By Cydney Posner
President Obama has named two Senate aides to serve as SEC commissioners, Kara M. Stein, a Democrat, and Michael Piwowar, a Republican. If confirmed by the Senate, they will succeed Elisse Walter and Troy Paredes, whose terms either have or are about to expire.
Ms. Stein is an aide to Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat and senior member of the Senate Banking Committee. She has worked with that committee for over 10 years, and, according to Bloomberg, "guided Reed's examination of high-frequency traders and other market-regulation questions." Mr. Piwowar is the committee's Republican chief economist and holds a Ph.D in finance from Penn State. He would be the only economist currently on the SEC at a time when the rigor of the SEC's economic analysis is being challenged (e.g., the invalidation of the proxy access rules by the D.C. Circuit on the basis of inadequate economic analysis). Neither nominee is expected to face any serious opposition.