GAO report slams Chris Cox…

This morning, there’s several reports out about a Government Accountability Office report that doesn’t look too kindly on former SEC Chairman Chris Cox. Although I’ve only just received the 64-page report (.PDF), which was requested last year by Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, this Bloomberg story covers most of the bases and the headline alone — “Cox’s SEC Hindered Probes, Slowed Cases, Shrank Fines, GAO Says” isn’t exactly flattering. Nor is the contents, which according to Bloomberg News, notes that “Cox’s policies —contributed to an adversarial relationship between enforcement and the commission. The report itself has a slightly more boring title — go figure — “Greater Attention Needed to Enhance Communication and Utilization of Resources in the Division of Enforcement”. I’ll be reading it carefully today for additional tidbits.

Granted, some of this probably isn’t news for those who follow the agency closely. There was that famous incident late last summer when Cox was demonstrating the SEC’s new technology as banks were beginning to implode and reports that he spent parts of March 2008 on vacation while Bear Stearns was self-destructing. And, there was the departure of Enforcement Head Linda Chatman Thomsen within weeks of Mary Schapiro’s appointment as Chair of the SEC.

Tomorrow, Sen. Reed will be hosting a hearing on the SEC that starts at 2:30 that will delve into the report — the new Director of Enforcement Robert Khuzami is among those set to testify.