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Obama Announces SEC, CFTC Chairs

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Thursday, December 18, 2008; 12:14 PM

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA: Over the past few weeks, I've announced key members of my economic team, who are now crafting a 21st-century economic recovery plan that will create 2.5 million jobs. But as I said throughout the campaign, what will be just as important to our long-term economic stability is a 21st-century regulatory framework to ensure that a crisis like this can never happen again.

Today I'm pleased to announce two individuals who will be leading that effort: Mary Schapiro, as the chairman -- chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Gary Gensler, as the chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

I'm also pleased to announce that Dan Tarullo will be bring his years of expertise on regulatory and banking reform to the Federal Reserve Board as one of its new governors.

In the last few days, the alleged scandal at Madoff Investment Securities has reminded us yet again of how badly reform is needed when it comes to the rules and regulations that govern our markets. Charities that invested in Madoff could end up losing savings on which millions depend; a massive fraud that was made possible in part because the regulators who were assigned to oversee Wall Street dropped the ball.

And if the financial crisis has taught us anything, it's that this failure of oversight and accountability doesn't just harm individuals involved; it has the potential to devastate our entire economy. And that's a failure we can't afford.

Financial regulatory reform will be one of the top legislative priorities of my administration. And as a symbol of how important I view this reform, I'm announcing these appointments months earlier than previous administrations have.


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