Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society

In the Midst of Revolution: The SEC, 1973-1981

Foundation for Renewal

Post-Watergate SEC

- September 4, 1973 Swearing-in ceremony for SEC Chairman Ray Garrett, Jr.
Philip A. Loomis, Jr., Ray Garrett, Jr., Virginia Garrett, Hugh Owens and John R. Evans

President Nixon's entanglement in the ethical crisis of Watergate, and the disclosure that the SEC Chairman G. Bradford Cook had perjured himself before Congress when testifying about the SEC's investigation into the illegal payment scandal involving financier Robert Vesco, created a crisis at the agency.(3) After Cook's resignation on May 17, 1973, Nixon calculated his response to criticism that he had politicized the agency by ending his previous practice of appointing political friends to the SEC.

Anxious to demonstrate that his administration could still attract top talent, Nixon offered the SEC Chairmanship to Ray Garrett, Jr., a conservative lawyer from Chicago who had remained aloof from politics.(4) Garrett had served in the SEC from 1954 to 1958, primarily in the Division of Corporate Regulation. In addition, he had served on several national advisory boards, including as a consultant to Professor Louis Loss's American Law Institute Federal Securities Codification project.(5)

Garrett declined the offer, recommending that Nixon appoint A. A. Sommer, Jr., a Cleveland attorney and securities bar expert. Nixon refused to appoint Sommer, who was a Democrat. When the term of SEC Commissioner A. Sydney Herlong ended in June 1973, a deal was reached whereby Garrett would become Chairman and Sommer would replace Herlong on the Commission.

Six months later, Nixon named Irving Pollack as his final Commission appointment. Pollack was a career SEC staff attorney who had served as both the Director of the Divisions of Enforcement and of Market Regulation, and who had played key roles in several ongoing issues, including that of fixed commission rates.

Garrett, Sommer and Pollack joined SEC Commissioners Philip Loomis and John R. Evans to form a SEC Commission that, even as Nixon's Presidency collapsed, provided competent and expert leadership that laid the foundation for successful policy implementation at the SEC.

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Footnotes:

(3) The Bright Image: The SEC, 1961-1973, Ethical Crisis at the SEC – Chairman Cook

(4) Felix Belair, Jr., "S.E.C. at 40 Pushes Reform," The New York Times, June 30, 1974, 127

(5) Joel Seligman, The Transformation of Wall Street (Aspen Publishers: New York, 2003), 448-449


Related Museum Resources

Papers

May 26, 1973
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum)
May 29, 1973
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum)
June 1, 1973
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
June 27, 1973
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
August 7, 1973
document pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
September 25, 1973
document pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
October 1, 1973
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
October 3, 1973
document pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
October 11, 1973
document pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
November 8, 1973
document pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
November 12, 1973
document pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
November 29, 1973
document pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
December 7, 1973
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
1974
image pdf (Government Records)
1974
image pdf (Government Records)
January 16, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
January 16, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
February 6, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
February 7, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
February 18, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
February 20, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
March 1, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
March 1974
document pdf (Courtesy of Richard Rowe)
March 7, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
March 13, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
March 14, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
March 19, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
March 22, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
March 27, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
March 29, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
April 23, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
April 24, 1974
document pdf (Courtesy of Richard Rowe)
April 25, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
April 30, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
May 2, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
May 2, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
May 3, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
May 6, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
May 8, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
May 13, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
May 16, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
May 16, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
June 4, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
June 30, 1974
image pdf (Government Records)
July 2, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
August 12, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
September 11, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
September 20, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
September 27, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
October 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of Morton Koeppel)
October 6, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
October 9, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
October 14, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
October 14, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
October 15, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
October 21, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
October 22, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
October 24, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
October 24, 1974
image pdf (Courtesy of Morton Koeppel)
October 26, 1974
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
February 19, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
March 5, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
March 11, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
March 17, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
April 3-4, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
April 18, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
April 28, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
April 29, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
May 28, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
May 30, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
June 3, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
June 4, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)
June 11, 1975
document pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John Evans)
June 17, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
June 27, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
June 27, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
June 30, 1975
image pdf (Government Records)
July 21, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
July 22, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of Harvey L. Pitt)
August 5, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
August 19, 1975
image pdf (Roderick Hills Papers, Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
August 20, 1975
image pdf (Roderick Hills Papers, Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
August 22, 1975
image pdf (Roderick Hills Papers, Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
September 3, 1975
document pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John Evans)
September 5, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
September 8, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
September 17, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
September 19, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
September 19, 1975
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Library)
November 18, 1975
image pdf (Courtesy of the estate of John R. Evans; made possible through a gift from Quinton F. Seamons)
March 7, 1980
image pdf (Courtesy of Nancy Garrett Worcester)

Photos

September 4, 1973

Philip A. Loomis, Jr., Ray Garrett, Jr., Virginia Garrett, Hugh Owens and John R. Evans

(Photo and identification courtesy of Nancy Garrett Worcester )
1974
1974

A.A. Sommer, Jr., Philip A. Loomis, Jr., Ray Garrett, Jr., John R. Evans and Irving M. Pollack

1974

(seated) Morton Koeppel; (standing, left to right) Bill Carter, Joe Hock, Becky Fleck, Alan Cohen, Jim McCabe, Paul Belvin, Letty Lynn, Mark Warner, Tom Klee and Laurence Lese

(Photo and identification courtesy of Morton Koeppel )

Oral Histories

19 February 2009

Lloyd Feller

30 October 2002

Allan Mostoff

11 May 2007

Harvey Pitt - Part I

01 October 2001

A.A. Sommer, Jr.

Programs

29 May 2003

Roundtable on Regional Administrators

Moderator: Irving Pollack, Stanley Sporkin

Presenter(s): Gerald Boltz, Jack Bookey, Robert Davenport, Kevin Duffy, Randall Fons, Leonard Rossen, William Schief, Michael Stewart, Robert Watson

Galleries

The Bright Image: The SEC, 1961-1973

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