WASHINGTON — The job of being Wall Street’s top cop might once again go to a former prosecutor.
Debra Wong Yang, a former Los Angeles U.S. attorney with close ties to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is under consideration for nomination as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to an official working with the transition team of President-elect Donald Trump. If Trump picks her, she would follow in the steps of the current chairman, Mary Jo White, who had also served as a federal prosecutor before taking over the SEC.
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Yang, who was the top federal prosecutor in the central district of California from 2002 to 2006, met with Trump on Monday. Now a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Yang has defended ride-sharing company Uber Technologies Inc. in a class-action lawsuit filed by drivers who argue the company should treat them as employees rather than contractors.
Like White, Yang is a litigation expert who isn’t steeped in financial policy-making, which is the biggest job of an SEC chairman. The agency’s next leader will take over at a time when congressional Republicans are pressuring the SEC to loosen fundraising rules for smaller public companies, lighten its oversight of private-equity firms, and repeal executive-compensation rules opposed by corporations.