More on Mary Schapiro…

December 18, 2008

I’ve just finished watching the press conference where President-Elect Obama officially named Mary Schapiro to head the SEC. Like other top appointments, Schapiro will have to be confirmed by the Senate. In her brief comments after being introduced, Schapiro described this as a “perilous time for investors who are looking to policymakers and regulators to restore trust to the financial markets.” Schapiro added that there would be an “aggressive, systemic response” that would require her to work “collaboratively and aggressively” with other regulators. She ended her brief comments by noting that “investor trust is the lifeblood of our financial markets.”

During the Q&A following the announcement, Obama was asked a question about who was to blame for the current mess and it was a pretty interesting response: everyone. “We have been asleep at the switch. Not just the regulators, but Congressional committees. The White House started with a premise that deregulation was always good.” Obama added that he planned to “greatly strengthen our regulatory apparatus” because “the American people are feeling…that there’s not a lot of adult supervision out there.” You don’t have to read between the lines to get a sense of what’s likely to come. The only question is what will the new regulations entail?

Minutes after the Schapiro announcement, outgoing Chairman Chris Cox issued this statement congratulating Schapiro.

Other people are also beginning to weigh in, including my friend Greg Newton, who as usual calls it as he sees it and this fellow blogger. Folks are also weighing in on the WaPo. So what do footnoted readers think of the Schapiro appointment?

Image credit: AP Photo by Haraz N. Ghanbari

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