Donaldson Leaving SEC, Bush Has Replacement Plans
William Donaldson is stepping down as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He says that he will leave the agency on June 30.
“The time has come for me to step down and return to the private sector and my family,” Mr. Donaldson told President Bush. He just turned 74 years old.
Donaldson was originally selected by President Bush for the chairman position of the SEC, to restore confidence to the stock market as it was rocked by scandals. Reuters writes:
Donaldson was known for his strong enforcement agenda at the agency and his resignation has raised doubts about whether the agency’s tougher post-Enron stance on corporate misconduct will be sustained. During his tenure he pushed through new rules affecting mutual fund governance, hedge fund advisers and stock market trading and pricing.
Some of Donaldson’s initiatives angered business executives and their allies in the Bush administration, who said they raised the costs of doing business and discouraged risk taking.
“Donaldson has been a far stronger advocate for investors than we had any reason to expect in an administration that makes no secret of its support for limits on the role of government regulation,” said the Consumer Federation of America’s director of investor protection, Barbara Roper. “A new chairman could be far more sympathetic to corporate whining.”
Bush has selected Republican California Representative Christopher Cox as his choice to replace Donaldson as the SEC’s chairman. Cox, who is 52 years old, must win Senate confirmation for the position.
Cox graduated from Harvard Law School, and has been a member of Congress since 1988. He served as the first chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and as a counsel to former President Reagan.
Cox supported the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and according to AP has also been a longtime advocate of repealing taxes on capital gains as well as on dividends.