Securities & Exchange Commission has 4,000 lawyers on staff but few programmers to decipher algorithms controlling todays investments

There are 4,000 lawyers at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but the agency has few programmers who can actually understand  the algorithms involved in today’s investments.

SO says  SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson, who remarked that the rapid growth of digital assets and computer-driven investment advice has become a key challenge for regulators trying to keep up with technological advances, reports Reuters.

Speaking before an Israel Securities Authority conference on Monday, Jackson says the ratio needs to change in order for the agency to be more effective at regulating the markets.

“In 20 years we may need to be an agency of 2,000 lawyers and 2,000 programmers…

I know what it looks like when a human being commits fraud. It’s a lot harder to detect when an algorithm defrauds the investor. But investors deserve no less protection simply because money is being moved around by an algorithm.”

Jackson also says cryptocurrencies are “exciting but come with risks,” describing them as another challenge for regulators. With a better grasp of the technology, the agency can create a legal framework for the space, preventing the industry’s association with scammers and fraudsters, while also protecting investors.

As the first Democrat appointed to the SEC by President Donald Trump, Jackson is stepping down from his post on February 14th to return to teaching at New York University School of Law.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers nationwide including SEC whistleblowers. He can be reached at or by calling 617-823-3217