New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Mary Schapiro, who most recently was the CEO for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is now the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Senate approved Schapiro yesterday, a month after being nominated President Barack Obama.
Schapiro takes over the SEC at a crucial time, when the agency along with former head Christopher Cox received an abundance of bad press over lax regulation in a faltering economy.
In a year where hedge funds have taken a beating and some of the world’s most reputable financial institutions have come crumbling down, all eyes are on the SEC as to how and why they could not prevent or foresee disaster.
Even as more light is shed on the Bernard Madoff debacle after losses amounting to over $50 billion, questions still arise as to how the agency could have missed the pink elephant in the room. Schapiro, who has taken flak for clearing Madoff from fraud, says that the broker dealer watchdog did not have the jurisdiction to investigate his investment advisory business.
Many are suprised at the appointment of Schapiro simply because she has been a staple in government regulation agencies since the Reagan era. Some argue that this will not provide the "change" we need, especially since Schapiro was at the center of an agency that many feel is corrupt, or at the least, too forgiving.
Schapiro is the first woman to chair the SEC.
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