I would like to thank Chairman Shelby and Senator Sarbanes for holding today's hearing to review the impact of the Global Settlement on our national economy and on investor confidence.
I congratulate SEC Chairman William Donaldson, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso, Chairman and CEO of the NASD Robert Glauber, and Christine Bruenn, who negoiated on behalf of the State Securities Adminsitrators, for their hard work in settling these cases and protecting the financial security of millions of individual investors across the country.
The Settlement embodies the very vitality of our economy – the amount of investment that will take place in the economy and the number of jobs that will be created. It involves the standing of America in the international economy – whether we will continue to be a safe haven for investments from those abroad, attracting the capital that helps us build a strong foundation for America's economy.
The reforms required under the Global Settlement send a loud and clear signal. Cheating will no longer be tolerated. The clear separation of reseach and investment banking divisions at firms will insulate analysts and provide investors with meaningful information. New mechanisms for providing independent research to investors at no cost to them will help them make more informed decisions. Transparent rating information, a ban on IPO spinning, independent monitors for each firm, and investor education will good a long way towards restoring investor confidence and strengthening our markets.
As the largest monetary penalty in Wall Street history, it is, more than anything else, an important step in the direction of ensuring that those Americans who have worked hard and saved their money, who have played by the rules, and are honest are able to get ahead in this society.