Harvey Pitt speaks! Harvey Pitt lies! Life in the Redundant Zone

Harvey and the Pussycats pick tired old Republican hack to act all tough and stuff with the accounting industry.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday picked former FBI Director William H. Webster to head a new accounting oversight panel in a partisan vote that symbolized how politically charged accounting reform has become in the current climate of financial scandal.

In a 3-2 vote, SEC Chairman Harvey L. Pitt and two other Republican commissioners chose Webster and four other candidates — including former California pension official Kayla J. Gillan — over more than 450 applicants to serve on the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

The vote came at the end of an hourlong meeting marked by acrimony and impassioned speeches on both sides.

The decision left SEC Commissioners Harvey Goldschmid and Roel Campos — both Democrats — disappointed because they had favored John H. Biggs, a New York pension fund executive with a reputation for backing tough new regulations for the accounting industry.

The rancor over Webster’s appointment comes as investors and policymakers are looking to the SEC to restore confidence in corporate bookkeeping. A wave of accounting scandals began last year when evidence surfaced that energy trader Enron Corp. used off-the-books partnerships and questionable accounting practices to hide its deteriorating financial condition. Enron’s main auditor — accounting firm Arthur Andersen — was convicted in June of obstruction of justice for shredding Enron financial documents.

Campos said the rejection of Biggs underscores the perception that the SEC remains too closely aligned with the interests of the accounting industry, which had lobbied for Webster. He predicted that the board would face a legal challenge from disgruntled reform advocates, hampering the board’s effectiveness. Others discounted that possibility, however.

Pitt made an emotional defense of his choice of Webster, saying he was not pressured by the accounting industry to back the former FBI director.

“I am fiercely independent. I am beholden to no one,” Pitt said.

Later Pitt headed off to the Mustang Ranch in Nevada to pick up his Whore of the Year Award.

Just like last week when the press when to Son of Sam for his opinions on the Washington Sniper, yesterday they went to Phi Gramm for his opinion on this choice:

Echoing the comments of many of his fellow Republicans, Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas called the SEC’s new accounting panel “a quality board, which all objective observers will find acceptable…. For someone to criticize Chairman Pitt for not nominating their choice of chairman, or members, over the choice of the majority of the commission seems to me unfair and wholly political.”

This of course is the same Phil Gramm who has been holding the Financial markets coats while they have raped the shareholders and the general public. And should we mention his wife Wendy Gramm who was on the audit commitee and board at Enron, and was shocked, shocked I tell you, at what shennanigans were going on under carefully averted eyes? Nah. We’ll leave that to the business reporters who should be reporting on this any day now….

By the way Phil, good luck at your new job.

There is corruption, and then there is Noah Cross-type corruption. The kind that is so evil that it never sees the light of day.

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....