Toledo Blade Investigates Rep. Oxley

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Well it had to happen. After Enron and Worldcom and the other multibillion dollar busts brought on by deregulation and greed, it seems that the focus is moving onto the people in govt. who let it happen.

One person is Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Findlay) who is chair of the House committee that helped Enron and others steal billions from investors and customers.

The Toledo Blade is doing a three day series on Oxley and how much of a tool he really is. (pun intended..)

The Price of Power Politics

BLADE INVESTIGATION
DAY ONE: Resistance to business regulation paved way for accounting scandals
Oxley rejected calls for safeguards before major corporations collapsed

By DAVE MURRAY and JOE MAHR
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

WASHINGTON – Arthur Levitt knew there was a problem – one that could drain the savings of millions of Americans.

The government’s top Wall Street watchdog had cut his teeth as a stockbroker in New York – a place where executives always tried to make their profits look big, and where accountants tried to keep them honest.

But by the 1990s, the lines were blurring. Accountants were now making more money on corporate consulting than on corporate auditing.

As chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Levitt saw a clear conflict of interest, and in 2000 he decided to try to stop the practice.

He didn’t get far.

Standing in his way was the accounting industry and some of its best friends in Congress – including Mike Oxley, chairman of a subcommittee that oversaw the SEC. The industry showered Mr. Oxley and other congressmen with campaign cash. They beat back Mr. Levitt’s attempts at reform.

A year later Enron would become a household name – the first in a series of dramatic corporate collapses caused by the failure of accountants, executives, and bankers.

As investors lost billions, reformers demanded changes.

Mr. Levitt had been right.

Click Here for the full series!

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”


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