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
More Than Scottish Pride
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?
The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.