(Bloomberg) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission’s ability to police markets would be hobbled by a US government shutdown, according to the head of the regulator.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler said the watchdog would be severely limited by a possible federal work halt at the end of this month. Wall Street’s main regulator might not be able to fulfill some basic functions, he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
“The public should understand, we’ll largely be a skeletal staff,” he added. “The normal oversight we have on markets will not be possible.”
The US government is barreling toward a shutdown unless Congress can reach a deal to pass a spending bill by the end of the month. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says that progress was being made, however, the California Republican faces significant challenges from the conservative flank of his party.
Read More: Republicans Aim for New Shutdown Despite Strategy Never Working
For the SEC, the impact would be significant. Companies that want to go public might not be able have their filings reviewed, Gensler said. The agency also wouldn’t be able to fully oversee the markets if there were significant events, he added.
Still, Gensler downplayed the suggestion that a shutdown would cause a major market disruption.
“The treasury markets will still function,” he said during the interview. There’ll be trading in the stock markets. You just won’t have the oversight of the market regulators,” he added.
--With assistance from Tyler Kendall.
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