GAO: Cox’s SEC discouraged corporate punishment

see no evil

In a report released publicly today, the General Accountability Office said that policies put in place during the tenure of former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox were thought within the agency to have hampered investigations, discouraged staff from pursuing penalties against corporations, and created an adversarial relationship between the Division of Enforcement and the agency’s commissioners.

In at least one case, the GAO said, SEC attorneys claim the commission insisted on levying a lower penalty than one company had already agreed to pay.

If this happened in a banana republic country, we would simply say their system was corrupt and the government was bought and paid for, right?

Current CEO Chairman Mary Schapiro is returning the agency to enforcing the law, a concept Cox and the other Bushies had no acquaintance with and cared less about.