The SEC now has more staff with experience with complex financial products in the agency and has more financial crisis-related cases in the works, Mary Schapiro, chairman of SEC, told CNBC Monday.
“Our traditional focus on investor protection on market integrity, disclosure, transparency, and enforcement were always the right paths for the SEC, and to the extent that the agency got caught up in worrying about the competitiveness of U.S. markets vis-à-vis London...[we] got derailed from our core mission and core responsibility,” Schapiro said.
“So we’ve spent a lot of time in the last year breaking down barriers, bringing in the right people and refocusing on those things that will give investors confidence and integrity of the marketplace again,” she said.
Schapiro said the SEC has already brought about a dozen cases related to the financial crisis, including State Street and Evergreen, and cases against against executives at Countrywide Financial and Beazer Homes .
“And there are many more in the pipeline,” she noted.
In addition, Schapiro said the organization is still closely watching the Lehman Brothers case and will be probing the "Repo 105" issues with “every major financial institution very thoroughly” in the coming months.
Repo 105 is the name given to an accouting trick that allegedly allowed Lehman Brothers to hide the amount of short-term borrowing it was doing from corporate lenders.
“We want to make sure that both their accounting and their disclosure are very accurate when it comes to characterizing repurchases,” she said.