The first SEC Chairman was, believe it or not, one of the savviest and successful stock traders of all time, Joseph P. Kennedy. At the time it was considered a shocking appointment by FDR. But Kennedy turned out to be serious and effective, by all accounts, and the new agency was off to a strong start.
Who is to say lightning can’t strike twice, but this appointment of a Goldman Sachs executive is likely to come in for public scrutiny. Goldman was a target of a high profile charge by the SEC recently in connection with its mortgage backed securities offerings and was also raked over the coals in a Congressional hearing.
Most recently they stumbled badly in their effort to complete a private placement of Facebook shares.