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Thursday, June 02, 2005

So Much For Reform

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William Donaldson said on Wednesday he will resign on June 30, raising doubts about whether the agency's tougher post-Enron stance on corporate misconduct will be sustained.
President Bush must name a successor soon for Donaldson, who backed a strong enforcement agenda at the SEC and pushed through new rules affecting mutual fund governance, hedge fund advisers and stock market trading and pricing.

Several newspapers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, reported that Bush was expected to nominate Rep. Christopher Cox, a California Republican, to head the SEC.

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.

Business lobby groups wasted little time in calling for a change in tone at the top of the SEC.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is suing the agency over a mutual fund governance rule backed by the chairman, said his successor will have "a fundamentally different job than the one that Mr. Donaldson walked into, which was a job to focus on restoring confidence, transparency in our capital markets."

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