‘Fox guarding the henhouse’

Matt Taibbi on Mary Jo White, new head of the SEC:

I was shocked when I heard that Mary Jo White, a former U.S. Attorney and a partner for the white-shoe Wall Street defense firm Debevoise and Plimpton, had been named the new head of the SEC.


I thought to myself: Couldn’t they have found someone who wasn’t a key figure in one of the most notorious scandals to hit the SEC in the past two decades? And couldn’t they have found someone who isn’t a perfect symbol of the revolving-door culture under which regulators go soft on suspected Wall Street criminals, knowing they have million-dollar jobs waiting for them at hotshot defense firms as long as they play nice with the banks while still in office?


I’ll leave it to others to chronicle the other highlights and lowlights of Mary Jo White’s career, and focus only on the one incident I know very well: her role inĀ the squelching of then-SEC investigator Gary Aguirre’s investigation into an insider trading incident involving future Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack. While representing Morgan Stanley at Debevoise and Plimpton, White played a key role in this inexcusable episode.

Meanwhile, no matter what she does, Obama will collect liberal cred for appointing a “tough” prosecutor. God, liberals are dumb. You really think Obama’s about to start prosecuting these people?

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