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Obama SEC Pick Pleases Wall St. Critics
PHOTO: Mary Jo White, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, appears on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 8, 2002.

Dennis Cook/AP Photo

After four years of disappointing many of Wall Street's toughest critics, President Obama seems to have done something to please them. His decision to nominate former U.S. attorney and NASDAQ director Mary Jo White to lead the SEC is getting some pretty good reviews from those who favor tighter rules for financial firms.

Neil Barofsky, former TARP cop whose recent book "Bailout" blasted Treasury's response to the financial crisis, says she is a "terrific" choice and a "true beacon of independence."

Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a nonprofit organization that pushes for tougher regulations, is hopeful that she will get things done.

He says, "Mary Jo White was a tough, smart, no nonsense, broadly experienced and highly accomplished prosecutor. She knew who the bad guys were, went after them and put them in prison when they broke the law. That's what must happen if integrity and investor confidence is to be restored in our securities markets. Wall Street is a high crime area and Mary Jo White brings the right skill set to restore the rule of law on Wall Street. If the SEC does that, Wall Street, Main Street, our economy and our country will prosper."

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