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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:13 PM

More on Mary Jo White.

In February of 2012, White appeared on a panel with Lanny Breuer and Eliot Spitzer. The subject was Financial Crisis Prosecutions. The discussion was moderated by Neil Barofsky, author of "Bailout" and former TARP Inspector General. Times article: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/a-star-panel-debates-financial-crisis-prosecutions/

White's contributions as detailed in the article:

Ms. White, the former prosecutor-cum-defense lawyer, echoed the note of caution.

“We must distinguish what is criminal from what is reckless behavior or bad business decisions and not bow to the frenzy,” Ms. White said. “And I worry the frenzy overrides reason and judgment sometimes.”
...
“The concern is that they announce the task force and there will be cases,” she said. “It gets back to my frenzy concern. You don’t want that in the system – that kind of pressure. You don’t want the search for scalps to be the metric for success. Politics doesn’t belong in this space at all, but it still is in the space.”


Her biography as listed on her current employer's website: http://www.debevoise.com/attorneys/detail.aspx?id=26af1fa8-0acf-4ef5-9c3b-1f08b1aa7de0&type=showfullbio

Her practice as described by her employer:

Ms. White’s practice concentrates on internal investigations and defense of companies and individuals accused by the government of involvement in white collar corporate crime or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and civil securities law violations, and on other major business litigation disputes and crises. For her criminal work, she leads a Debevoise team that includes eleven former Assistant U.S. Attorneys with extensive experience in major commercial investigations and prosecutions.


From the Fiscal Times (and quoted verbatim in Forbes): http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/01/24/10-Secrets-About-Wall-Streets-New-Top-Cop.aspx#page1

Their list of things you need to know about Mary Jo White:

1.) Even George W. Bush liked her – Bill Clinton named White as the U.S. attorney in 1993, but the Bush administration asked her to remain at the post for an extra year. She stayed nine years in the post, after having worked as an assistant attorney in the Manhattan-based district from 1978 to 1981 and again from 1990 to 1993.
...
3.) Her husband is an SEC insider – John White served as the commission’s director of corporate finance from 2006 to 2008. As a partner at the firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, he co-authored an article in December noting that the implementation of new rules regulating derivatives “may be delayed.”

4.) Lots of other Wall Street connections – She served on the board of directors for the Nasdaq stock exchange. In her current job at as a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, she defended former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis on charges of civil security fraud.
...
8.) In 2002, she worried about the government arresting too many top executives – “Arresting executives is a way that the government tries to prove it means what it says in terms of cracking down,” White told The New York Times in 2002. “The danger, of course -- and it's a significant one -- is overkill, sweeping into the prosecutorial frenzy people who should not be charged.”


From Huffpo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/mary-jo-white_n_2545540.html

After she returned in 2002 to Debevoise & Plimpton, the law firm where she worked early in her career, White put together one of the best teams of white-collar lawyers in the country. In recent years, the firm has often defended those accused of wrongdoing during the financial crisis.

As an experienced litigator with deep knowledge of law enforcement, White, who has her own spokesman at Debevoise, is often sought out by reporters for her views on financial crime. In Interviews, she has characterized of the origins of the financial crisis in ways that put her at odds with many financial reform advocates who have pushed the Obama administration to bring more cases against bank executives. Its possible those views could complicate her selection to head the SEC.

"The financial crisis was so expensive and so many people were injured that one's instinct is to think that there must have been massive wrongdoing from the top on down," she told The Huffington Post in September. But criminal cases must be built on compelling evidence, not suppositions, and evidence of broad-based misconduct that would rise to that level doesn't exist, White said. She made similar statements on behalf of clients.

"Some have looked to assign blame for every aspect of the financial crisis, even where there is no evidence of misconduct," she wrote in a motion defending Bank of America's Lewis in 2010. She referred to then-New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's charges against the former bank chief as "a badly misguided decision without support in the facts or the law."


The media is focusing a lot of attention on Ms. White's prosecutions of John Gotti and Ramzi Yousef. She also gets credit for her white-collar crime and securities fraud prosecutions when she was U. S. Attorney General for the Southern District of New York. One article here: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202585573175&thepage=1

From the article:

During an interview on leaving the Southern District in 2002, White said she was proud that her office tripled the number of securities fraud indictments as part of what she called "an effort to get at the more systematic problems."

White put pressure on major Wall Street firms, holding companies responsible for the actions of low-level employees or charging a company criminally.

Among noteworthy prosecutions during her tenure were the investigation of Bennett Funding Group executive Patrick R. Bennett, who bilked investors out of almost $700 million and the indictment against the Daiwa Bank of Japan, which was accused of hiding over $1 billion in trading losses. The bank was forced to close up shop in the United States.


Credit needs to be given where credit is due. On the other hand, given her more recent experience as a protector of Wall Street firms and her recent statements eschewing any rush to judgment, it is difficult to imagine Wall Street's tycoons shaking in their shoes at the prospect of Mary Jo White running the SEC.

Recent threads on Mary Jo White:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251280068
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101653990

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply More on Mary Jo White. (Original post)
hay rick Jan 2013 OP
Smarmie Doofus Jan 2013 #1
msanthrope Jan 2013 #2
RobertEarl Jan 2013 #3
msanthrope Jan 2013 #4
hay rick Jan 2013 #9
msanthrope Jan 2013 #10
hay rick Jan 2013 #13
msanthrope Jan 2013 #14
hay rick Jan 2013 #15
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #17
okaawhatever Jan 2013 #5
bvar22 Jan 2013 #6
hay rick Jan 2013 #7
progressoid Jan 2013 #8
theaocp Jan 2013 #19
EastKYLiberal Jan 2013 #11
hay rick Jan 2013 #12
Fight2Win Jan 2013 #16
jsr Jan 2013 #20
hay rick Jan 2013 #21
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #18

Response to hay rick (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:20 PM

1. Rec. n/t

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:24 PM

2. She's absolutely right to stress that prosecutorial discretion be used. Restrained prosecutors, as

opposed to scalp-hunting ones are a good thing.

That being said, I hope she prosecutes the crap out of everyone she can.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:36 PM

3. Ehhhh... Fox guarding the hen house

Expect the fat cat bankers to donate more to the DLC.

What we need there is a pit bull that bites. We need to see some scalp hunting.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:48 PM

4. Scalp hunting prosecutors tend to be sloppy ones. One thing about MJW is that

she tends to be non-partisan and meticulous. Let's give her a chance before we bemoan her?

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:46 AM

9. It's an adversarial system.

A prosecutor who loses no cases probably didn't bring enough cases. The sure way to lose no cases is to go 0-0. White's remarks suggest she is generally predisposed against prosecutions. Expressing concerns about scapegoating in advance suggests excessive caution is more likely than excessive zeal.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:01 PM

10. As a criminal defense attorney, I don't think your assumptions are correct. It doesn't take

much to have a good prosecutorial record in the federal system. the fact that she's lost no cases isn't indicative of her prowess at trial or her reluctance to prosecute..... it indicates that the federal system is very difficult on defendants and most cases end in pleas.

it's also indicative of the fact that few federal prosecutors move forward unless they have air tight cases. it is costly to prosecute, and prosecutors are held accountable for the resources of their office that they spend.

I wouldn't make any assumptions about what she's going to do with the SEC but she's definitely an extremely tough prosecutor.













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Response to msanthrope (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:05 PM

13. I don't know what her won-lost record was as a federal prosecutor.

I'm suggesting what it could be at the SEC. I would suppose that, if the burden of proof is "preponderance of evidence", prosecutions should not be impossible. I can understand criminal trials of Wall Street looters being more difficult. If nothing else, White should be well equipped to coordinate with the Southern District.

I am trying to keep an open mind on the White appointment, but the Obama, Geithner, Holder, Schapiro record of inaction leads me to presume more of the same.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:13 PM

14. You can't put people in jail on a preponderance standard of proof. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:30 PM

15. I didn't suggest you could. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:00 PM

17. ROFL

That's just so precious.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:48 PM

5. I'm not worried. We get a top prosecutor and take the defense's best defender. I don't think with

a national post like head of the SEC she'd try and go easy on her former clients. And she's not afraid, if she went after Gotti she's not worried about the fallout. I do believe that one of the biggest problems with the financial crisis is evidence. Knowing someone did something wrong, is not proving someone did something wrong. That's what really stinks!

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:50 PM

6. Looks like she will fit in nicely with the rest of the executive branch!

She will work well with AG Holder!!
Her appointment won't be slowing down his department in the relentless pursuit of those Economic Terrorists on Wall Street.


Does anybody know how Mary Jo feels about Pot Smokers?
Holder can use a little help keeping America safe from them.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:55 PM

7. She tripled prosecutions in her last go 'round. I expect the same this time.

3 x 0 = 0.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:09 PM

8. Just the idea that we have to second guess her modus operandi is a bad sign

IMHO.


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Response to progressoid (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:53 AM

19. When it concerns the banks

Obama is as Obama does. This is just more of the same.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:06 PM

11. She didn't bring down Gotti by being overzealous. nt

 

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:32 PM

12. Another tidbit or two.

article: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/01/24/1489131/what-to-know-about-mary-jo-white-obamas-appointment-to-the-sec/

From the article:

She has a lineup of fascinating non-white collar cases. Among the things White prosecuted during her time working as an Attorney for the state of New York are: Two bombing cases (including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing), drug trafficking, and the prosecution of mob boss John Gotti. On the other side, White also defended directors at News Corp. during the phone hacking scandal there.


I think the non-white collar cases are just a distraction from the issue of her fitness or lack of fitness to head the SEC. Her rolodex gives me pause. More on her peeps here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323854904578264080965499300.html

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Response to hay rick (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:50 PM

16. +10000

 

Thanks for the article

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Response to hay rick (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:56 AM

20. The WSJ article is a must read.

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Response to jsr (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:06 PM

21. From the article...

As head of the SEC, ethics rules would likely bar Ms. White for two years from working on certain matters—including enforcement actions—that directly affect Debevoise, her clients from the past two years or any of her husband's clients that he is representing before the agency.

"She'd have to recuse all over the place" from SEC votes on policy and enforcement, according to one lawyer who knows her well. Ms. White didn't respond to a request for comment.

An SEC spokesman says she would sign before confirmation "an ethics agreement that includes recusals based on laws and the Obama ethics pledge." She also will consult with the SEC's ethics office on any other potential recusal issues that arise, the spokesman adds.

If Ms. White can't vote on an enforcement action proposed by the SEC's staff, the decision would fall to the other four commissioners, running the risk of a 2-2 impasse. Such splits can undermine or even doom enforcement actions.


By law, two of the commissioners must be Republicans...

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:43 PM

18. Another Obama administration appointment that puts a bankster in charge of watching over

 

the banksters. Gee, I wonder why we can't seem to make any progress.

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