President Obama’s pick to head the Securities and Exchange Commission is Mary L. Schapiro, Esq. — the first woman to serve as the agency’s permanent chairman. The appointment comes at a tumultuous time in the financial world and Schapiro will have her hands full.
What exactly is on her plate? To begin with, investor confidence is at an all-time low, the markets are in turmoil, and from events raging over the last six months it seems as if those who run the large companies keep getting away with financial “murder” at our expense.
So, what does Schapiro need to do to move quickly to re-energize the SEC? Her immediate challenge appears to be in the area of enforcement. She will be looking at ways to address the heavy caseload and understaffing by lawyers at the enforcement division. On February 9, the SEC announced the resignation of Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of Enforcement.
This would not be the first time Schapiro has been tasked with reviving a struggling regulatory agency. In 1996, she joined the NASD, now known as FINRA, after it was accused of failing to effectively oversee brokerage firms. Schapiro revamped the NASD.