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SEC's Schapiro Vows to Get Tough

"These are things that absolutely have to change," said Schapiro.

The chairman also made some remarks on the SEC's major black eye: Bernard Madoff, the infamous Ponzi crook who stole millions from unsuspecting investors. Despite several warnings and obvious signs of his malfeasance, the SEC didn't take action until it was too late.

Schapiro said she's sent memos to employees about the Madoff case -- including victim's heartbreaking letters. It's part of her effort to implement a new culture at the agency, one of active investor protection that was absent in the past.

"We tried to make Madoff a real learning experience for the SEC," she said. "It was a real tragedy.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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