The Senate has approved Mary Schapiro by a unanimous vote as the next Securities and Exchange Commission chairman.

Schapiro has a reputation as a tough-minded regulator who told the Senate Finance Committee during her confirmation hearings that she planned to ramp up enforcement efforts at the commission. The embattled agency has been blamed for lax regulations that contributed to the financial crisis and recent scandals like Bernard Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

She was formerly CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the securities industry's self-regulating body. She had earlier been the chairman and CEO of the National Association of Securities Dealers, which merged with the New York Stock Exchange's member regulation organization to form FINRA. Prior to those jobs, she was chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

During her confirmation hearings, Schapiro said she would re-examine the SEC's proposed roadmap for transitioning from U.S. generally accepted accounting principles to International Financial Reporting Standards (see New SEC Chair May Delay IFRS Roadmap). "I will take a deep breath and look at this entire area carefully," she said.

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