Finance Column » Your Money This Week » Senate approves SEC chief

Senate approves SEC chief

By Mark Hamrick ·
Monday, April 8, 2013
Posted 5 pm ET

Former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White is one step closer to becoming head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Senate approved her appointment Monday. President Barack Obama has indicated he'll appoint White as the next chairman of the SEC.

The approval came despite concerns that White represented Wall Street interests as a defense attorney over the past decade.

Before that, she was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, where she handled the successful prosecutions of mobster John Gotti and those accused in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

Much work ahead

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., issued a statement after the vote praising the appointment. Johnson said he looks forward to working with White, "as the SEC addresses a range of rules and policy issues that include the Volcker Rule, derivatives, credit rating agencies, hedge funds, standards for broker-dealers and investment advisers, corporate disclosures, market structure, and money market funds, to name just a few."

Cordray appointment languishes

The banking panel had voted to confirm White last month. Still awaiting full Senate consideration is the nomination of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency was created by the Dodd-Frank law emerging from the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Republicans voted against Cordray's nomination in the Banking Committee, saying they were not opposed to his leadership, but want to see a commission structure similar to the one governing the SEC and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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