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March 12, 2013

SEC nominee says legal work no barrier to job

Mary Jo White, President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, told lawmakers that her past legal work for Wall Street clients would not prevent her from being a tough financial watchdog.

White, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, must step aside from certain work related to clients in her most recent job as an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton.

She said she could participate fully in writing rules to implement the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and other regulations such as new money-market fund rules, playing down concerns of possible conflicts of interest.

“The American public will be my client, and I will work as zealously as possible on behalf of them,” White told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday during a hearing focused on her nomination.


She did not give an opinion on a specific course of action, saying she had not discussed it with other commissioners.

Writing all the delayed rules quickly could be tricky, said Dennis Kelleher, president of pro-reform group Better Markets.

“Taking on Wall Street while tackling systemic risk, money market funds, credit rating agencies, enforcement, Volcker rule, economic analysis, executive compensation and so much more may make prosecuting terrorists look easy by comparison,” he said.”


Read full Reuters News and Insight article here

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