Jonathon Weil, Bloomberg
The Securities and Exchange Commission couldn’t get Ken Lewis on any securities-law violations after he helped drive Bank of America Corp. into the ground as its chief executive officer. Now the SEC is poised to get his attorney as its new chairman — and Morgan Stanley’s, too.
Mary Jo White is set to become the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. President Barack Obama is scheduled to make the announcement this afternoon at the White House. Assuming she is confirmed by the Senate, the former U.S. attorney from Manhattan will take over an agency that is ridiculed more than feared.
The critical question is whether she can be as zealous in protecting the investing public’s interests as she has been in defending her Wall Street clients as a litigator at the New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. The transition in mindset back to government service doesn’t always come naturally for white-collar defense lawyers.