Huffington Post blogger and business author Dan Solin has some nasty things to say about Mary Schapiro, Barack Obama's choice to head the Securities & Exchange Commission. Since I had touched on some of the same complaints, albeit not as forcefully, I thought I'd give Solin a chance to vent.
Schapiro is a former SEC commissioner and had been chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commisson -- an advantage since the two agencies may be partly or completely merged after the recent regulatory debacle. More recently, she has been head of regulation of the National Association of Securities Dealers and is now chairman of the self-regulating Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
It is Schapiro's roles at these latter two agencies that gives Solin pause. His points:
- FINRA missed the Bernie Madoff scandal and the credit default swap mess.
- FINRA and NACD often work to protect idustry "from investors" which is opposite to the mission of the SEC which is supposed to protect investors.
- FINRA requires its own arbitration for industry disputes in ways that enhance the industry.
- FINRA has kept much of its data on arbitration out of the hands of academics who want to study it. That does not sit will with the SEC's mandate to operate in an open, transparent way.
- Schapiro is a career bureaucrat with no actual experience in the finance industry.