After a couple of days of speculation, the White House announced on Thursday that Mary Jo White will be nominated as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. White is a former U.S. prosecutor and has a reputation for toughness.
"Over a decade as a U.S. Attorney in New York, she helped prosecute white-collar criminals and money launderers. In the early 1990s, she brought down John Gotti, the head of the Gambino crime syndicate. And she brought to justice the terrorists responsible for bombing the World Trade Center and the American embassies in Africa. So I’d say that’s a pretty good run. You don't want to mess with Mary Jo," President Barack Obama said at the press conference announcing the nomination on Thursday.
As a result, there's a good chance that enforcement of securities regulations will continue to be brisk under White's leadership. In 2011, during former SEC chairman Mary Schapiro's tenure, the agency filed 735 enforcement actions, more than ever filed in a single year, according to the SEC.
From the Associated Press story, "Obama picks attorney Mary Jo White to lead SEC":
White spent nearly a decade as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, building a reputation as a tough prosecutor with an expertise in pursuing white-collar crimes and complex securities and financial fraud cases. White House officials say that experience makes her well positioned to implement Obama's Wall Street reform legislation.
The only catch is that the agency may be hamstrung by a penurious Congress in 2013. In 2012, the SEC requested $1.566 billion for fiscal year 2013 -- $245 million more than the 2012 budget. In order to protect investors and strengthen the integrity of capital markets, the agency needs to hire more people.
In September of 2012 however, Congress approved a budget increase of only $8 million over the 2012 budget.
What do you think?
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