SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro Stepping Down

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Mary Schapiro will step down on December 14th, after nearly four years of service. President Barack Obama has designated current SEC commissioner Elisse Walter to take over for her. He has not yet appointed anyone to fill the vacant slot on the five-member commission.

Shapiro was appointed to the position in January 2009 in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. According to the SEC, she has served longer than 24 out of the 28 previous chairmen. Her tenure saw the financial crisis, the 2010 “flash crash” that sent the Dow Jones Industrial average tumbling over 600 points within minutes, the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and criticisms that the agency wasn’t tough enough in settling some high-profile securities fraud cases.

In Monday’s SEC announcement, Schapiro was quoted as saying “It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to work with so many dedicated SEC staff who strive every day to protect investors and ensure our markets operate with integrity. Over the past four years we have brought a record number of enforcement actions, engaged in one of the busiest rulemaking periods, and gained greater authority from Congress to better fulfill our mission.”

President Obama on Monday noted that in large part because of Shapiro’s “today, the SEC is stronger and our financial system is safer and better able to serve the American people.”

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