The broad indexes ended mixed, as investors continued to worry over the "Fiscal Cliff" negotiations at home, while eurozone leaders continued to negotiate over an additional 44 billion euro in bailout money for Greece.
The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was down slightly, to close at 48.96.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Mary Schapiro, the agency's Chairman, would step down on Dec. 14. President Obama praised Schapiro for her record of accomplishment, saying "When Mary agreed to serve nearly four years ago, she was fully aware of the difficulties facing the SEC and our economy as a whole. But she accepted the challenge, and today, the SEC is stronger and our financial system is safer and better able to serve the American people - thanks in large part to Mary's hard work."The president designated current SEC member Elisse Walter to be the next SEC Chairman. When asked if Walter's management style would differ from Schapiro's, Frank A. Mayer, III -- a partner in the Financial Services Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, in the firm's Philadelphia office -- said that "Elise Walter has been in securities regulation for a long time and I would not expect there to be any change in focus or intensity at the SEC under her watch." Lawrence D. Kaplan -- a banking attorney who advises on regulatory issues for Paul Hastings in the firm's Washington office -- says he expected "that the President would appoint someone who is already a commissioner," which should ease Walter's confirmation in the Senate, since "she has already been confirmed by the Senate as a commissioner." Schapiro's tenure has certainly been a busy one. The SEC said that "in each of the past two years, the agency has brought more enforcement actions than ever before, including 735 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2011 and 734 actions in FY 2012." While even the high profile enforcement actions of the SEC during Schapiro's would be too many to list, the actions have included criminal charges against Galleon Group and its founder Raj Rajaratnam for insider trading. Rajaratnam was convicted in May 2011 of all 14 insider trading charges against him, and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
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