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January 11, 2013

The SEC Gets Its Groove Back

It won’t likely come as big news to Elisse Walter, the new interim head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who is replacing Mary Schapiro, that the securities industry will be significantly transformed in 2013. For Walter, it’s going to be a continuing baptism by fire.

The transformation will be more decisive, perhaps, than anything we’ve seen during the last four turbulent years, in large part because of the Dodd-Frank rule-making and implementation that now confront the SEC. As Christopher Garcia observes, there are an “obscene” number of rules yet to be proposed, finalized, and implemented – hundreds of them, with many having potentially significant implications for the banks. The Volcker Rule is only the most obvious example, adds Garcia, a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP.

No doubt this looming sea change, along with the high drama of the post-2008 era, prompted a more focused evaluation of Schapiro than typically greeted her predecessors upon their departures. Indeed, there has been a penchant among the punditsto focus on the shortcomings of Schapiro’s tenure; on the Commission’s failure to address and solve the systemic problems that were exacerbated by the economic crisis.”


“Yet the new SEC chairman will need a particularly rare combination of distinct leadership skills. First, the job will require tireless managerial oversight of the many daunting and multifaceted tasks at hand, especially the Dodd-Frank rule-making. As Dennis KelleherPresident and CEO of Better Markets,advises, the chairman “must [also] get serious about regulating high-frequency trading, payment for order flows, abusive practices, consolidated audit trails, and market transparency.””


Read full Forbes story here

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