, the future of the more than $1 billion in federal funds is vulnerable as the new House has vowed to cut billions in government spending, including money that would be used to implement major parts of the Dodd-Frank Act. A bigger question for public companies is what the possible de-funding of some of the SEC programs, such as the whistleblower office and bounty, could mean to corporate governance regulation in the near term.

Granted, the SEC and CFTC, which oversees the derivatives industry, aren’t the only federal agencies facing the budget ax. But for the first time in recent memory, such regulators are getting support from non-political groups: institutional investors. In the past couple of weeks, both sides have made their pitches. It’s a battle pitting the Republican-led House and business organizations such as the Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce against the Democratic President and the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) and ShareOwners.org. (continue reading… )

 

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