Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The SEC's Limits

"As Bear Stearns Cos. unraveled over the past several days, its primary regulator, the [SEC], had few tools at its disposal to stem the crisis, a reality that could reignite the debate over how U.S. financial markets should be regulated. ... But, unlike the [Fed], the SEC and other regulators don't have a checkbook to help inject money into an investment bank or market when it hits trouble. ... Last Tuesday, ... SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said ... 'We have a good deal of comfort' about capital adequacy of bank holding companies based on 'constant,' sometimes daily reviews", WSJ, 18 March 2008.

Can Bear's stockholders sue Cox for misleading them? If not, who needs him? Cox, unlike the Fed, can't print money. Perhaps he should ask Congress for the authorization.

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