What Could Have Been: SEC Chair Mary Jo White to Exit SEC at End of Obama Administration, Leaves Much Undone on Investor Protections

For Immediate Release:

Nov. 14, 2016

What Could Have Been: SEC Chair Mary Jo White to Exit SEC at End of Obama Administration, Leaves Much Undone on Investor Protections

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White plans to step downwhen President Barack Obama exits the Oval Office, the agency said on Monday. The announcement comes as she prepares to testify tomorrow before a House committee on SEC Operations and fiscal year 2018 budget request.

Mary Jo White was a disappointing chair. For more than three years, she stymied effective regulation from the SEC, slow-walking Dodd-Frank rules, blocking the overwhelming investor and public demand for an SEC rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending, and initiating efforts to reduce corporate transparency.

The Trump administration likely will nominate someone in her place who is even more skeptical of investor protections and federal prerogatives. As we reflect on her four years, we see that investors were often left to ask, ‘Where was Mary Jo White?

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