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News July 4, 2005 Issue

Donaldson's Parting Words

Did outgoing Chairman William Donaldson give any weight to his critics’ arguments that by pushing through the independent chairman rulemaking, he was damaging the agency’s reputation?

During a press conference immediately following the SEC’s June 29 open meeting, Donaldson characterized that argument as a "misconception stirred up by lobbying organizations." He said that he attempted to "brush aside" that concern when considering the rule.

Asked whether the personal attacks on him have been wearing, Donaldson said that he made the decision to leave on his own. He noted that "the atmosphere in Washington has heightened the attacks that comes from the right and left," particularly against "anyone who tries to do something." However, he added, "it’s part of the job, as far as I’m concerned."

Donaldson said that he had "no concerns" about incoming SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "I have every confidence that he will recognize that this is a very special position," said Donaldson.