|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Wednesday, October 27, 1999||202-224-0894|
Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, made the following statement today at a securities subcommittee hearing on Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs) and their impact on capital markets:
"I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate Chairman Arthur Levitt, not just for being the longest serving chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the nation's history, but for taking, in my view, the broadest scoped, most enlightened view of emerging technology of any regulator that I have worked with or against.
"Chairman's Levitt's speech, `Dynamic Markets; Timeless Principles,' was as far out of the mainstream of regulatory statements as you could find. It was a visionary approach that tried to look at the evolution of the markets, and its primary focus was on consumer benefits.
"We are all creatures of our experience. It's very difficult for someone who has worked in financial markets all their lives to not be drawn to a defense of the institutions they know and the technology they understand. I've noticed in watching my fellow lawmakers that the hardest thing that we all have to do is to overcome our own backgrounds, our own experience, whether it's a physician who is now a lawmaker trying to objectively look at health policy, or whether it's a lawyer trying to objectively look at legal liability. Economists generally don't have these problems, but others do.
"So I want to congratulate Chairman Levitt. The fact that we have ECNs today is testament to the openness of his regulatory policy. I am sure that there will be many issues that over the next year or over a few years that we might disagree on. But in terms of the ability to look at the big picture in a time when everything is changing, I just think Chairman Levitt has had few equals."