The Securities and Exchange Commission, which has said it lacked sufficient staff to catch many of corporate America’s wrongdoers over the last few years, may lose $30 million from its fiscal 2004 budget because it did not hire new staff quickly enough this year, the Financial Times reports.

This comes at a time when the agency is under immense scrutiny because of its failure to detect rampant improper trading practices in the mutual fund industry, while New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer got the investigation rolling by uncovering wrongdoing. This followed fiascos at Enron and WorldCom in which the wrongdoing went undetected until it was too late for investors to recover losses.

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