Subject: File No. S7-09-09
From: Kenneth N Bickford, CFP
Affiliation: FPA

July 13, 2009

I feel that instead of increasing the oversight laws in an atmosphere of political pressure you should enforce the laws that exist.
I would support the government increasing the funds provided to the SEC to hire and train additional staff to enforce the laws that currently exist. This has been an area of constant concern and government inaction for years and continues to be true.
The Madoff and other Ponzi schemes resulted from a lack of aggressive enforcement by the SEC and FINRA of current rules and ignoring repeated warnings from the media and whistle blowers. The SEC should hold FINRA accountable for its shared oversight of Bernie Madoff in conducting the Ponzi scheme for decades as a broker-dealer before registering two years ago as an investment adviser.
The Ponzi schemes uncovered by the SEC had nothing to do with fees deducted by investment advisers. As far as I am aware, there have been no systemic problems in this area and are unnecessary, costly and burdensome, particularly for small, independent investment advisers.
As with many other things in our society we have the laws in place to regulate them but those laws need to be enforced. Adding new laws but not enforcing them, which has been the case in the past, will accomplish nothing.