On April 25, 2012, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro testified to a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, which has oversight responsibility over the SEC. The hearing was to allow lawmakers to examine the SEC’s budget request.
The Chairman went through the many new initiatives the SEC has launched, as well as the matters for which the agency seeks greater funding. In the area of money market funds, the Chairman noted that she has “asked Commission staff to prepare recommendations on structural reforms to money market funds to lessen their susceptibility to runs and to enhance the protections afforded investors.” She added that the Division of Investment Management “plans to expand and improve its monitoring and oversight of money market funds and bring on additional staff with industry and data analysis expertise in this highly specialized area.”
The Chairman also touched briefly on the topic of Exchange Traded Funds, or ETFs. She explained that ETFs are “increasingly complex financial products whose activities raise significant disclosure, conflict of interest, market structure, and macro-prudential issues.” The Chairman explained that the SEC needs to add additional staff with specialized expertise in ETF products, in order to better be in a position to respond to product innovation and potential market stresses in this area.
Chairman Schapiro’s testimony can be found here: http://sec.gov/news/testimony/2012/ts042512mls.htm