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Remember about a year and a half ago, when President Obama appointed a former federal prosecutor to head the SEC with the promise that she’d be, pound for pound, the toughest regulator D.C. had ever seen?
Well, she’s been tough, alright: tough to deal with. Her fellow Democrats on the commission hate her, her fellow regulators hate her, Congressional Democrats hate her (and Republican ones aren’t interested in giving her any more money), consumer groups hate her, and the White House isn’t thrilled, either.
And what does she have to show for all of the alienation? Well, a great deal of alienation.
I’ve been talking to fellow regulators, administration officials, current and former S.E.C. staff members, financial reform advocates and people on Capitol Hill whose opinions of Ms. White’s performance range from dissatisfied to infuriated….
The chairwoman has made some unnecessary foes while her agency has bungled several significant rules….
“When the chair doesn’t have a strong policy background, she is extremely dependent on her staff,” said Barbara Roper, the director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America. “Is there anyone on the staff in a high position in leadership, a single person to point to who has reform credentials, who isn’t someone from the industry?”