It looks as though the already slim chances of anyone going to jail for their role in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression will sink to approximately zero in the event of a government shutdown, Securities and Exchange Chairman Mary Schapiro saying earlier today that enforcement activities could grind to a halt if Congress does not pass a budget.
“Tomorrow, unlike almost every other financial regulator, we may be shut down,” Schapiro said.
One of the many regulatory bodies that was either asleep at the switch, understaffed, underfunded, or who thought the market would regulate itself, the SEC is in the process of implementing reforms specified in the Dodd-Frank bill. However, things apparently aren’t going very well, what with having to somehow reconcile the financial reform laws with the needs of the big banks, mindful of the revolving door that exists between Wall Street and Washington.
“We’re stretched incredibly thin,” Schapiro said while addressing the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference in Dallas, Texas. “We can get the rules written, but what we’re not going to be able to do is operationalize them.”
The big banks may as well hang up one of those Mission Accomplished banners.