Yesterday, stating that "Financial regulatory reform will be one of the top legislative priorities of my Administration," President-elect Barak Obama announced his selection of Mary Schapiro as his nominee for Chairman of the SEC, Gary Gensler as Chairman of the CFTC, and Daniel Tarullo for the Federal Reserve Board, all with the stated goal of developing "a 21st century regulatory framework to ensure that a crisis like this can never happen again."

Schapiro is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and has an extensive background in the regulation of commodities and securities. From 1988 to 1994, she was a Commissioner of the SEC, including a stint as Acting Chairman. In 1994 she was appointed by President Clinton to be Chairman of the CFTC, where she served until joining FINRA in 2002. The current Chairman of the SEC, Christopher Cox, responded to the announcement by lauding the selection of Schapiro, stating that “She is deeply committed to protecting investors and ensuring the integrity of our markets, and I know that the employees and alumni of the SEC join me in congratulating Mary and wishing her a smooth and expeditious confirmation.” Given the discussion of possible merger of the CFTC and the SEC, Mary Schapiro’s prior experience with both agencies should make her well suited to oversee such a transition, if it occurs.

Gensler, the President-elect's nominee to serve as CFTC chairman, served as Under Secretary of Treasury from 1999 to 2001, and as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury from 1997 to 1999. He is also a former partner at Goldman Sachs. According to the President-elect, "As the new chairman of a commission charged with regulating some of the unsound practices and excessive leverage that helped cause this crisis, I know he will restore sound judgment and strict oversight to our markets. Along with Mary, Treasury Secretary-designee Tim Geithner, and others, Gary will also serve as a key member of the team that will reform our outdated financial regulations."

Finally, Tarullo is a Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and held various positions in the Clinton administration, including Assistant to the President for International Economic Policy. Among his many other credentials, the President-elect noted that "His academic and policy work on financial regulation has anticipated some of the problems we have observed, and he has generated important ideas for how we should move forward."