Bush Nominates New SEC Leader

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President Bush has nominated Harvey Pitt to be chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission. Mr. Pitt, a corporate lawyer, was former general counsel to the SEC under President Jimmy Carter.

President Bush announced his intention to nominate Mr. Pitt earlier this year. Now the nomination has officially be sent to the Senate Banking Committee. This committee will schedule a confirmation hearing and ultimately Mr. Pitt will have to be approved by the entire Senate.

"I am honored by the president's nomination and I am hopeful the Senate will see fit to confirm me," Mr. Pitt said.

Among Mr. Pitt's clients are the American Institute of CPAs, the Securities Industry Association, and the Investment Company Institute. Last year, Mr. Pitt was instrumental in negotiating with the SEC regarding its proposals to limit auditor independence by preventing accountants from engaging in consulting services. As a result of his work, accounting firms performing audits may engage in certain consulting services as long as the fees for those services are set out separately in notes to the company's financial statements.

"Mr. Pitt has few peers in his depth of experience in the operation of America's securities markets and the impact of laws and regulations which protect investors," said Texas Senator Phil Gramm.

If confirmed, Mr. Pitt will replace Laura S. Unger who has been serving as the acting SEC chairman since Arthur Levitt stepped down in February.

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