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Data Shows SEC Has Been Less Productive in Recent Years

In November 2012, the SEC reported that the 2009 overhaul of its investigative forces had resulted with a record number of enforcement actions over the past two years. For example the SEC reported 734 enforcement actions in fiscal 2012 and 735 in 2011.

The SEC stated “the sustained high-level performance comes two years after the division underwent its most significant reorganization since it was established in the early 1970s…the results in 2012 were aided by many of the reforms and innovations put in place in the past two years.”

However, according a February 22, 2013, Bloomberg article the SEC’s results are skewed. For example, about 228, or 31 %, of the 734 enforcement actions in 2012 were so-called administrative proceedings that instituted penalties in cases that had already been brought years earlier. Thus, the SEC filed fewer new actions in 2012 compared to 2009, the year before it reorganized. This also was true for 2011. For example, excluding follow-on proceedings, the SEC filed 506 original actions 2012 while in 2009 it filed 520 original actions.