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Trump Lifting Federal Hiring Freeze - Will SEC and CFTC Ever Hire Again?

April 12, 2017

Donald Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum that lifts the federal hiring freeze while calling upon agencies, like the SEC and CFTC, to rethink how they operate and hire personnel. The Order, which goes into effect on Thursday, 4/13, seeks to establish hiring targets that align with the Trump administration’s proposed budget introduced last month. That budget, which has not been ratified, already faces opposition in Congress, and many programs that are targeted could only be eliminated through legislation.


That said, the SEC and the CFTC are short-handed and severely constrained. For all intents and purposes, neither agency has done any hiring since November.  [Click here for the last 2 SEC jobs posted – Financialish, 11/23]   


Meanwhile, neighboring regulator FINRA has been hiring away – and those job opening have been on full display on [Click here for the latest postings – Financialish, 4/12]  Listed jobs include directors, examiners, analysts, attorneys, project managers, and programmers. All this would indicate that securities regulators are still in great need of qualified personnel.


However, this may be one time where the axiom – “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” – will not happen. And, frankly, how can the SEC and the CFTC be expected to proceed with identifying their personnel needs each agency lacks a permanent Chair? Well, at least the CFTC is headed by Acting Chair Christopher Giancarlo - though he has often stated the need for a full panel of commissioners before the CFTC can move ahead with a viable agenda.