Former assistant housing secretary to speak at GATA''s Gold Rush 21

Section:

By Marcy Gordon
Associated Press
Tuesday, July 12, 2005

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050712/cox_confirmation.html?.v=4

WASHINGTON -- President Bush's choice to head the Securities and
Exchange Commission, Rep. Christopher Cox, has hundreds of thousands
of dollars in money-market and mutual funds and large holdings in
stocks, his financial report shows.

Bush last month selected Cox, a California Republican, to head the
SEC after the resignation of William Donaldson, whom Bush had
installed to help restore confidence in a stock market shaken by
corporate scandals.

In his financial disclosure report prepared for his Senate
confirmation hearing, which became available Tuesday, Cox lists
total holdings of between $565,004 and $1.15 million in stock of
Coca-Cola Co., Newmont Mining Corp., Continental Airlines Inc., and
Gold Fields Ltd. of South Africa.

His wife, Rebecca, is a lobbyist for Continental, the fifth-largest
U.S. carrier. The airline's chief executive officer told
shareholders at the annual meeting last month that their
relationship isn't expected to present any conflicts of interest
with Cox as SEC chairman.

Cox's report indicates that he does not intend to set up a blind
trust for his assets, apparently following advice from the SEC's
ethics office that he is not required under ethics rules to do so.

Cox spokesman James Freeman had no immediate comment. Members of the
SEC ethics office staff referred calls to agency spokesman John
Heine, who declined to comment.

The exact value of Cox's assets could not be determined from the
financial forms because they only require values to be provided in
ranges.

Cox would earn $142,500 a year as chairman of the market watchdog
agency if confirmed by the Senate as expected, compared with his
congressional salary of $162,100. He is the first member of Congress
to be nominated to head the 70-year-old SEC. Many of the previous
chairmen came from Wall Street, as did Donaldson, or were securities
lawyers.

Cox, 52, now chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has
been in Congress for 16 years. A graduate of both Harvard Law School
and Harvard Business School, he was a securities attorney before
becoming a lawmaker. In the House, Cox wrote legislation that made
it easier for companies to defend against some types of lawsuits by
shareholders.

Business interests, which had chafed at Donaldson's activist
regulatory stance, welcomed Cox's selection by Bush. Investor
advocates expressed concern.

Cox's largest financial backers during his congressional tenure
include law firms and big accounting firms. Securities and
investment firms have donated more than $254,000 to Cox, according
to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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