Report: Obama to tap White for SEC, Cordray to stay at consumer bureau

President Obama will tap Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and re-nominate Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to a report from The Associated Press.

Obama is expected to announce the nominations of the two top financial regulators at a White House event in the State Dining Room at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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White prosecuted financial and white-collar crimes as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, the first woman to hold that prestigious post. She led numerous high-profile cases as a federal prosecutor, winning convictions against Ramzi Yousef, who plotted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Mafia don John Gotti.

If confirmed, White and Cordray would oversee the continued implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, one of the president’s signature first-term legislative achievements. Many of that law’s regulations have yet to be implemented, giving the regulators key roles as the administration moves to further Wall Street reform.

White is replacing former SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, who announced last month that she would step down.

Cordray will likely face a tougher nomination battle in his bid to hold on to the top CFPB spot.

Republican lawmakers opposed to the consumer agency had blocked Cordray’s selection last year. Obama eventually tapped Cordray through executive action in a recess appointment that expires at the end of this year.

The CFPB was conceived by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in her prior role with the administration in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. Obama had considered naming Warren to lead the new agency as well.

The nominations of Cordray and White are the latest as Obama shakes up his second-term economic team.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is also leaving the White House, with Obama tapping Chief of Staff Jack Lew to replace him.