Friday, February 1, 2013

SEC Nominee Mary Jo White Unfit

One has to wonder about the suitability of a candidate when The Wall Street Journal describes her thus in "A Market Cop Image May Be Challenged" by S. Patterson and J. Holzer 1/31/2013 C13:

[Excerpt] "Mary Jo White, Pres. Barack Obama's pick to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, has argued against pursuing corporations in criminal courts and pushed, on behalf of corporate clients, for rules that could discourage whistleblowers from coming forward...."

...Ms. White at times has said prosecutors should rarely if ever indict corporations for criminal wrongdoing. Rather, they should focus more on the individuals who committed the crimes.... In a 2012 interview with a U.K. publication, Ms. White suggested that lawmakers should 'abolish corporate criminal liability entire'."


Corporations are legal entities - i.e., legal persons - before the law. Therefore, they should be prosecuted for criminal activities.

MORAL HAZARD is produced by a failure to discipline corporations for enabling a culture of fraud and deception.

Matt Taibbi agrees in "New SEC Chief Mary Jo White Thinks the Government Should Bring Cases – 'To A Point'" The Rolling Stone  
[Excerpted] What this testimony shows is that what is valued instead in this rarefied community of millionaire lawyers (where one can easily "get a reputation") is a talent for political calculation, and a sensitivity to what may or may not hamper one's ability to "function in the private sector." What they're looking for is someone who, when sitting in the regulator's seat, does the job, but doesn't live the job, if you catch the distinction.

Given that White has already made this move from enforcement to defense once, and given that we now know that she knows that firms like hers value regulators who can avoid creating "resentment in the business community" and retain their ability to "function in the private sector," I think it's safe to expect that White's SEC will take very good care to bring cases, but only "to a point."...

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