The new chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Schapiro, can take swift action to prove that she is not a tool of Wall Street and the corporate establishment (as many, myself included, tend to believe).
She can do that by reevaluating the dozens of SEC investigations that were stillborn under the former chairman, Christopher Cox, and by addressing a serious issue known as “issuer retaliation.” As usual, my favorite corporate crime poster child, Overstock.com, points the way.
This sleazy Internet retailer is a brazen practitioner of issuer retaliation, siccing a paid hatchet man, former Florida Republican apparatchik Judd Bagley, to smear and defame critics of the company. Bagley flourished when the SEC, under former chairman Chris Cox, was looking the other way. The question is: will Overstock continue to get away with murder?