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News August 7, 2006 Issue

On the Lighter Side . . .

Is SEC Chairman Christopher Cox using the press to send hidden signals to hedge fund gadfly Phillip Goldstein?

During a recent interview, CNBC correspondent Maria Bartiromo asked Cox what the SEC planned to do about hedge fund regulation in light of the courtís decision in the Goldstein v. SEC case.

The SEC is working as fast as it can to address hedge fund regulation, replied Cox. However, he said, it did not want to "put Humpty Dumpty back together again." Instead, Cox explained that the SEC would "rather use other legal means and sources of authority that the SEC has to approximate some of what was in that rule."

To some, Coxís remarks signalled that the SEC is not inclined to file a petition for the court to reconsider its decision.

To Goldstein, however, Coxís remarks signalled something else. "Is the Chairman sending me secret messages?" Goldstein asked in an e-mail sent to reporters. (Avid readers of SEC comment letters may recall Goldsteinís infamous "Humpty Bumpty" comment letter on the SECís proposed hedge fund rule.)