Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Let's Keep That Love Unrequited

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox gave an interview to the Orange County Register yesterday in which he made some nice, soothing, reassuring sounds about that nasty journalist-subpoena controversy. Register columnist Jonathan Lansner said Cox "quite bluntly told me Monday that he's determined to keep his agency out of the way of hard-nosed financial reporters."

Cox went on to say that the SEC "relies on aggressive investigative journalism to uncover wrongdoing in companies. Therefore, the SEC should do nothing to chill that work." He also said that "Financial journalists need to understand that the SEC considers them vital partners in our mission."

Good! Give that regulator a cigar. (Oops! Bad joke. Ethics rules....)

I think it is great that Cox feels so warm and fuzzy about the press. (By the way, as long as everybody's saying nice things about each other, I have something nice to say about Chris Cox in my book! You'll have to read it to find out.)

However, I have a problem with reporters feeling this way about the SEC. Too much reporting of the SEC, as I describe in you-know-what, has not been tough enough on that august agency and other regulators.

So I hope that my colleagues keep this alleged adoration unrequited, but I know better than to expect that it will happen.

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Wall Street Versus America will be published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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