Despite recent events that may have eased some doubts, the public as a whole still has a great deal of mistrust in Wall Street, according to the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"People are angry, still angry. They feel the perpetrators have not been disciplined yet. They want their money back in some form, and more importantly, they want justice," SEC Chairman William Donaldson told the Associated Press in an interview.
The chairman said that things like sky-high pay packages for executives must still be handled by SEC legislation. Since he took the job as chairman 20 months ago, the Republican Donaldson has often voted against his two Republican counterparts on the Commission, breaking from the ranks of his long-time GOP ties. Donaldson sides with the two Democratic SEC members on another key issue, that of whether to allow shareholders to vote on board membership. He is in favor of such a rule, though a compromise has not yet come into fruition.
While admitting that the Commission must rework many of the reforms it has proposed for the mutual fund industry, Donaldson voiced displeasure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's recent lawsuit against the Commission for trying to make 75% of all fund boards, including the director, independent. He continues to fight for that rule, and thinks that when all is said and done, the fund industry will recover from the events of the past year. "I think that the industry, insofar as it has been tarnished, will recover," Donaldson said.