A wonderful choice


President Bush has made a wise decision in selecting Representative Christopher Cox to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although his prominent role in the House of Representatives will be greatly missed, he will be in a position to do tremendous good at the SEC.

Although it is being duly noted that he is not a securities industry professional, as his predecessor William Donaldson, and most other SEC heads have been, Chris Cox has excellent credentials. I know, because I was there when he acquired some of them.

Chris Cox was one of the handful of people each year allowed by Harvard to acquire both Business School and Law School degrees in a joint program. The brain power required to bounce back—and—forth between those two faculties each year is considerable. The joint program students are an elite within the elite.

Chris and I took the entire first year of the Harvard MBA together in the same classroom (George W. Bush was taking his second year in the MBA program at the time, by the way). Because the teaching is done via case discussions, one gets to know everyone in the class pretty well, and evaluations of brain power take place in real time.

Although much of his professional life has been spent in politics, Chris has practiced law at a high level, and has mastered the intricacies of the junction of law, business, and politics.

Corporate governance is now one of the most contentious and important arenas of dispute in the public sphere. I have no doubt whatsoever that Chris Cox will use the ample powers of his new position to make a huge contribution to the public welfare. That's simply the kind of man he is: super—intelligent, focused, skillful and dedicated to public service. The SEC needs him, and that is why he has accepted this new position.

Thomas Lifson   6 2 05