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SEC chairman nominee committed to agency enforcement

[JURIST] The Chairman-Designate of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mary Schapiro [professional profile] on Thursday expressed her commitment to reinvigorate enforcement [testimony, PDF; video] at the SEC during her confirmation hearing [materials] before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs [official web site]. Schapiro said that "it is imperative that the SEC be given the resources and the support it needs to investigate and go after those who cutcorners, cheat investors, and break the law." She said that she will work aggressively to ensure SEC enforcement and to deepen the agency's "commitment to investor protection, transparency, accountability, and disclosure," emphasizing that the SEC once again "must play a critical role in reviving our markets, bolstering investor confidence, and rejuvenating our economy." The committee's approval confirming Schapiro's nomination is pending.

President-elect Barack Obama named [JURIST report] Schapiro as the new SEC chairman last month. Schapiro is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Financial Industrial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) [organization website], an independent regulator of US securities firms. Schapiro's appointment comes at a time of financial turmoil in the US and concern about the SEC's regulatory process in the wake of charges filed [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] against Bernard Madoff [JURIST news archive] and his securities firm for an alleged $50 billion fraud scheme. On Thursday, Attorney General nominee Eric Holder [professional profile; JURIST news archive] expressed his commitment to investigate and prosecute financial fraud [JURIST report] to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary [official website] during his confirmation hearing [materials].

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