Big Stick at the Big Board

By Mara Der Hovanesian

"NOT COZY." The new mod squad has a much bigger staff than in Grasso's era. So far this year, they've hired 67 more investigators and lawyers, pushing the total regulatory staff to 700 -- 42% of the NYSE's workforce. The team is responsible for oversight of 160 specialist and floor broker firms and the nation's 230 biggest securities firms, which manage more than 90% of all investor brokerage accounts. "I can assure you that the enforcement staff is not cozy with the members," says Merrill, who was hired in July. "They have a real prosecutorial mentality."

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