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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Chief Economist James Overdahl to Leave SEC


Washington, D.C., March 9, 2010 — The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Chief Economist James A. Overdahl will leave the agency to rejoin the private sector after serving since July 2007 as principal economic advisor to the Commission on policy, rulemaking, and litigation support.

As Director of the Commission's Office of Economic Analysis, Mr. Overdahl supervised the agency's economics program, advising policymakers on a wide variety of topics affecting securities markets including the role of securities lending and short selling, market structure issues, money market mutual funds, credit rating agencies, and litigation matters. The Office of Economic Analysis is part of the SEC's new Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation.

"Given the importance of rigorous economic analysis to the Commission, we truly appreciate Jim's dedication and his many contributions during a time of extraordinary challenges in our financial markets," said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro.

"Both as a member of the staff in the early 1990's and then later as Chief Economist, Jim brought to the Commission real expertise in a number of economic areas, including market structure, enforcement issues, and derivative securities," said Henry Hu, Director of the Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation. "Jim's a fine, thoughtful economist who provided leadership related to the economic analysis so material to the Commission's activities."

Mr. Overdahl said, "It has been my honor to serve as the Commission's Chief Economist during a period that posed extraordinary challenges to our financial markets — when rigorous economic analysis was absolutely crucial to the Commission's work. I will miss working day-to-day with my talented colleagues, who always rose to the occasion and gave their best when things were at their worst. I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the SEC's economists during extremely difficult economic times."

During his time at the SEC, Overdahl's team of economists completed a major study of the impact of provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act regarding internal control over financial reporting requirements. Overdahl also testified before Congress on behalf of the Commission on over-the-counter derivatives, and worked closely with the financial agencies in the President's Working Group on Financial Markets on policy issues related to the recent market crisis.

Mr. Overdahl will leave the SEC at the end of March to join National Economic Research Associates (NERA), an economic consulting firm, as a Vice President in their Washington, D.C., office.

Before joining the SEC staff, Overdahl served as Chief Economist of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2002 to 2007.

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Modified: 03/09/2010