The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Sallie Krawcheck, formerly of Citi and Bank of America, is the leading contender to be named chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Let’s hope that President Obama comes to his senses and names someone more fit to the post. From the Times:
With Ms. [Mary] Miller withdrawing, Sallie L. Krawcheck, a long-time Wall Street executive, has emerged as a potential front-runner. Over the last year, she has become a familiar face in Washington, making the rounds with lawmakers to discuss consumer issues.
In my time working with the agency over a number of years I have been involved in multiple rounds of rule writing about the regulation of credit rating agencies. There are some particular kinds of personality traits that are necessary to herd and motivate an agency of over 1,000 lawyers. Based on my reading of her record, Ms Krawcheck is not qualified to take on this role.
The SEC has two primary functions. To write rules for the financial markets, an especially onerous task under the Dodd-Frank law, and to enforce those rules. The SEC also regulates several “self regulatory organizations” (SROs) such as FINRA, which oversees broker-dealers and the MSRB, which is responsible for the municipal bond market.
The SEC also works closely with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Congress, the Federal Reserve, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and foreign securities regulators through its membership on the International Organization of Securities Commissioners (IOSCO). The SEC also coordinates its works with the Financial Accounting Standards Board, a private sector group, to create authoritative public company accounting standards.