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This Introduction begins with a brief look back at the creation of the SEC and then examines the present-day agency's expression of its mission. It next reviews the Blueprint's assessment of the agency and its proposal for reform and then turns to the Obama Administration's Financial Regulatory Reform and its proposals relating to the SEC. Finally, this Introduction describes five issues to which the panelists paid particular attention: the SEC's mission, competition among financial markets, the proposal to merge the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the role of financial market networks in systemic risk regulation, and the regulation of credit default swaps from an international perspective. This Introduction concludes by expressing
doubt, based on efforts to date, of achieving meaningful financial reform.