To some Miami-area readers the name Mary Schapiro may not mean much, but to the world of investments and securities, she has been a powerful force. Schapiro is now stepping down from her position as the Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman after being appointed to the role four years ago. In that time, she has worked hard to protect investors.
The SEC that Schapiro inherited was in disarray and her legacy will include an overhaul of the investment commission. Even her predecessor has praised her success, noting that her ability to create a 50 percent budget increase was an "enormous achievement."
Schapiro's tenure as the chairwoman of the SEC was certainly not without its faults, however. It was during her control that the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme came to light. Though Madoff's scheme had existed well before Schapiro ever was chairwoman, she made sure that her staff understood the effect that Madoff had had on American investors. She was very critical of the SEC and told her colleagues that if they did not work hard to prevent the kinds of schemes that Madoff had perpetrated, the agency may disappear.
Even with the most stringent of chairpersons, the SEC cannot guarantee that there won't be some kind of investor fraud in the future. When stockbrokers do deceive their clients or take their money, it is important to work with a securities fraud attorney. Trying to regain lost investments and hold stockbrokers liable for their misdeeds often requires the legal knowledge of an experienced and competent investment fraud attorney.
As Schapiro steps down, it remains to be seen how her replacement will handle the future of securities in the United States.
Source: The New York Times, "Schapiro, Head of S.E.C., Announces Departure," Susanne Craig and Ben Protess, Nov., 26, 2012
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