Is Breeden Too Ambitious For The Sec's Good?

Richard C. Breeden is one tough cop. In his two years as chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission, Breeden has broadened the agency's enforcement agenda and pushed a flurry of tough new regulations. The 42-year-old former White House aide has impressed Congress--which has dramatically boosted his budget--and fulfilled some of the hopes of SEC-watchers that he would be able to capitalize on his political connections to usher in an era of renewed glory at the commission. He has won plaudits for trying to beef up corporate financial disclosures, prosecute penny-stock promoters, and probe the junk bond market. "He's given new muscle to an agency that had been allowed to grow soft and malleable," says one admirer, David B. Martin, a former official in the SEC's Corporation Finance Div.

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