Monday, December 30, 2013

SEC Annual Report

One of the nice things about the holidays is that it gives you a chance to catch up on some light reading, such as the 152-page U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Fiscal Year 2013 Agency Financial Report (AFR).  For those who are interested, the AFR is available here.

The SEC is required by law to prepare the AFR, which reports on the SEC's accomplishments, activities and financial position.  As you might expect, the report has many positive things to say about the SEC's mission and its activities in support of its mission.  To quote the report, the SEC's mission is "to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation."  

A few factoids from the report that I found especially interesting:

  • Much of the SEC's agenda in 2013 was driven by implementing the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.  The Dodd-Frank Act contains more than 90 provisions that require SEC rulemaking according to page 14 of the AFR.  I wonder how many Members of Congress who voted for the Dodd-Frank Act actually read all 90+ provisions before they cast their vote?!
  • The SEC has 11 regional offices, including one in Fort Worth, Texas.  The SEC's Fort Worth Regional Office covers Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas (except that Kansas's exam program is administered by the SEC's Denver Regional Office).  Kansas is the only state in the country in which the entire state is subject to joint responsibility by two SEC Regional Offices.  California is split into two Regional Offices - Northern California is the responsibility of the SEC's San Francisco Regional Office and Southern California is the responsibility of the SEC's Los Angeles Regional Office.  (See page 9 of the AFR.)
  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires the SEC to review the financial disclosures of at least 33% of all companies publicly reporting under the Exchange Act each year.  In 2013, the SEC reviewed 52% of all reporting companies.  (See page 44 of the AFR).
  • On average, the SEC's Division of Corporate Finance took 25.6 days to provide initial comments to company filings under the Securities Act.  (See page 44 of AFR).