Morning Briefs

Bureaucracy in Action

The Federal Government sinks its meat hooks into the financial services industry.The Great and Powerful Bureaucracy may dawdle over cleaning up oil spills, inspecting eggs for salmonella, or approving life-saving cancer drugs. But when it comes to expanding its power and control, it moves quick, fast and in a hurry.

(Kayla) Gillan, the deputy chief of staff to Securities & Exchange Commission Chairman Mary L. Schapiro, is in charge of coordinating the commission’s implementation campaign, and she’s covered her office whiteboard with dense, color-coded columns of tasks and deadlines that have already spilled over to some adjacent poster boards. There is little time to spare. A rule requiring the registration of financial advisers to municipal governments is due on Oct. 1, and myriad others must follow in quick succession.

The Treasury hired Booz Allen Hamilton to help design the legislation’s new consumer protection agency and draw up what could be a $400 million budget next year. The SEC expects to increase its budget by about 20 percent in the next fiscal year, to $1.2 billion, more than triple its size in 2000. Its staffing is expected to increase by more than 1,000 people, some 800 just to deal with the reforms, to about 4,700, a 36 percent jump from the head count in 2007, before the financial meltdown. The legislation “creates a whole new regulatory regime,” and implementation is “a massive undertaking,” says the SEC’s Schapiro.

Because why make a few common-sense fixes when you can engineer a massive, economy-smothering, regulatory takeover?

The only growth area in the Obama Economy. Cancer is a growth, right?

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