And now, let us hold hands across the blogospheric divide.
My friend and colleague Steve Bainbridge is right: the President can, in fact, fire the SEC chair. What he can’t do is fire a commissioner, so he would have to choose a new chair from among the group of serving commissioners. The old chair would be just be a regular commissioner. According to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 sec. 78(d), commissioners serve staggered five-year terms and one expires on June 5 of each year, meaning that the new President can replace one early in his term. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there was a culture of commissioners resigning (at least those of the same party) to allow the new President to put in his team.
That said, the real story is just how much of an economic moron/charlatan McCain is.
The gist of his argument is that the financial crisis is the result of the SEC allowing short selling. No one believes this. No one. There are a lot of reasons for the current crisis, and (unlike Steve) I’m not prepared without greater research to exonerate the SEC, but if McCain thinks that it’s about short selling, he even dumber than I thought.
But of course McCain doesn’t believe anything; he’s just saying anything to win. He doesn’t really know, and he doesn’t really care.
And that’s the story.