Schapiro To End Controversial Tenure At SEC

Mary Schapiro / WC


Chairwoman Mary Schapiro announced her intention to leave the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December, according to the New York Times.

In recent days, the S.E.C. informed the White House and Treasury Department that Ms. Schapiro planned to leave Dec. 14, becoming the first major departure from the Obama administration’s team of financial regulators. Ms. Schapiro will also relinquish her position as one of the five members of the agency’s commission, the group that oversees Wall Street and the broader financial markets.

Elisse Walter, a current SEC commissioner, will take her place.

President Barack Obama nominated Schapiro in 2008 when "extreme turmoil had shaken investor confidence" and "the agency was faulted for its lax oversight of brokerage firms like Lehman Brothers." Schapiro, a "lifelong regulator," was selected to correct these issues and restore the SEC’s reputation.

However, Schapiro showed questionable judgment throughout her term as she oversaw the approval of a $557 million office lease, allowed David Becker to participate in the Madoff investigation, and faced allegations that the SEC destroyed documents.

The SEC failed to bring many charges against Wall Street executives under her leadership, a move that has been widely criticized.

She was unable to reform money-market mutual funds, which, according to Bloomberg, was supposed to be a part of her legacy. The reforms were intended to help prevent another financial collapse, like the one in 2008. Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt called this failure a "national disgrace."

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