SEC: Mary Schapiro
Securities and Exchange Commission: Mary Schapiro (Chairperson)
Before the 2008 financial crisis, most people did not know the Securities and Exchange Commission existed. Now it is a fixture in American business. The SEC is a federal agency that oversees the world of stocks and bonds and all the brokers, dealers, sellers, buyers and the trillions they transact. Mary Schapiro, one of the world’s most powerful regulators, was appointed in 2009 to be the first female permanent SEC chair. Schapiro took the reins under enormous pressure to restructure the perceptibly broken agency. At the time, it was criticized for under-predicting or addressing glaring impropriety by financial corporations and ponzi scheme runners prior to the crisis. During her tenure policing Wall Street, the SEC initiated enforcement actions and imposed fines totaling $2.6 billion. Though some believe Schapiro could have been more aggressive, especially against larger banks, it is undeniable that Mary Schapiro made the SEC stronger than it was. Unfinished business remains, such as rulemaking for money-market funds, and lingering concern for the general stability of U.S financial industry.