“President Obama’s expected pick of former U.S. prosecutor Mary Jo White to be the nation’s top securities watchdog is widely being taken as signaling a crackdown on Wall Street crime.
“But there are red flags, in White’s past statements and in her work for bankers as a lawyer in private practice, that raise some doubts about just how zealous an investor protector she will be.
“Obama is expected to announce his nomination of White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday afternoon, the White House confirmed. Wall Street reform advocates generally praised Obama’s choice of White, who ran the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York for nearly a decade. In what is arguably the country’s most important prosecutorial post, White won convictions against the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, Mafia boss John Gotti and other high-profile defendants.”
“”Ideally somebody who has prosecuted terrorists and Mafia figures will be able to face down the trade associations” of the financial industry, said Bart Naylor, financial policy advocate for the non-profit group Public Citizen.
“”Mary Jo White was a tough, smart, no nonsense, broadly experienced and highly accomplished prosecutor,” Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, a nonprofit group, said in a statement. “She knew who the bad guys were, went after them and put them in prison when they broke the law. That’s what must happen if integrity and investor confidence is to be restored in our securities markets.”
Read Mark Gongloff’s full Huffington Post article here