Mary Jo White took the helm of the Securities and Exchange Commission vowing to “expeditiously” finalize its mountain of postcrisis rules. Two years later, that pledge has been thwarted by bickering among its five members.
The slow pace of progress has singled Ms. White out for criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, who have faulted her leadership or her approach to regulation and enforcement.
“Deutsche Bank’s illegal conduct involved nearly a decade of lying, cheating and stealing,” she wrote in a statement published on the S.E.C.’s website. “This criminal conduct was pervasive and widespread, involving dozens of employees from Deutsche Bank offices including New York, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and London. Deutsche Bank’s traders engaged in a brazen scheme to defraud Deutsche Bank’s counterparties and the worldwide financial marketplace by secretly manipulating Libor. The conduct is appalling. It was a complete criminal fraud upon the worldwide marketplace….”
Ms. Stein is incredulous that the S.E.C. voted to grant Deutsche Bank the waiver, and no doubt there will be other ones, too. “Among other factors, the egregious criminal nature of the conduct and the duration of the manipulation (almost a decade) weigh heavily in my mind when considering this waiver,” she wrote. “Additionally, Deutsche Bank is a recidivist, and its past conduct undermines its current promise of future good conduct.”