Statement of SEC Chairman Harvey L. Pitt
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC, January 16, 2002 Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey L. Pitt today issued the following statement:
I had the distinct honor and privilege of joining President Bush today at the White House as he signed into law H.R. 1088, the "Investor and Capital Markets Fee Relief Act." On behalf of the members and staff of the entire Commission, I want to thank the President for taking this action and to express my appreciation to the many Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who helped secure the passage of this important legislation.
This truly is a great and historic victory for our nation's investors. With more Americans investing in the stock market than ever before in our history either directly or through a mutual fund or retirement plan it is extremely gratifying to finally provide these hard-working investors with relief from excessive and burdensome transaction fees. This bipartisan legislation will, over the years, save investors billions of dollars. We thank the President for his strong support of this legislation and for signing it into law today.
This "Investor and Capital Markets Fee Relief Act" will also provide us with tools to significantly strengthen the Commission in carrying out its vital mission of protecting investors and overseeing our nation's capital markets. For too long, SEC employees have been paid considerably less than staff at federal banking agencies, even though Americans have more money invested in mutual funds, for example, than they have deposited in commercial banks. This legislation will finally address this unfortunate disparity by giving the SEC the ability to put in place a pay structure comparable to those already in place at other federal financial services agencies. Once we receive funding to implement pay parity, this will make an enormous difference in helping the SEC to attract and retain the top talent we need to protect investors. In these challenging times, I am very grateful to have the critical support that this legislation and its funding will bring to the Securities and Exchange Commission.