The Government Just Wasted $550 Million of Your Dollars
Let me rephrase – wasted $500 million in addition to the usual baseline of hundred of billions in waste that we know about. The SEC, salivating at the prospect of increased power and influence at the hands of the Dodd-Frank law, went out and hurriedly sign up for a boatload of additional office space, most of which it doesn’t need.
At a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee meeting yesterday, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro ceded the agency’s leasing authority and admitted it had made a “terrible mistake” when it put taxpayers on the hook for a half-billion dollar lease for office space it didn’t need.
In July 2010, the SEC leased a 900,000-square-foot office complex in anticipation of the Dodd-Frank law, which gave the agency new authority over hedge funds, and which the agency expected would lead to a doubling of its budget and about 1,000 new staff members.
Only three months later, the agency determined it didn’t need quite that much leg room after all. It terminated its lease but is still responsible for 300,000 square feet of office space. It is now hoping to sublease the space.