When discussing with friends McCain’s campaign blunders in the week of September 15, I took note of his big errors, saying the “fundamentals of the economy were strong” (even though the rest of the sentence made clear he was aware of problems),* not immediately pointing his past efforts to promote reform, vowing to fire SEC Chairman Chairman Chris Cox and vowing later to replace him with Andrew Cuomo.
While I still think Cuomo would make a terrible SEC Chief, it seems that George Will notwithstanding, McCain’s call to fire Cox had some merit. Via the Jewish Athena, we learn that under Cox’s leadership:
The Securities and Exchange Commission missed â€œnumerous potential red flagsâ€ leading up to the shotgun sale of Bear Stearns Cos., and failed to require the investment bank to rein in its risk taking, according to a scathing report from the agency’s inspector general. Inspector General David Kotz said it is â€œundisputableâ€ that the SEC â€œfailed to carry out its mission in its oversight of Bear Stearns.â€ Bear Stearns, one of the most aggressive investment banks, agreed to be sold to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in March after the firm’sÂ clients fled and it was running out of cash.
Whatever Cox’s merits as a Congressman (and he had many), he does not seem to have brought them to the SEC. Â Just as McCain was right on the need to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, it appears he was right to call for Cox’s dismissal. Â I wonder if the MSM will take notice.
*Had he said this as president and not candidate, it would have been more defensible, saying it so as not to cause panic.