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SEC needs to add 800 jobs due to reform law

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission will need to hire about 800 new people to carry out the Wall Street reform legislation, the head of the regulatory agency plans to tell lawmakers.

SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro will testify before a House Financial Services subcommittee Tuesday, discussing oversight of the agency and future challenges under the financial reform act President Obama plans to sign into law this week. Her prepared remarks were posted online by the subcommittee.

Because the SEC is charged with regulating financial markets, its growth is key to enforcing and carrying out many of the new rules in the sweeping reform bill legislators passed last week. The 800 people would be hired "over time," Schapiro said in her prepared remarks.

The new law creates five new offices within the agency. It also requires the SEC to flesh out the specific details of new regulations and conduct multiple studies, many within a one-year time period.

Schapiro plans to tell lawmakers that the rulemaking tasks alone will prove both "logistically challenging and extremely labor intensive."

But despite the challenges and the unknown costs of the agency's looming changes, the SEC is "properly positioned" to implement the plan, Schapiro's prepared remarks say.

She will also make a push for more funds for the agency, pointing to the SEC's struggle in recent years to keep up with the times due to staff and budget constraints.

"While the markets were growing exponentially in size and complexity during the last several years, the SEC's workforce actually decreased and its technology fell further behind," she plans to say.

Even before the Dodd-Frank reform bill was passed by the Senate last week, President Obama was requesting $1.3 billion for the SEC in the next fiscal year, which starts in October.

That's a 12% increase over this year's budget, and a boost in funds that would enable the agency to add about 374 positions.

In her prepared remarks, Schapiro will also highlight the agency's ongoing investigation of the May 6 "flash crash" and recent settlement with Goldman Sachs.

Last week, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $550 million to settle charges of defrauding investors in a sale of securities tied to subprime mortgages. To top of page

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