Chairman Sarbanes, Senator Gramm, Distinguished Members of this Committee:
I am deeply honored to appear before you today to seek your approval of my nomination by President Bush to serve as a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission. If confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to continuing to fulfill the responsibilities of an SEC commissioner along with my new colleagues.
Accompanying me today on this important occasion are my husband, Dr. Leonard Glassman, my son and his wife, Kenneth and Dr. Melissa Glassman, and my mother-in-law, Mary Glassman.
I am a Ph.D. economist with 30 years of experience analyzing financial services regulatory policy issues in the public and private sectors. I have worked at the Federal Reserve, two small consulting firms, a large accounting firm and, for the past six months, the SEC. Specific expertise that I bring to my responsibilities as a Commissioner includes risk management, competitive analysis, and financial reporting. I have also specialized in conducting analyses on the continuing relevance of a wide range of financial services regulations in a changed business environment.
As an economist, I believe strongly in letting markets work. Nevertheless, there is an important role for regulatory oversight to ensure that competition is fair, and that information provided to customers is clear, accurate and complete. Regulations should create the right incentives to accomplish their goal, should be based on a good understanding of how the business works, and should not result in unintended consequences, either for the regulated companies or for their customers. In the current environment, the need for strong regulatory oversight could not be more apparent.
When I was being considered for an appointment to the Commission last fall, I had identified several issues as important to the SEC's mission:
Recent events have shown how critical these issues are. Almost six months into my recess appointment as SEC Commissioner, I am outraged at the financial fraud, misleading information, and investor losses that have come to light. Given the extraordinary events of the last year, the Commission's number one job right now is to restore investor confidence in our markets and market participants. There is no question that companies must be held accountable, and individuals need to be held responsible, for adhering to both the letter and the spirit of the federal securities laws. But the SEC, in partnership with Congress, the Administration and the states, must continue to be a driving force in assuring that we have the appropriate securities laws and rules and that we enforce them vigorously.
I began my career in the public sector with the Federal Reserve System, and I am proud to return to public service as a Commissioner of the SEC. My six months of hands-on experience as a Commissioner have only increased my respect for the agency and its entire staff and my appreciation of the challenges the Commission faces.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Gramm, and Members of this Committee for this opportunity. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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