Monday, February 09, 2009

Mary Schapiro Would Have Been a Great Chiropractor

I used to have a chiropractor when I was a kid, a Dr. Shapiro, who I remember mostly for yanking my neck. I was thinking of my old Dr. Shapiro today as I read the grossly misplaced praise lavished on outgoing SEC enforcement director Linda Thomsen by new SEC chairman Mary Schapiro:

"Linda's achievements have been nothing short of extraordinary, even heroic, in an era of unprecedented challenges in our securities markets," said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. "Linda has distinguished herself in public service through her keen intellect, profound understanding of our securities laws, and relentless pursuit of wrongdoers. While Linda's wisdom, judgment, integrity and humor will be sorely missed by all of her colleagues, the agency and the investors we serve will always be grateful for Linda's service."
Reading this, I felt like I sometimes did coming out of Dr. Shapiro's office, my neck having been wrenched, my back cracked and my head spinning. Is Schapiro serious? Isn't this the same Thomsen who presided over the emasculation of the SEC enforcement division, turning it from a state of near uselessness to utter uselessness? At a House Financial Services Committee hearing the other day, Thomsen received the most ferocious public flagellation I have ever seen bestowed.

Praising Linda Thomsen's "extraordinary achievements" is like praising the "magnificent foresight" of the unnamed Wall Street Journal editor who sent down word, "hey, let's forget about Bernie Madoff."

Sure, one says nice things about departing employees, even those leaving under quite the same tidal wave of scorn as Thomsen, but this is too much. It shows a total vacuousness, much as Schapiro showed when she appeared on the cover of a stock-pumping rag called Equities.

Mary Schapiro should quit while she is ahead and buy and adjustable couch. She can make a guy feel like his head's been twisted by just issuing a press release.

Greg Newton has more in this hilarious post today,

© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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