When she was appointed, I was cautiously optimistic that Mary Jo White was going to bring a tougher attitude to enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Today we get a sign of that happened and she's sent out a memo urging an end to the practice of reaching settlements in which the defendant doesn't admit wrongdoing.
In brass tacks terms, one might wonder how much this matters. Is a fine plus an admission of guilt really so much worse than a fine plus a "neither admit nor deny" wrongdoing? But I do think that symbols matters. This is a statement both internally and externally that the S.E.C. wants enforcement actions to be understood as a serious thing that's about halting serious wrongdoing, not just a bunch of fussy bureaucratic compliance. Good for her.
TODAY IN SLATE
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My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
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Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.