Washington (CNNMoney) - The Senate on Monday confirmed former New York federal prosecutor Mary Jo White as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
White was confirmed without a roll call vote, signaling lawmakers didn't consider her confirmation particularly controversial.FULL STORY
Washington (CNNMoney) - President Obama will nominate Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor in New York, to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, the watchdog agency that monitors Wall Street and corporate financial disclosures.
The nomination will be announced later Thursday, an administration official told CNN. In addition, Obama will nominate Richard Cordray to a full term as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray has already been heading the agency, but has been serving on a recess appointment due to Republican opposition to the agency itself, which has blocked a Senate vote on his confirmation.FULL STORY
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - The Securities and Exchange Commission is so cash-strapped that it has delayed key parts of the financial reform bill passed last year by Congress - and is curtailing some of its normal operations.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law gave the SEC lots of new responsibilities, including the regulation of complex derivatives and asset-backed securities. And it expected Congress to pay for it - projecting that SEC funding would need to double to about $2.25 billion by 2015.FULL STORY
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/23/art.sec.sign.gi.jpg caption="An agency report reveals that SEC employees and contractors cruised porn sites using government computers."](CNN) - As the country was sinking into its worst financial crisis in more than 70 years, Security and Exchange Commission employees and contractors cruised porn sites and viewed sexually explicit pictures using government computers, according to an agency report obtained by CNN.
"During the past five years, the SEC OIG (Office of Inspector General) substantiated that 33 SEC employees and or contractors violated Commission rules and policies, as well as the government-wide Standards of Ethical Conduct, by viewing pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive images using government computer resources and official time," said a summary of the investigation by the inspector general's office.
More than half of the workers made between $99,000 and $223,000. All the cases took place over the past five years.
The inspector general's report includes specific examples of misuse by employees.
Washington (CNN) - Republicans have questioned in recent days whether the White House and the Democratic National Committee coordinated with the Securities and Exchange Commission to get political mileage out of the SEC's fraud charges against Goldman Sachs.
President Obama, the DNC and even the SEC have adamantly denied the accusation of political collusion. And now Google is, too.
The GOP case is based partly on the fact that the DNC used Google Adwords to bid on the search terms "Goldman Sachs" and "SEC" soon after the charges were filed on Friday - meaning that whenever a person searched Google for those terms, they also viewed targeted ads for a DNC website about "Wall Street greed."
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, the ranking member of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter to the chairman of the SEC on Tuesday pointing out the timing of the ad buy, which he said "neatly coincided" with the Goldman charges.
Google is now saying that's not the case.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/21/art.boseated0421.gi.jpg caption="President Obama said Wednesday that the SEC is an independent agency and that his administration was not consulted about the SEC's decision to file civil fraud charges against Goldman Sachs."]
Washington (CNN) – President Obama denied Wednesday that the White House had any role in the recently announced decision to file civil fraud charges against Goldman Sachs, the gilded Wall Street investment banking firm.
In an interview with CNBC, Obama said he spoke about the need for financial regulatory reform during his presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008 and that the White House has been working on financial regulatory reform legislation for more than a year. "And so, we're not Johnny-come-latelies to this thing," Obama said on CNBC.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced last Friday that it is pursuing civil fraud charges against Goldman Sachs, a powerful investment bank with a long history of ties to the government. The announcement by the Wall Street watchdog came just a day before Obama personally led the charge of Democrats' full frontal assault on Republicans for their objections to some aspects of the current reform bill.
Related: Top Democrat held Wall Street fundraiser
Notwithstanding the coincidental timing, Obama said the SEC made the decision on its own.
"The SEC is an entirely independent agency that we have no day-to-day control over and they never discussed with us anything with respect to the charge that would be brought. The notion that somehow there would be any attempt to interfere in any independent agency is completely false," the president said.
Obama also described the White House's lack of involvement as "categorical," saying, "We found out about it on CNBC," he said.
(Updated after the jump with a statement from the SEC)
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/19/art.capitolbldg6.gi.jpg caption ="Senate Democrats plan to start debating the Wall Street reform bill this week."]Washington (CNNMoney.com) - With a weekend push from President Obama and the SEC charges against Goldman Sachs in the background, Democrats plan to start debating the Wall Street reform bill in the Senate this week, even as Republicans continue to say they oppose the bill.
The president made reform the centerpiece of his weekly radio address to the nation.
"The consequences of this failure of responsibility - from Wall Street to Washington - are all around us: 8 million jobs lost, trillions in savings erased, countless dreams diminished or denied, " Obama said. "I believe we have to do everything we can to ensure that no crisis like this ever happens again."
Wall Street reform got additional impetus Friday when the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman with defrauding investors on mortgage-backed securities.
But, in a letter to Senate Democrats on Friday, 41 Senate Republicans said they "are united" in opposing the current bill that passed the Banking Committee last month, according to a letter penned by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.