Welcome to the first of our series of year-end analyses of the year in securities regulation and enforcement.
First, we will consider the past year “by the numbers,” the statistics that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or more specifically, its component Divisions and Offices, release annually. Later parts of the series will consider some of the specific areas of focus for the SEC Enforcement Division in bringing enforcement actions in the past year, and how that informs our future expectations.
This analysis will take a look at enforcement actions, penalties and disgorgement, examination statistics, as well as the data issued by the Office of Whistleblower. As you will see, the SEC is canny in how these numbers are released and any careful review will generally require resort to several SEC reports, issued over months, in several documents, to make actual sense of what the statistics mean for considering the past conduct and for the evaluating the future. Some of that material is not yet available, but we will update this document as the data is released. Further, the Commission routinely changes whether and how certain data is released from year to year, so comparing performance is complicated.