Cox To Head SEC: Free Enterprise Champ

    June 2, 2005

President Bush nominated California Congressman Chris Cox for the empty Securities and Exchange Commission chief slot left open by outgoing William Donaldson. Bush sung Cox’s praises as a “champion of free enterprise”.

Assuming Cox, 52, survives the nomination process, he would be giving up a lengthy tenure in Congress, first elected in 1988 and serving for 16 years. Cox was also a senior member of White House counsel during the Reagan administration.

“Chris understands how markets work, and he knows the need for transparency in financial exchanges and in the halls of business,” Bush said in his address. “He proved that he can bring people together of diverse opinions to get things done. That kind of leadership will be invaluable as the chairman of the SEC.”

Cox’s job will be tough though. Right now, many corporations are under close scrutiny of their business practices. After the Enron and Arthur Andesen debacles as well as Tyco and Healthsouth, Cox and his SEC will have a difficult task.

“The rule of law that the SEC enforces has given America the most dynamic and vibrant capital markets in the world,” Cox said at the news conference. “The unprecedented sharing of information about every productive part of our free enterprise economy is only made possible by clear and consistently enforced rules. And those rules have to govern every market participant equally — big and small.

With the recent corporate scandals and the Sarbanes-Oxley act being put through its trials, investors and companies will see what type of SEC chief Cox will be.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.