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Alumni Loyalty to the SEC

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Interesting turn of events with Harvey Pitt, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission under the George W. Bush administration who resigned under fire.

The longtime attorney for the financial industry at a hearing on Thursday came out against plans by Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee to reorganize his old agency.

At a House Financial Services Committee hearing, he said the proposals, while well intentioned, fall short because they seem to say the independent commission must first demonstrate its competence and then Congress will consider whether it needs more funding.

"This reasoning, in my view lacks merit," he said. "It reminds me of the TV show in the mid-60s, 'Get Smart,' a riff on spy genre movies and TV shows. ..... The opening sequence each week showed a huge, thick and closed steel door that said, in bold letters, 'Knock before entering.' Right below that was a second, smaller sign that read simply 'Don't knock.' If the SEC has exhibited similar deficiencies, how can piling on additional responsibilities but depriving the agency of the necessary resources to fulfill its functions actually improve its performance?"

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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