Politicization: All SEC Democrats voted to pursue Goldman, All SEC Republicans against

The funny thing about the SEC decision to pursue Goldman Sachs is not that it was a close one.  It was ultimately decided in a 3-2 decision along strict party lines.  There are seats set aside for Republicans and Democrats.  There can be no more than three seats per party.  

The three who voted on the decision were:

  • SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro - Democrat
  • SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar - Democrat
  • SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter - Democrat
 The two that voted against were: 
  • SEC Commissioner Kathleen L. Casey - Republican
  • SEC Commissioner Troy A. Paredes  - Republican
The predecessor to the current Chaiman Mary Schapiro was Christopher Cox, a Republican.  He did not like the SEC to become politicized and typically refused to take actions unless there was a bipartisan consensus.  Mary Schapiro ended that practice and since has begun to take actions that lack Republican Support.  The initial investigations into the Goldman case began in the year after he left, via Bloomberg
Schapiro’s predecessor, Christopher Cox, tried to seek consensus on SEC actions, triggering criticism from investors that he wouldn’t take on contentious cases or rules. Cox stepped down as SEC chairman in January 2009.

...The SEC didn’t tell the company (Goldman) that it planned to file its suit on April 16, which Goldman Sachs interpreted as a sign the agency has become unusually adversarial, according to a person close to the firm.

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