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Grundfest Defends SEC Chief Over WSJ Article

Publication Date: 
June 24, 2008
Legal Pad
Zusha Elinson

Legal Pad reports that Joseph Grundfest defended Christopher Cox, a speaker at Stanford Law School's Directors' College, countering what was reported about Cox and the Bear Stearns deal in The Wall Street Journal:

Joseph Grundfest, Stanford Law professor and former SEC commissioner, introduced the speaker and took the opportunity to defend Cox and skewer The Wall Street Journal.

Grundfest began, holding a copy of the paper in question in front of his nose as he grunted into the microphone. Then he told the crowd that he’d picked up The Wall Street Journal that morning, and after reading the article in question, asked himself: “When did we get a subscription to the New York Post?”

After a few more jokes, Grundfest took a serious tone and argued that the Journal had the story wrong. Cox should’ve been nowhere near the Bear Stearns bailout deal, which saw JP Morgan buy the failing firm with the help of the feds, the Stanford professor strenuously opined.

Grundfest said that Cox was right to let the Federal Reserve and Treasury take the lead, because it would be unseemly for the regulator of financial markets to be involved in a deal where he could be perceived as playing favorites.

The crowd apparently liked Grundfest’s defense. They laughed and cheered.