The Agency That Barely Mov

As the Justice Department, Federal Reserve, and other regulators across the globe prepared the final details of a multibillion-dollar criminal settlement with five Wall Street banks over currency rate rigging, all eyes were on one agency that had the power to throw a wrench into the entire deal. Though a bit player in the negotiations, the politically divided Securities and Exchange Commission had to approve waivers each bank needed to continue to do normal business. The pressure on SEC Chair Mary Jo White was almost palpable, two people involved in the negotiations say, as defense lawyers and prosecutors barraged her staff with inquiries and fellow commissioners weighed in with threats to vote against some of the waivers. Determined not to let the squabbling scuttle the broad settlement, White called a private commission meeting on May 19, when all the waivers were approved. The settlements were announced the next day. More on Bloomberg here.

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