June 12, 2015
Days after SEC Chair Mary Jo White was harshly criticized in a well-publicized letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a Washington Post editorial staunchly defended White, noting she is "a rarity in Washington" who acts independently, while questioning whether the pay ratio disclosure will be "clearly material to investors," as claimed by Warren. The editorial characterizes Warren's letter as an "extraordinary" example of the growing partisan debates outside and inside the agency while noting that the information imparted by the pay ratio is "hardly a secret." The editorial also notes that the pay ratio is "not the most urgent problem imaginable," stating that the task of writing an SEC rule that, among other things, "stands up to court challenge, is complex." The Washington Post piece was one of several responses, including comments from the White House as well as a letter to the editor in The Wall Street Journal from five former SEC Chairmen, both Republican and Democrat, who defended White against Warren’s criticism that was almost universally deemed as having gone too far. As the Post editorial concludes, the public can expect the SEC under White’s leadership to be "genuinely independent" and "free of pressure and clamor" echoing sentiments voiced by Chair White in past remarks.