Obama chooses former prosecutor to head SEC
But translating that message into action will not be easy, given the complexities of the market and Wall Street’s aggressive nature.
At a short White House ceremony, on Thursday, US President Barack Obama named Mary Jo White, the first female United States attorney in Manhattan, to run the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also renominated Richard Cordray as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a position he has held for the last year under a temporary recess appointment without Senate approval.
With the appointments, the president showed a renewed resolve to hold Wall Street accountable for wrongdoing, extolling his candidates’ records as prosecutors.
White spent more than a decade as a top federal prosecutor in New York City, overseeing the prosecution of the crime boss John Gotti and those responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. As an Ohio prosecutor, Cordray filed lawsuits against Bank of America and the American International Group.
“It’s not enough to change the law,” Obama said. “We also need cops on the beat to enforce the law.”
Still, White and Cordray face their own challenges.
While White is best known as an aggressive prosecutor, she also built a lucrative legal practice defending Wall Street executives, a potential concern for consumer advocates. And she lacks experience in the financial minutiae central to a regulatory role.
Cordray presents another potential problem for the White House. The Senate last
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