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March 13, 2013

White Says Her S.E.C. Would Be Tough on Wall St.

“Mary Jo White moved closer to becoming a top Wall Street regulator on Tuesday as she sailed through a Congressional confirmation hearing. But even her supporters on Capitol Hill pointed to significant challenges awaiting the next leader of the  Securities and Exchange Commission.

While she received a friendly reception during two hours of testimony, the Senate Banking Committee grilled Ms. White, the nominee for S.E.C. chairwoman, on her regulatory agenda, demanding that Ms. White complete new rules for Wall Street and take aim at financial fraud. Lawmakers argued that the agency, four years after the financial crisis, must confront a broad array of problems facing the public markets.

Ms. White promised to tackle enforcement actions and unfinished regulation, but offered scant details on her plans. She did, however, signal a flexible approach to reforming money market funds, an approach that could draw scrutiny from investor advocates and liberal lawmakers.”


Her words alarmed investor advocates, including some of Ms. White’s staunchest supporters, while others noted that it was too soon to read much into her stance. The advocates argue that a regulator’s job is to protect investors, not the funds that cater to them.

“Preserving the money market fund product is not an appropriate public policy goal,” said Dennis Kelleher, the head of Better Markets, an advocacy group that has praised Ms. White’s credentials.”


Read full New York Times article here

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