03 June 2015

Senator Warren Calls Out Wall Street Tool Heading SEC

Senator Elizabeth Warren took aim at the country’s top Wall Street regulator Tuesday in an unusually personal and blunt letter that complained about delayed reforms and lax enforcement, prompting a full-throated defense from the White House.

In a 13-page letter to Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Jo White, Warren cited a “significant gap” between the promises White made during her Senate confirmation hearings and her subsequent performance leading the independent commission.

“I am disappointed that you have not been the strong leader that many hoped for — and that you promised to be,” the Massachusetts Democrat wrote. “I hope you will step up to the job for which you have been confirmed.”

Warren launched her salvo as the fifth anniversary approaches this summer of passage of the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Backers hoped the 2010 legislation would spell a new era of tougher regulation on financial institutions, but it still has not been fully implemented by the SEC — the reason for some of Warren’s ire.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest brushed aside Warren’s concerns Tuesday afternoon, expressing confidence in White, who the administration nominated to the position two years ago.


Suspicion among liberals about White accelerated last week when she appointed a top Goldman Sachs lawyer to be her chief of staff. The left has long complained that key financial regulatory bodies are stacked with staff that have deep ties to Wall Street firms.

“Warren has expressed the frustration of many people who had high hopes for chairwoman White,” said Dennis M. Kelleher, the president of Better Markets, a nonprofit that supports market reforms. “It’s bad enough that the rule-making is so far behind. It’s inexcusable that the enforcement has been toothless.”

Kelleher’s group took heat from the left two years ago for supporting White during her Senate confirmation hearings. He and others believed that her background as a federal prosecutor in New York would outweigh her later position as a partner and cochair of the litigation department at a Manhattan law firm with finance industry clients. At the time, he called her a “tough, smart, no nonsense” prosecutor. Since then, he said, he’s witnessed two “largely unproductive years” at the SEC and he is particularly disappointed that key parts of the Dodd-Frank law have not been implemented.
BTW, it's not just Elizabeth Warren, it is her fellow SEC members who are complaining rather loudly:
Elizabeth Warren just put SEC Chairman Mary Jo White firmly in her crosshairs. White is a deserving target. After being approved based on the promise that she’d reinvigorate a diminished agency via her chops as a former highly respected Federal prosecutor, White instead had specialized in empty promises, foot dragging and financial services cronyism. While these are sadly too common in senior regulatory circles most incumbents do far better than White in presenting a plausible veneer of serving the public interest. By contrast, White’s performance has been so remiss that a fellow Democratic party commissioner, Kara Stein, has gone into open opposition against her, and is regularly joined by the other Democrat commissioner, Luis Aguilar.

Warren’s letter (hat tip Adrien) comes a mere week after another missive calling out White’s dereliction at duty, when three former SEC commissioners blasted White for failing to to move forward on long-overdue rulemaking to require public companies to disclose their political spending.
I am not at al surprised that White has been avoiding any meaningful restrictions on Wall Street.  She is doing exactly what Barack Obama wants.

That's why he selected Tim "Eddie Haskell" Geithner as Treasury Secretary when he became President, and why he chose Eric "Place" Holder as Attorney General.

Obama wants no consequences for Wall Street lawbreaking, so Mary Jo White is not going anywhere.

Her letter is after the break:


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