By Zachary Goldfarb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 1, 2010; 2:51 PM
The Obama administration's budget proposal provides a sizeable boost to two financial regulators -- the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- after years when the agencies' budgets didn't keep pace with the growth and increasing complexity in the financial markets.
But the boost in the budget is largely contingent on the passage of financial reform legislation that would significantly increase the agencies' responsibilities.
The SEC is slated to get a 11 percent boost to $1.23 billion, and lawmakers have said they want to double the agency's budget over five years. The administration said the SEC plans to use the funds to staff units that are investigating potential financial fraud across a range of markets. The SEC also needs funding for new technology.
SEC officials and some lawmakers are urging that the agency fund itself based on industry fees, like many financial regulators.
The CFTC could receive up to a 55 percent increase in funding, to $261 million. Most of that is associated with passage of financial reform legislation that would for the first time regulate derivatives. The CFTC and the SEC would share responsibility for overseeing this market.