Public Statement by SEC Staff:
The Vigor of the S.E.C.
Linda Chatman Thomsen
Director, Division of Enforcement
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Letter to the Editor of the New York Times
April 10, 2008
To the Editor:
Re "A Fear That the Market's Watchdog Is Losing Its Bite" (Business Day, April 8):
Our enthusiasm has never been higher as the Securities and Exchange Commission continues to set records for enforcement vigor. This past year, we imposed the highest number of corporate penalties and brought the second-highest number of enforcement actions ever.
While Congress, not the S.E.C., sets our budget, we recognize demands on federal spending with troops to support and cities to rebuild. But enforcement gets top billing in the S.E.C. budget.
Congress put the S.E.C. under a commission to ensure appropriate oversight of our vast law enforcement power. Yet the commission approved our recommendations 99.8 percent of the time in the past three years, almost always in their entirety, while other times widening or narrowing their scope.
Our staff rates the S.E.C. one of the top places to work. Employee turnover is barely half that of the 1990s. The unwavering commitment of commission and staff to investor protection is what makes this institution great.