Obama SEC nominee, Mary Schapiro, passed one test today: she knows how to handle herself in front of a Senate committee. Not a simple ordeal, as I found out myself at one point a few years ago in the heat of the debate about expensing stock options.
Schapiro even was sympathetic about reviving a pro-shareholder democracy reform that her predecessor, Chris Cox, killed. And she revived the SEC slogan, also killed off by Cox in rhetoric and reality, that the SEC is the investors’ advocate, the principle that guided the SEC’s New Deal architects like William O. Douglas.
But a Democratic controlled Senate hearing will be puppy chow compared to the Wall Street lobby buzz saw she is about to encounter. And her recent role as their friendly in house self-regulator (an oxymoron?) will not have prepared her overly well for the battles that lay ahead.