Cox, Leavitt Say SEC Won't Go Away in Regulatory Overhaul

Lora Bentley

Though the buzz from U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's "Blueprint for a Modernized Finanacial Regulatory Structure" has quieted somewhat in the months since it was unveiled, it hasn't died completely. And apparently Securities and Exchange Commission Christopher Cox isn't taking kindly to the buzz he's seeing about his own organization.

 

The Blueprint's vision of a more powerful Federal Reserve and combining the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have some observers saying the SEC won't be around much longer. That sentiment, coupled with a Wall Street Journal article describing Cox's leadership during the Bear Stearns crisis as "weak," was enough to move former SEC commissioner Arthur Leavitt to come to the agency's defense, and to compel Cox to draft a 17-paragraph memo to his staff.

 

CFO.com reports that Cox was "very disappointed" in the WSJ story, and he reiterated the position he took in an earlier memo that the "Blueprint," when implemented, "would significantly expand the role and responsibilities of the commission" rather than eliminate it.

 

Levitt voiced a similar opinion. "Rest assured," he told CFO.com. "Congress will have the last word, and the SEC is not likely to go away."



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