May 31, 2007
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed rules. Although most of the proposals appear to be of the housekeeping nature, the proposal related to risk management procedures raises a number of questions and should be a cause of considerable concern for broker-dealers.
The SEC is opening Pandora's box of subjective regulation by requiring firms to maintain risk management procedures, the adequacy of which is to be determined by a subjective process. There would be no way that a firm could prove that their risk management procedures were adequate, and this violation could be tacked on to every single alleged rule violation. This would be particularly true in small firms that cannot afford to pay staff to do nothing but write procedure. The extremely large firms, whose failure could create the systemic problems this rule is designed to address, already have documented risk management procedures that would make Tolstoy proud.
Additionally, risk management would seem to be the purview of management and not regulators. While it could be argued that 15c3-3 and 15c3-1 dictate certain risk management measures to firms, requiring firms to create unspecified procedures intrudes into the business operations sphere to another level that is certainly undesirable. Risk management is just that, "management": it is not "risk regulation". Any efforts to make it such involve subjective decisions that should not be made by persons with police power.