Obama's choice to lead the SEC, Mary Schapiro, has some explaining to do.
- Did Mary Schapiro know that the SEC was going to join the industry in court in an effort to undo the settlement?
- What other settlements has the SEC tried to modify and why?
- What enforcement actions, if any, did the SEC bring under the "global" settlement?
- Why has the SEC not sought to obtain, and then make public, the e-mails from AIG that would shed light on the entire series of transactions that led to the debacle of AIG's failure?
The SEC's efforts in past months do not engender great confidence. One wonders whether, even if new financial regulation bills now before Congress become law, the SEC will have the will to use its substantial new powers very wisely. As always, the person in charge of an enforcement agency is just as important as any new powers that agency may be granted.