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The [Senate report on SEC from yesterday] came as House Democrats criticized the SEC's reported rejection, amid Republican and industry opposition, of pension fund director John Biggs to head a new independent board to oversee the accounting industry.
``We strongly urge you to resist bowing to pressure to reject a candidate due to industry opposition,' wrote House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., and other Democrats to SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt.
Biggs is chairman and chief executive of TIAA-CREF, a teachers' pension fund that is one of the nation's largest.

http://wire.ap.org/?SLUG=WALL%2dSTREET

Like Buffett (and TMF), Biggs has been a strong critic on accounting issues and advocate for mutual fund investors for a long time.

Anyone heard anything more on this? Do I smell an angry Otter, fishing for a column?
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<<Anyone heard anything more on this? Do I smell an angry Otter, fishing for a column? >>

I read an interesting op-ed piece on this, at the NY Times, by Paul Krugman:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/08/opinion/08KRUG.html (free registration probably needed)

An excerpt:

<<Let me just quote The Wall Street Journal on this: "The big accounting firms won't dare speak on
the record. . . . All signs suggest they're working instead through Republicans in Congress, specifically Ohio's Mike Oxley. . . .
They don't want pension fund chief John Biggs to lead the new accounting board because they fear he might actually force the
industry to shape up." What The Journal doesn't point out is the obvious: The accounting industry may have a lot of clout, but this
wouldn't matter if the White House made it clear that the S.E.C. must choose an independent board. There's only one possible
conclusion: The administration doesn't really want corporate reform. >>

There are a bunch of articles in The Wall Street Journal on the topic. The one quoted above is here: http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1033696123887861593,00.html?mod=article-outset-box (Subscription required) And here's a bit more from it:

<< Beyond Mr. Biggs, the issue is whether the accounting industry has learned anything from its recent travails. One of its venerable giants is out of business, and PricewaterhouseCoopers is being investigated as the auditor for the "criminal enterprise" that prosecutors now say Tyco has been. You'd think the bean counters would realize that a respected cleanup man is exactly what they need to restore some public trust in their trade.>>

Selena
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New York TImes? Wall Street Journal? Never heard of them. I just read The Motley Fool.
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That's the stuff, Lokicious.

With the possible exception of Vanguard, there is NO financial company that I admire as much as TIAA-CREF. If you've never read their treatise on corporate governance, I highly recommend it:

http://www.tiaa-cref.org/libra/governance/index.html

Bill Mann (one angry Otter)
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Gee Bill,

And it just so happens, my 403b has been with TIAA-Cref (well, duh!) and, after an earlier bout of "wisdom," everything else (other than cash and savings bonds) is, and will remain, with Vanguard (except my small portfolio of VC stocks at Ameritrade, and I'll probably be moving that to Vanguard brokerage, too, since it's just going to sit for a long time in the hope one of these puppets becomes a real live boy).

I still find the resistance by Bush and others of his camp to aggressive reforms to restore credibility to investing incredibly ironic, and enormously short-sighted. If participation in the stock market returns to the traditional small proportion of the population, because those who cannot afford to take the risk or who see the whole thing as a scam punt, "supply-side" tax and spending policies, which are these folks whole economic enchillada, go down the tubes (sorry about the mixed-metaphors).
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New York TImes? Wall Street Journal? Never heard of them. I just read The Motley Fool.

Forwarded to TMF marketing department.

Lokicious, you da Fool!

Foolishly,
Tom9
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Glad to see there are others as disgusted as I am about this news. If Pitt backs away from his support of Biggs he should definitely go. Otter, don't let this one go away. As for Oxley,would the good people of Ohio do us all a big favor and give this guy the boot? Don
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