Bush Names Investment Banker To Clean Up U.S. Financial Industry

By Agence France-Presse U.S. President George W. Bush on Dec. 10 named investment banker William Donaldson as his corporate corruption fighter leading the Securities and Exchange Commission. Donaldson, an experienced 71-year-old Wall Street executive, promised to crack down on corporate crime. His nomination must be confirmed by the Senate. Former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt, a 57-year-old lawyer, resigned under fire last month over his bungled handling of the appointment of a new panel to supervise the accounting industry. Pitt also had been dogged by criticism that he was too close to the industry he was trying to regulate during an avalanche of accounting scandals, from Enron Corp. to WorldCom Inc. Donaldson takes over as many of the most powerful Wall Street brokers face fines from regulators for giving overly rosy analytical assessments of companies they wanted to do business with. "Confidence in the U.S. corporate and financial industries has been seriously eroded during the past few years," says Donaldson, co-founder of investment banking group Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. "I am firmly committed to doing everything that I can do to restore the confidence of investors in the U.S. corporate and financial industry." Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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