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Data: United States Office of Personnel Management; 2021 figure per CNBC interview; Chart: Axios Visuals

No official has been more publicly outspoken recently about regulator staffing shortages than SEC chair Gary Gensler. Complaints of this sort date back to at least 2009.

What they're saying: “We’ve got an IPO boom, we have a SPAC boom, we have cryptocurrencies to deal with ... [and] China," Gensler told CNBC last week.

  • It echoes comments at a recent congressional hearing: Gensler said he needs more people to deal with the thousands of new digital assets that have cropped up.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Felix Salmon: Between (a) Gensler's maximalist view of financial regulation and what counts as a security, (b) his desire to regulate the broad financial system, and (c) his deep understanding of inter-regulator politics from his time running the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, it’s clear why he would move aggressively to claim as much land as he can before the other regulators even show up.

Go deeper: Top economic regulators stressed by vacancies

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.