Mary Schapiro danced around some sore spots in her big day in Congress as she formally argued that the SEC needs help meeting its newly expanded obligations.
Central to Schapiro's case is the idea that the SEC is already starved for cash after having to clean up scandal after scandal throughout the financial sector -- and that Dodd-Frank only compounds the problem by broadening the commission's responsibilities.
It's a very revealing and frank document that just about everyone in the industry should at least skim.
Schapiro sees herself as a reformer, effectively contrasting "her" SEC from the pre-2009 "mission failures" that brought Wall Street to its knees while letting Bernie Madoff run amok.
She addresses concerns about governance, inefficiency, and waste head-on, spending a noteworthy amount of time outlining her efforts to make it easier to fire non-productive employees, not to mention alluding to her fury over the "SEC porn scandal."
For better or worse, there's very little grandstanding or appeals to the fundamental mission of the SEC as the guardian of retail investors and, ultimately, the markets themselves.
Maybe that's assumed, but in a Congress where rhetorical points count more than ever, some effort to remind everyone just why this appropriation is important to Main Street might've helped clear the air and align the commission with the voters.
A groundswell of public support for the regulators couldn't hurt her cause.
She sees it as a cry to give the SEC more resources. Others have characterized it as a plea to eliminate waste and streamline the commission's bloated management structure.