Cast of Characters
Mary Schapiro Chosen to Head SEC
By Amit R. Paley
President-elect Barack Obama has chosen a veteran financial regulator as the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the beleaguered overseer of Wall Street that has been pilloried for failing to prevent the global economic meltdown, senior Democratic officials said yesterday.
The selection of Mary L. Schapiro, who has served as acting chairwoman of the SEC and chief of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will make it easier for the Obama administration to merge the two agencies as part of a broad regulatory overhaul expected next year. Key regulators and lawmakers have advocated for such a move, arguing that the bifurcation of the two agencies credited to the lack of oversight that triggered the financial crisis.
Schapiro, 53, has a history of attracting support from both Republicans and Democrats. President Ronald Reagan appointed her as a commissioner at the SEC, where she served for six years. She eventually was named acting chair by President Bill Clinton; he later made her the chief of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Obama is expected to announce the choice of Schaprio, who would be the first woman to become permanent chair of the SEC if confirmed by the Senate, at a news conference tomorrow in Chicago.
Schaprio is currently the head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the non-governmental agency that is Wall Street's self-regulator, where she has worked since 1996.
Staff Writers Philip Rucker and Anne E. Kornblut contributed to this report.
Posted at 7:42 PM ET on Dec 17, 2008
Cast of Characters
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