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Cox’s charmed life after the SEC

During the financial crisis, Christopher Cox was a Zelig-like creature, always somewhere in the background, but never seen to be doing anything of consequence.

After Bear Stearns collapsed, when Lehman Brothers edged toward the brink and the entire securities industry quaked, what was the major initiative of the Securities and Exchange Commission under Cox? A misguided effort to rein in short selling.

Cox is certainly not to blame for the crisis, but his limp, ineffective response to it was an embarrassing display. And that’s even before one brings up the subject of Bernie Madoff.

Yet failure has not been an obstacle to Cox’s post-Bush administration career plans. He will join the law firm of Bingham McCuthen as a partner in his old stomping ground of Orange County. Bingham McCutcheon has been building its securities law practice, hiring two former Bear Stearns lawyers last year and a former enforcement director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

from FaithWorld:

Sarkozy dons burqa to camouflage reform agenda

sarkozy-speechIn a column last week, I noted how Nicolas Sarkozy was a master at signalling left while turning right. Well, in his keynote address to both houses of parliament today, the conservative president went a step further. He summoned up the burqa to camouflage his real intention -- relaunching a drive to reform France's ossified social, education and tax system. (Photo: President Sarkozy delivers his speech, 22 June 2009/Pool)

By declaring war on the all-enveloping full-length veil worn by only a tiny minority of Muslim women in France, Sarkozy ensured that his secularist assault on religious fundamentalism would grab the headlines, and dominate intellectual debate. Here's what he said: