Nominee for SEC Chair has strong ties to Wall Street

From The New York Times

By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN

Mary Jo White, Nominee for SEC Chair has worn the banks’ hat

  • Ms. White has been defending Wall Street’s biggest banks, as a rainmaking partner at the white-shoe law firm Debevoise & Plimpton and making at least $4mil per year.
  • Her husband, John W. White, is a corporate partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. He counts JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and UBS as clients and makes at least as much as his wife, probably more.
  • Ms. White was arm-in-arm with Kenneth D. Lewis, Bank of America’s former chief executive, keeping him out of trouble when the New York attorney general accused Mr. Lewis of defrauding investors by not disclosing the losses at Merrill Lynch before completing Bank of America’s acquisition of the firm.
  • She represented JPMorgan Chase, Bill Frist at Health Corporation of America, Siemens (pleading guilty to bribery) among others.
  • She worked for the board of Morgan Stanley during a now well-publicized 2005 investigation into insider trading that ended soon after she made a phone call to the S.E.C.
  • All of Ms. White’s previous engagements create not only an “optics” problem, but a practical, on-the-job problem. She will most likely need to recuse herself from just about anything related to her previous work.

In short, the so-called new sheriff of Wall Street, is an active member of the financial elite, legal division. It is unlikely that there will be any reforms or tough rules that don’t benefit Wall Street more than us.

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