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SEC policies thwarted investigations

Former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox "adopted practices that undermined the enforcement division's efforts to investigate cases of corporate wrongdoing and punish those involved, according to interviews with 19 current and former SEC officials," the Washington Post reported. For example, Cox required investigators to get the commission's approval before subpoenaing documents, compelling interviews or approaching a company about a civil settlement. The cumbersome process resulted in long delays and had a chilling effect on investigations, according to current and former agency officials.