As head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Schapiro’s first order of business upon taking office in early 2009 was to prevent the commission’s demise. She won the applause of her peers for succeeding in this, but her tenure at the SEC has brought criticism, too. Many say she has not been tough enough on Wall Street, particularly on C-level executives who were at the helm when their companies and the country fell into a fiscal crisis. Lynn Turner, a former SEC chief accountant, said that the agency’s actual enforcement record signals to Wall Street that the tough talk is just rhetoric. Schapiro “has created a culture where it is better to ask for forgiveness than beg for permission,” Turner said. “And the trouble is, she always forgives them.”

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