Washington, D.C., December 18, 2008—John
Berlau, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the
Competitive Enterprise Institute, issued the following statement on
President-Elect Barack Obama’s appointment of Mary Schapiro as first female
chairman of the SEC:
“I commend President-Elect Barack Obama for his wise choice
of Mary Schapiro to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ms. Schapiro
is smart and independent-minded with expertise in the financial markets and an
appreciation for entrepreneurship.
“Ms. Schapiro has served honorably in financial regulatory
agencies in administrations of both parties. In the administrations of
Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, she was part of the SEC’s streamlining
of rules to make it easier for small companies to raise capital by going public
in the stock market.
“The massive fraud allegedly committed by Bernard Madoff
illustrates the SEC’s incredible lack of focus in the past few years on the
matters of most importance to investors. Madoff was a registered broker-dealer
and investment adviser, subject to the most basic jurisdiction of SEC
regulation. Yet the SEC staff apparently ignored warnings about Madoff, while
at the same time showering small public companies with massive Sarbanes-Oxley
accounting mandates that produced little of benefit for investors and did
nothing to prevent the current crisis.
“Ms. Schapiro has the potential to refocus the SEC so on
that the agency best serve both investors and entrepreneurs in a dynamic and
vibrant equity market. CEI looks forward to presenting ideas to Ms. Schapiro
and other SEC commissioners on how best to achieve these priorities.”
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about
CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.