[JURIST] US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website; JURIST news archive] chairman Christopher Cox [official profile] defended the SEC's record from Democratic and Republican criticism before the US House Financial Services Committee [official website] Tuesday, testifying [transcript] that the SEC should not be perceived as being either pro or anti-business, but rather as a partnership with businesses to ensure that companies remember the interests of their investors. Cox said:
if a business is investor friendly, the SEC will be friendly to it. But anyone who seeks to drive a wedge between the interests of the business and the interest of the investors in that business will face a relentless and powerful adversary in the Securities and Exchange CommissionCox, confirmed unanimously [JURIST report] by the Senate in July 2005, also rejected accusations that the SEC favors businesses. In response to concerns raised by Republican members of Congress that class-action suits against companies may be stifling businesses and investors, Cox reiterated that the SEC is constantly balancing the cost of regulation and litigation with the benefits. Cox has consistently urged Congress to permit the SEC oversight over hedge funds [JURIST report], saying that regulation is necessary to protect retail investors and prevent fraud. The White House opposes new regulations [NYT report] to increase transparency. AP has more.