Bloomberg’s Joshua Gallu and Robert Schmidt talked to regulators to come up with a final grade on Mary Schapiro’s term as SEC Chair, and they basically give her a D-.Admirers and critics agree Schapiro rescued the agency from the threat of extinction when she was appointed by President Barack Obama four years ago.
Still, she hasn’t fulfilled her mission — to overcome the SEC’s image as a failed watchdog by punishing those who steered the financial system toward disaster and by proving regulators can head off future breakdowns.
They cite penalties that were too light, enforcement that was too timid and a character that was too fragile as her principal shortcomings.
“She’s been chairman at an extraordinarily difficult time,” said Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Washington-based Consumer Federation of America. “It may be that the times called for someone either with a thicker hide or more combative nature.”
They even recount a moment where Schapiro practically broke down in 2010:
After fellow commissioners refused to follow her lead, she teared up as she worked on a statement accusing opponents of having their heads “in the sand,” two people involved in the process said.
It’s not surprising that Schapiro’s frustrations boiled over that August evening. She has told friends that the late nights and almost constant policy battles have left her exhausted and eager to depart after the November election.
There’s been talk for at least a month that Schapiro’s resignation was imminent.