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SEC chair Mary Schapiro resigns

By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com
Monday, November 26, 2012
Posted: 5 pm ET

The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Schapiro, is stepping down a year early, the White House press secretary and the SEC reported on Monday. The SEC chairman is appointed by the president, and the term lasts for five years. Schapiro's last day in office will be Dec. 14.

The White House press release announced that current SEC commissioner Elisse Walter will take over the post of chairman.

As chairman, Schapiro oversaw a number of initiatives designed to strengthen Wall Street regulations, thanks to the many projects mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act.

From the SEC press release:

As a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the agency has implemented a new whistleblower program, strengthened regulation of asset-backed securities, laid the foundation for an entirely new regulatory regime for the previously-unregulated derivatives market, and required advisers to hedge funds and other private funds to register and be subject to SEC rules.

The SEC has also labored to help the little guys during Schapiro's tenure, largely stemming from Dodd-Frank.

From the press release:

Due to new rules now in place, investors can get clear information about the advisers they invest with, vote on the executive compensation packages at companies they invest in, benefit from additional safeguards that protect their assets held by investment advisers, and get access to more meaningful information about company boards and municipal securities.

Schapiro was also a vocal supporter of more stringent rules for money market funds, though her campaign ultimately failed.

My first thought upon hearing that she was leaving the SEC was that maybe behind-the-scenes scheming over the failed attempt to tighten money market fund regulations had something to do with it, but no -- she's just ready to call it quits, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

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Follow me on Twitter: @SheynaSteiner.

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