Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: After nearly four years in office, SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro today announced that she will step down on Dec. 14, 2012. Shapiro has been a controversial Chairman, leading the Commission through the 2008 financial crisis and ushering in a new wave of regulation. Chairman Schapiro is one of the longest-serving SEC chairmen, having served longer than 24 of the previous 28. She will be replaced by Elisse Walter, an existing member of the Commission.
By choosing an acting member of the Commission, Walter will be able to serve through 2013 without having to go through a Senate confirmation process as she was already confirmed to her original post. After this period, the Obama administration is expected to appoint a more permanent Chair, treasury official, Mary John Miller, has already been floated as a possible contender for the post. Walter previously served as a member of FINRA and was originally appointed by President George W. Bush.
Schapiro's leadership has been challenged throughout the financial collapse and its subsequent aftermath. Both the Chairwoman and Commission were faulted for lax oversight that led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. However, she has been successful in winning some of the largest settlements against financial services firms in the wake of 2008.
"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 market......................
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