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Mary Schapiro’s Concern with Her Legacy

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 3, 2012 8:19 AM |

Why is it that America suffers from a very real lack of leadership?

Many reasons, starting with the fact that we do not have many real leaders in the truest sense of the word. The lack of leadership goes beyond that, though. Regrettably, far too many of those charged with leading our nation are too concerned with appearances rather than standing on principle and doing the right thing. These people are not leaders. They are politicians and they get bought and sold everyday.

I shook my head this weekend when I read how our soon to depart “leader” of the SEC is concerned about her legacy in relation to pending implementation of the JOBS Act. Folks, you cannot make this stuff up. (I recommend a second barf bag before reading any further.) 

As reported in The Wall Street Journal, SEC Chief Delayed Rule Over Legacy Concerns,

In one of her last acts as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Schapiro delayed a rule potentially affecting hundreds of billions of dollars of private offerings by companies, in part because of concerns about her personal legacy, according to previously unpublished documents.

… Ms. Schapiro had “2 worries.” The first was that if the investor groups “feel this strongly, it seems like we should give them a comment period.” The second concern: “I don’t want to be tagged with an Anti-Investor legacy.”

Such a legacy “wouldn’t be fair,” she wrote, “but it is what will be said given how high emotions run on anything related to the JOBS Act.”

“Chairman Schapiro strongly believes that protecting investors should be the desired legacy of all SEC Chairmen,” the SEC said in a statement. “It is part of our mission and should inform our decisions at all times.

So rather than doing what she believes is the right thing, Ms. Schapiro waffles because of how her opinion/decision on this JOBS Act would be viewed by investor groups. Wow!! What backbone and character. I am all for prudent analysis and thoughtful feedback rather than rushing to judgment. We have had that on this topic. The simple fact is, I fully agree with Ms. Schapiro’s concerns regarding the potential for increased fraud stemming from implementation of the JOBS Act. I wrote as much last spring (How Many Jobs Will JOBS Act Produce). She should stand up and speak out again if she disagrees with this act.

Rather than doing what she believes is right at this point in time, Schapiro’s concern over her legacy compels her to kick the can and let a future SEC chair handle this issue.

In regard to Mary’s concern and belief that protecting investors should be the desired legacy of all SEC chairmen, does she really want to go there?

Her political pals and press pundits can pat her on the back but how many tens if not hundreds of thousands of investors and others have suffered indescribable financial and emotional pain while Mary stood guard over FINRA and the SEC. Some legacy. But that is what happens when people are concerned with appearances and selfish motivations rather than doing the right thing.

If Mary were to write a book as many “politicians” concerned with their legacy are wont to do, then let’s submit the following for the benefit of Mary’s future editor and publisher.

Sense on Cents/Mary Schapiro.

God help us.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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