New SEC Chief Moves Fast to Restore Agency

Schapiro fills openings, reverses Bush policies at battered regulator
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2009 9:50 AM CST
SEC Chair-designate Mary Schapiro testifies on Jan. 15, 2009, before the Senate Banking Committee hearing on her nomination.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – New chairwoman Mary Schapiro isn’t wasting time making over the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Times reports, reversing several of her predecessor’s policies and filling key positions that have sat vacant for months. “I recognize that we could all be defined by what we missed rather than what we find,” she said. “That’s why I’m intensely impatient about addressing these issues.”

The SEC’s ineffectiveness has been criticized in recent months, as problems at large institutions and scandals like Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme went undetected. Schapiro is working to minimize conflicts of interest at credit-rating agencies, exploring restrictions on the short-selling of stocks in decline, and consulting law enforcement for strategies to help her sift through the 700,000 tips the agency receives annually.