Mary Jo's SEC
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How will the SEC look under newly-nominated chair Mary Jo White? We asked SEC insider David Kotz, its inspector general from '07-'12.
Debevoise litigation chair Mary Jo White's much-discussed experience includes prosecutions of the WTC bomber and John Gotti andthe defense of Time Warner and JP Morgan Chase. With her background as the influential first female SDNY US attorney, Mary Jo's biggest influence will be in the enforcement area. That division's made significant strides under exiting director Robert Khuzami (a former AUSA under Mary Jo) and may now take on a more aggressive approach.
An area that's a bit unknown is the rule-making agenda (particularly important with the implementation of Dodd-Frank, which has missed many deadlines). Former SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro, above, placed a lot of priority on relationships with Congress;David says one would be surprised to know how much of the role involves dealing with Congress and navigating political issues and relationships with other agency heads. Mary Jo hasn't had much experience in the DC political arena.
David (now with Berkeley Research Group) investigated the SEC's response to Madoff's ponzi scheme--including publishing his well-known 477-page report--and Allen Stanford's scheme; he also wrote many reports about the revolving door. While it's something to keep an eye on and monitor, he says, that shouldn't stop you from bringing in someone with defense experience. In Mary Jo's case, many significant aspects of her career were as US attorney and in the public sector. With folks who spend their entire careers as defense lawyers, they may always maintain a defense perspective, but she's had that prosecutor experience as well.