Gary Gensler, the Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has highlighted the need for additional funding to keep up with the increased complexity of capital markets. He specifically cited the need to crack down on misconduct in the cryptocurrency industry, which has seen a surge in fraudulent activity.
In his testimony to the House Appropriations Committee, Gensler emphasized that the SEC needs new tools, expertise, and resources to address this issue effectively.
To achieve this, Gensler has called for a record $2.4 billion in funding for the SEC, which would allow the regulator to hire 170 additional staff. Most of these staff would work within the enforcement and examination divisions, enabling the SEC to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving financial landscape.
Gensler has highlighted the need for the SEC to be the "cop on the beat" in the cryptocurrency industry, which he described as the "wild west" of finance. He warned that noncompliance and speculative investments in this area put investors' hard-earned assets at risk. Gensler's message is clear: the SEC needs to be adequately funded to protect investors and maintain fair and orderly markets.
The SEC has already taken action against over 750 cases of misconduct, resulting in orders for $6.4 billion in penalties and disgorgement. Of these cases, 30 were related to the cryptocurrency industry, resulting in a total of $242 million in monetary penalties.
The sheer volume of tips and complaints received by the SEC highlights the importance of whistleblowers in exposing wrongdoing and holding individuals and companies accountable for their actions.
Overall, Gensler's testimony highlights the need for increased funding to enable the SEC to keep up with the rapidly evolving financial markets and to protect investors from misconduct in emerging areas such as cryptocurrency. The SEC's swift and decisive action against those who flout the rules sends a clear message that misconduct will not be tolerated in any industry.