Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for holding this very important hearing and congratulate you on becoming the newest Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. I look forward to working with you in your new capacity.
This is obviously a very important nomination. Mr. Donaldson has a long and impressive resume. He has extensive experience both on Wall Street and in academia. He is going to need it. Everyone knows the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) faces extensive challenges as we recover from the corporate scandals that have plagued our Country. Mr. Donaldson has a very tough job in front of him. I hope he is up to it.
We do not have to recap what has happened to our markets over the past few years. It has not just affected the rich, but almost everyone from seniors on a fixed pension, to union members, to ordinary workers with 401Ks, to employee stockholders, to Wall Street investors to government employees. We have seen over the past few years how many people the capital markets really affect.
Last year's Sarbanes-Oxley bill, which I proudly supported, was a big step in restoring trust in the markets. But as hard as it was to pass that bill, and let me reiterate my admiration for everyone on this committee who worked so hard on that bill, the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley may be even tougher. And believe me, this committee will be watching the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley very closely.
However, as everyone here knows, there are many other issues facing the SEC. The former chairman started hearings on market structure. There are applications before the SEC that have been there for over two years, and there are countless other proposals that the SEC needs to study. I am not taking a side in any of the business before the SEC, I am just pointing out that many of the non-corporate responsibility issues have been but on the back burner. That is not a criticism of the SEC. The SEC has limited resources, we are trying to correct that, and corporate responsibility had to be its first priority. But it is time to start looking at the other issues before the Commission.
Once again, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for holding this hearing and congratulate you on your ascension to the Chairmanship.