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Democrats are fed up with the SEC’s weak financial crimefighting

Publisher: New Republic
Author: David Dayen

The progressive movement has declared war on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its chair, Mary Jo White.

An uncoordinated yet scathing series of reports, letters and appeals have honed in on the New Deal-era regulatory body. And the fight is really about the agency’s long-term direction, as vacancies on the commission open up: Will it maintain the same industry-friendly posture of light-touch regulatory enforcement and ineffective rulemaking, or can a shift be made? Given the growing importance of the SEC, reformers are using whatever leverage they have to influence the outcome.

You might believe Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 13-page letter to White, expressing personal disappointment with her financial crimefighting, kicked off this uproar. But separately, a growing discontent with the SEC© has emerged within the financial reform community, and even within the agency itself. Former officials have called the SEC dysfunctional and even warned colleagues from joining up.

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