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March 12, 2013

Both Sides of SEC Nominee Face Heat

Lawmakers grilling Mary Jo White, President Barack Obama‘s nominee for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, on Tuesday will have to weigh two seemingly contradictory versions of the attorney.

In one version, Ms. White is a no-holds-barred crime fighter known for stretching the law to jail mob bosses and international terrorists. In another, Ms. White is a friend of Wall Street who worked for the past decade for the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where she represented giant banks such as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Which side is more prevalent Tuesday may decide how senators vote on her nomination. Democrats are likely to object to her Wall Street ties, while Republicans may be concerned about her broad application of the law. Ms. White, 65 years old, in her prepared testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, said the SEC’s enforcement “must be bold and unrelenting.” Wrongdoers, she said, “will be aggressively and successfully pursued.”

Her recent background includes advising large securities firms regulated by the SEC. She defended Bank of America Corp.’s former chief executive, Kenneth Lewis, against civil securities-fraud litigation and helped Morgan Stanley vet John Mack when it was preparing to name him chief executive in 2005.”


Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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