McCain to Cox: You're Fired!

SEC head to roll?

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I was carping about SEC Chairman Chris Cox earlier today along with a whole lot of other people. Now, the WSJ is reporting that John McCain would toss him.

"The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president and has betrayed the public's trust. If I were president today, I would fire him," McCain says, according to excerpts for a speech on reforming the ailing U.S. financial markets he will deliver today in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Throwing Cox under a train now is largely irrelevant. Tough talk like that should have come, oh, any time in the past couple of years, and it should have come from more folks on both sides of the aisle.

For a podcast-friendly look at the SEC's failure to step in during this crisis, check out this week's This American Life (it's in Act II, in the second half of the show, during a piece by Alex Blumberg, who also produced an absolutely great explanation of the credit crisis, The Giant Pool of Money).

The short version: Congress offered the SEC greater powers and more cash to regulate what was becoming a meltdown. Cox balked.

I listened to this during my morning run today around the White House and had a very "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" moment ...