Jan 24 - President Obama taps former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White to head SEC. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Today's Power Player is Mary Jo White. President Barack Obama nominated former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. White, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, known for prosecuting terrorists and mob bosses, would become the third consecutive woman to hold the post. SOUNDBITE: BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We need to keep going after irresponsible behavior in the financial industry so that taxpayers don't pay the price. I am absolutely confident that Mary Jo has the experience and the resolve to tackle these complex issues and to protect the American people in a way that is smart and in a way that is fair." Obama praised her tough approach: SOUNDBITE: BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Over a decade as a U.S. attorney in New York, she helped prosecute white-collar criminals and money launderers. In the early 1990s, she brought down John Gotti, the head of the Gambino crime syndicate, and she brought to justice the terrorists responsible for bombing the World Trade Center, and the American embassies in Africa. So I'd say that's a pretty good run. You don't want to mess with Mary Jo." Currently White is a white-collar defense attorney with a New York-based law firm. SOUNDBITE: MARY JO WHITE, NOMINEE FOR CHAIRMAN OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION "If confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to committing all my energies to working with my fellow commissioners and the extremely dedicated and talented men and women of the staff of the SEC to fulfill the agency's mission to protect investors and to ensure the strength, efficiency and transparency of our capital markets. The SEC, long a vial and positive force for the markets, has a lot of hard and important work ahead of it." While the pick drew praise from both Wall Street and reform advocates, White does not have a deep securities policy background. And in her recent private practice work she represented major players in the financial crisis, including former Bank of America Chief Executive Ken Lewis.