Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Kara Stein ’86, ’91JD: bank shot

"The world is now a somewhat safer place from Wall Street scams."

So tweeted Bart Naylor, a former investigations chief for the US Senate Banking Committee, as Kara Stein ’86, ’91JD, became a Securities and Exchange Commissioner. No surprise, perhaps: Stein, who was sworn in on August 9, is also a former Banking Committee staffer who most recently directed its subcommittee on securities, insurance, and investment.

Stein succeeds fellow Yalie Elisse Walter ’71 in a Democratic seat on the commission. Republican Michael Piwowar was sworn in August 15, filling out the watchdog agency under its new chair, Mary Jo White.

Before serving on the Senate staff, Stein worked for Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who chaired the securities subcommittee. Piwowar, an economist, also worked as a Banking Committee aide under Senator Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho.

Some commentators foresee the bipartisan pair repairing a schism at the SEC as it works to finish rules required by the Dodd-Frank bank reform law. But New York Times finance columnist Floyd Norris offers the opposite take. When powerful senators essentially nominate members of the commission—which is, after all, an executive agency—that "helps to explain why the SEC has in recent years splintered into factions far more than ever before," he writes.

Filed under Kara Stein, SEC, Elisse Walter
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