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Mary Schapiro: How Do The Disaffected Feel?

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 27, 2012 9:06 AM |

The news released yesterday that SEC chair Mary Schapiro is leaving her post comes as no surprise. There have been many indications over the past four years that Ms. Schapiro has not exactly ‘enjoyed’ the challenges that came with her position.

Her departure a full year before the end of her five year term has been met with standard gratuitous comments by many in the financial industry, atop Capitol Hill, and in the press.

What do I think of the reviews of Ms. Schapiro’s tenure at the SEC? 

They strike me as going a mile wide and an inch deep. As such, the American public continues to be cultivated like a bevy of mushrooms. That is, keep us in the dark and feed us a steady dose of horse manure.

In regard to Ms. Schapiro, this blog actually owes a debt of gratitude to President Obama for nominating her to be the head of the SEC. Why so? Sense on Cents was in test mode back in January 2009 when Ms. Schapiro went to Capitol Hill for her confirmation hearing. The charade perpetrated by the members of the Congressional committee charged with vetting Ms. Schapiro immediately sent me to Schapiro’s predecessor organization, Wall Street’s SRO FINRA, to learn more about this woman who would lead our nation’s financial police. The rest as they say is history.

With the departure of Ms. Schapiro and the appointment of career regulator Elisse Walter to finish out Schapiro’s term, President Obama sent a swift and strong signal to Wall Street and the American public that business will remain as usual between Wall Street and Washington.

Walter’s appointment will certainly provide plenty of opportunity for Sense on Cents to dig through the horse manure being fed to the American public. As for the truth, transparency, and integrity? Those virtues will likely remain hard to find.

Let’s get back to Mary’s legacy. I have seen very little  reference to many disaffected groups and individuals for whom Schapiro’s tenure at both FINRA and the SEC has meant little more than excruciating pain and perpetual disappointment. Which groups and individuals?

1. Holders of auction-rate securities

2. Madoff investors

3. Stanford investors

4. Smaller broker-dealers abused by FINRA and the SEC literally and figuratively

5. Whistleblowers

6. Former SEC and FINRA staff silenced while trying to promote transparency

7. MF Global clients

8. Investors and individuals compromised by the manipulation of Libor and mortgage fraud

9. Individual traders who get abused by the front-running promulgated by the HFT crowd throughout our equity exchanges

Need I go on?

Let’s hear from people who count themselves in these categories. What do you think of Ms. Schapiro and her tenure not only at the SEC but also at FINRA? Let’s give Mary a going away card. How many people from these groups and the American public at large can we get to “sign” this farewell?

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, our economy, and our political realm so that meaningful investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.


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