From Wall Street to Washington: Obama's New SEC Head
Yesterday, President Obama nominated former SDNY US attorney Mary Jo White (the first woman to hold that role) to lead the SEC. It comes a year after we heard Mary Jo, along with Eliot Spitzer and Lanny Breuer, discuss whether financial felons got a free pass after the financial crisis. Then a Debevoise partner who repped some of the institutions in the meltdown, Mary Jo stated concern about a "frenzy for scalps" overtaking reason in the aftermath of the crisis.
Mary Jo and the others did agree that moving through the revolving door, which is sometimes maligned, can create innovative attorneys. She's excelled in whichever post she's taken: from acting US attorney in Brooklyn to US attorney in Manhattan to chair of Debevoise's 225-lawyer litigation department. She's done everything from prosecuting John Gotti and the '93 World Trade Center bombing mastermind to defending corporate hot-shots including former Bank of America head Ken Lewis. Incidentally, Lanny Breuer, who was part of the panel (where he defended the DOJ's reaction to the financial crisis), was announced Wednesday to be stepping down as head of the DOJ's Criminal Division.