New leader could mean new tone for SEC

Author: | Published: 1 Jul 2005
Christopher Cox: Expected to take over at SEC

When William Donaldson announced that he was stepping down as Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman last month he surprised observers more with his timing than the fact that he would not complete his five-year term. Perhaps less surprised was the Bush administration, who within 24 hours had announced its nominee to succeed Donaldson, Republican representative Christopher Cox.

When Cox takes over at the world's most high-profile securities regulator later this summer, as seems probable despite the need for him to receive Congressional confirmation, he will find an organization coming to terms with a period of great upheaval. In the last three years, the SEC has seen its budget increase by more than 70% and its staff grow almost as fast. It has implemented a series of landmark reforms and high-profile enforcement actions that would not have been predicted just five...