With its political appointees finally in place, the Obama Administration is implementing an unprecedented flurry of regulatory activity. In addition to its efforts to obtain passage of laws regulating the health care and financial services industries, the Administration will heighten enforcement in the labor, environmental, and food and drug safety areas. Corporations should be prepared for a sharp uptick in the enforcement of existing laws, issuance of new regulations and passage of additional laws that will result in hundreds of new rulemakings over the next few years.
During its first year in office, the Administration secured major increases in the enforcement budgets of the major regulatory agencies to permit more aggressive policing of compliance with existing laws. The Securities and Exchange Commission's fraud action against Goldman Sachs and the Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit against Intel are the hallmarks of this initiative.