Austerity Watch: Wall Street Regulators Are Riding Megabus

Regulatory agencies are struggling to enforce their new mandate with limited funds

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In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Wall Street regulators have added responsibilities like monitoring hedge funds and overseeing the derivatives market to their portfolios. But, as The New York Times explains today, the regulators keep colliding with an obstacle: money, or the lack thereof. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are cash-strapped, the Times notes, and Republicans plan to slash the agencies' budgets further. Just how cash-strapped? The paper tells the story of how C.F.T.C. employees recently purchased $30 round-trip tickets on Megabus to tour a Wall Street trading floor. As anyone who's ridden Megabus might expect, the regulators arrived late to their meeting in New York despite leaving D.C. at 5:30 in the morning. But the agency saved $1,000 by taking the bus instead of Amtrak (the agency, like most Megabus travelers, does not appear to have factored in the opportunity cost of the longer trip).

The Times also informs us that, until recently, C.F.T.C. employees were told to avoid high-end office supplies like three-hole punches and heavy-duty staplers.

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This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.