Tell President Obama: Appoint an S.E.C. chair who will hold Wall Street accountable

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"President Obama: Appoint a new S.E.C. chair who is both willing and able to enforce the law and hold Wall Street accountable. This cannot be an insider from the world of financial services or a former politician who has received donations from Wall Street.

Here are four clear choices for appointing a real top cop for Wall Street: former TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky; former Senator Ted Kaufman; the leader of the pro-reform group Better Markets, Dennis Kelleher; and the former head of the F.D.I.C., Sheila Bair."
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Tell President Obama: Appoint an S.E.C. chair who will hold Wall Street accountable

Dear Friend,

The expected resignation of S.E.C. Chair Mary Schapiro will soon present President Obama with a very telling choice and a very potent opportunity.

The S.E.C. is one of the top regulators of Wall Street, so the president can and should replace Schapiro with a champion for Wall Street accountability.

But we shouldn't at all be confident the president won't instead appoint someone more interested in placating Wall Street firms than taking them to task.

M.I.T. economist and New York Times economic blogger Simon Johnson recommends three people: former TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky; former Senator Ted Kaufman; and the leader of the pro-reform group Better Markets, Dennis Kelleher.1 To Johnson's list we'd add the former head of the F.D.I.C., Sheila Bair.

Tell President Obama: Appoint a real champion for Wall Street accountability to the S.E.C. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

As Johnson pointed out in a recent blog post, the historical moment we're in requires not just someone who will diligently enforce the law, but also someone who will combat the pernicious Wall Street spin that has become part of the conventional wisdom.

Johnson says:

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup were all big donors to the Obama campaign in 2008 ... but they did not make the top 10 list this year. Now would be a perfect time for the president to clean up Wall Street with a strong S.E.C. that is focused on enforcing the law and overturning dangerous parts of the conventional wisdom.2

Wall Street has countless well paid spinmeisters and well funded public relations efforts that have sought to absolve Wall Street crooks of any responsibility for the financial collapse. According to their Orwellian version of history, the people who gambled in the Wall Street casino with taxpayer money didn't do anything wrong. And according to their vision, the best thing the government can do to get the economy on track is just get out of Wall Street's way.

That would be a dangerous perspective for one of Wall Street's top cops.

Tell President Obama: Appoint a real champion for Wall Street accountability to the S.E.C. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

Neil Barofsky has actually put bankers in jail as both an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District in New York and as Special Investigator General for the TARP program. A career prosecutor, he is one of the only people this decade who have prosecuted complex financial fraud.

Former Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware is, according to Simon Johnson, "a consistent advocate for financial-sector reform and was one of the clearest voices during the 2010 legislative process that led to Dodd-Frank."

Dennis Kelleher is, per Johnson, "a former senior Senate leadership aide with a great deal of political experience, including during the financial crisis and in the negotiations that led to Dodd-Frank, and now runs the pro-reform group Better Markets...No one has been a more effective advocate of implementing substantive reforms."

Sheila Bair is widely acknowledged in government circles and the media as one of the first people to identify and accurately assess the subprime crisis. Elizabeth Warren said that Blair "is a strong voice for Wall Street accountability and financial reform...[whose] leadership during the financial crisis made a real difference for working families..."3

You can bet that Wall Street is already lining up support for their preferred candidates. So we can't afford to be silent.

Please speak out and help push Obama to appoint a chair of the S.E.C. who will be a real force for Wall Street accountability. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6990929&p=sec_chair&id=50791-3362360-o_YF02x&t=10

Thank you for speaking out.

Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets


1. "Changing the Conventional Wisdom on Wall Street," New York Times, 11-15-12.
2. Ibid.
3. "Sheila Bair, Republican Former FDIC Chairperson, Endorses Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate," Elizabeth Warren for Senate Press Release, 10-17-12.


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