December 24, 2008

Cox reviews tenure as SEC chairman

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox said remaining calm in the midst of a financial meltdown was the SEC's greatest achievement.

What we have done in this current turmoil is stay calm, which has been our greatest contribution, said Cox, who has been criticized for failing to respond aggressively to the financial collapse, while the U.S. Treasure and the Federal Reserve scrambled to assemble solutions, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

There were panicked cries to change any and every rule of the marketplace: 'Let's try this. Let's try that.' What was needed was a steady hand, he said in an interview, referring to his colleagues' reaction to the financial crisis.

The SEC has also been criticized for failing to uncover Bernard Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme. It has begun an internal investigation on its failure to do so.

President-elect Barack Obama has nominated former SEC Commissioner Mary Schapiro to succeed Cox, who plans to resign his five-year post next year.

Nearing the end of his tenure as chairmen, Cox told the Post the SEC had done everything we can during the last several years "¦ to make sure that people understand there's a strong market cop on the beat.