Just two weeks ago, I pointed to a post from Compliance Week editor in chief Matt Kelly. He was wondering why President-elect Barack Obama hadn't named an incoming Securities and Exchange Commission chair along with the rest of his economic "dream team."
Thursday, The Washington Post reported Obama's pick to replace Christopher Cox is former SEC acting chair and current leader of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Mary L. Schapiro. She also led the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Clinton administration. She will be the first woman to lead the SEC in anything other than an "acting chair" capacity, the story says. Writer Amit R. Paley also says the fact that Schapiro has led both the SEC and the CFTC may make it easier to combine the two agencies if the Obama administration chooses that route.
Observers say a Schapiro-led commission will more aggressively police the financial industry. Former SEC general counsel David Becker says of Obama's choice, "If there is anybody who is going to reinvigorate the SEC, it is Mary. I have no doubt that with her leading the SEC, it will show its teeth whenever necessary."