Arthur Levitt was the 25th Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. First appointed by President Clinton in July 1993, the President reappointed Chairman Levitt to a second five-year term in May 1998. On September 9, 1999, he became the longest serving Chairman of the Commission. He left the Commission on February 9, 2001.
Investor protection was Chairman Levitt's top priority. Throughout his tenure at the Commission, Chairman Levitt has worked to educate, empower, and protect America's investors – now more than 50 million strong. Early in his tenure, Chairman Levitt created the Office of Investor Education and Assistance and established a website (www.sec.gov), which allows the public free and easy access to corporate filings and investor education materials. In the past seven years Chairman Levitt has conducted more than forty investor town meetings throughout the country to listen to the concerns of investors and to give them tips on safe and wise participation in the securities markets.
Other hallmarks of Chairman Levitt's tenure include, improving the quality of the financial reporting process, maintaining the independence of auditors, saving investors billions of dollars by reducing spreads in the Nasdaq market, promoting the use of plain English, requiring that important information be released to all investors simultaneously, fighting Internet fraud, and cleaning up the municipal bond market.
Key policy successes include:
Before joining the Commission, Mr. Levitt owned Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill. From 1989 to 1993, he served as the Chairman of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and from 1978 to 1989 he was the Chairman of the American Stock Exchange. Prior to joining the Amex, Mr. Levitt worked for 16 years on Wall Street. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College in 1952 before serving for two years in the Air Force.
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