Mary Schapiro sent much the same message to the House this week as she previously communicated to the Senate: The SEC needs every cent of proposed funding in order to achieve its Congressionally appointed goals.
In fact, Schapiro's commentary this week took both a firmer and a softer tone, but remained largely on message. On the one hand, she says, the commission needs at least $300 million more in the coming year than Congress authorized last year.
That money will apparently help the SEC end its current hiring freeze and bring on 780 more enforcement-oriented employees, which would translate into $384,000 per projected incoming staffer.
Naturally, that's a lot of money, which makes me think Bloomberg's characterization of her comments is a bit shy of the mark. In the past, Schapiro has stressed technology as the big-ticket item the SEC needs that extra funding to put in place.
But Schapiro also conceded a key Republican talking point against giving her the funding she wants. As she now says, oversight of former head counsel David Becker may have been adequate, but in the light of the extraordinary nature of Bernard Madoff's crimes, unusual steps should have been taken.