All about ideas…

Just Say No…To Mary Miller to Head the SEC

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Mary Schapiro, the current Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman, has resigned her position, effective on December 14. President Obama has nominated Mary J Miller to replace Shapiro. However, it appears Ms. Miller does not have the qualifications for this top cop position.

Simon Johnson, over at baselinescenario.com, explains Ms. Miller’s credentials:

The Obama administration is floating the idea that Mary J. Miller, under secretary for domestic finance at the Treasury Department, could become its nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ms. Miller, a longtime executive in the mutual funds industry, has served in the Treasury under Timothy Geithner since February 2010.

Ms. Miller represents the financial sector’s preferred approach to financial reform – some rhetoric but very little by way of serious effort. She has no time for people who are serious about making the financial system safer. And there is no willingness to really face down powerful people on Wall Street.[…]

She has no experience as a regulator or as an enforcer of the law. She has never worked on securities fraud. And she has no track record of standing up to powerful vested interests; in fact, she helped push the recent JOBS Act, which greatly undermine the protections available to investors. In addition, her work experience is entirely within the mutual fund industry – 26 years at T. Rowe Price. And a major agenda item now for the S.E.C. is mutual funds and how to make them less vulnerable to the kind of runs that occurred in September 2008. (For a primer, please see my recent column for Yahoo Finance.)

The mutual-fund industry does not want reform, and it worked long and hard to keep Mary Schapiro, the departing S.E.C. chairwoman, from pushing forward some sensible ideas. After outside pressure was brought to bear, including by Ms. Bair’s systemic risk council (of which I am a member), there are signs that the S.E.C. will finally at least issue some proposed changes for public comment.

After the 2007-2008 financial meltdown, we need the best cop to clean up the Street. And there are much better candidates for this top, vitally important position, namely Neil Barofsky, former Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware, Dennis Kelleher of Better Markets, and Sheila Bair, formerly head of the FDIC.

Credo Action has created an online petition urging President Obama to appoint an S.E.C. chairman who will hold Wall Street accountable, and naming Mr. Barofsky as a worthy choice. The petition had more than 35,000 signatures by Wednesday morning. I urge you to sign the petition so we get the best SEC cop available…and not another Wall St sympathizer.

Written by Valerie Curl

November 28, 2012 at 9:09 PM

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