Monday, March 23, 2009

Christopher Cox

- Named chairman of the SEC in 2005 -- by President George W. Bush!

- Longtime supporter of securities deregulation who actually believed that markets are better off regulating themselves voluntarily!

- Described by Forbes magazine as having "the air of a well-scrubbed, mischievous schoolboy" -- and "the retro good looks of a square-jawed astronaut"!

- In 1980, appeared as a contestant on the NBC game show Password Plus -- winning more than $5,000!

- 17-year Republican member of Congress -- representing sunny Orange County, California!

- Also served on the White House staff of Ronald Reagan, whose voodoo economics set the stage for the current global financial meltdown!

- Yet another of the best and brightest who got a Harvard MBA before going on to destroy the economy!

- According to one former SEC employee, the business community felt that the agency "was too tough on corporate America and Wall Street" -- and "Cox was brought in to chill it out"!

- Shifted SEC enforcement efforts from major investigations of big Wall Street banks to smaller-time investigations -- essentially looking the other way while Wall Street looted the economy!

- Watered down the SEC's risk-assessment program -- designed to prevent financial crises!

- Under Cox, SEC fines fell from $1.5 billion in 2005 to just $500 million in 2008!

- Also under Cox, the SEC failed to stop Bernie Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme -- despite having been warned that Madoff was up to no good for years!

- Did nothing while banks' subprime-backed securities holdings grew and capital ratios shrank, leading to the demise of Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers -- three of the five major investment banks on Wall Street!

- Finally got a grip on reality in September 2008, saying, "Voluntary regulation does not work"!

- Idiot!

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