Obama picks Mary Jo White for SEC

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will nominate Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, tapping an attorney with broad experience in prosecuting white-collar crimes to lead an agency central to implementing Wall Street reform.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama would announce White’s nomination during a ceremony in the State Dining Room this afternoon.

At the same event, Obama will renominate Richard Cordray to serve as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a White House official said. The president used a recess appointment last year to circumvent Congress and install Cordray as head of the bureau. That appointment expires at the end of this year.

White spent nearly a decade as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, building a reputation as a tough prosecutor with an expertise in pursuing white-collar crimes and complex securities and financial fraud cases. White House officials say that experience makes her well-positioned to implement Obama’s Wall Street reforms.

If confirmed by the Senate, White would take over the helm at the SEC from Elisse Walter, who is serving out the rest of former SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro’s term. Schapiro resigned in December.

Cordray has run the consumer bureau since last year, when Obama used a recess appointment to install him in the job. Senate Republicans had opposed Cordray, as well as the concept of the consumer bureau.

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