Who is he: Arthur Levitt, Jr. served as Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 1993 to 2001. Although Levitt claimed to be a champion for individual investors, many of his actions and the rule changes that were implemented by the SEC under his watch actually served the interests of the major monetary elite controlled Wall Street firms.
Arthur Levitt is also remembered for the SEC approval for the exemption of Enron partnerships from the Investment Company Act of 1940. Critics suggest that the exemption allowed Enron more opportunity to avoid the 1996 "stricter accounting legislation" which would have stopped certain foreign investments and the manipulation of debts to Enron's foreign subsidiary shell companies which helped to bring down Enron.
Background: Arthur Levitt, Jr. was born in 1931 and grew up in a Jewish family in Brooklyn, NY. His father was quite successful. Arthur Levitt, Sr. was for 24 years the Comptroller for the state of New York as well as the trustee for the largest pension fund in America.
Levitt graduated from Williams College in 1952 and then worked for a local newspaper before working for Time-Life for 5 years. Levitt then started to work in the investment business selling tax shelters before going to work with a firm that eventually merged into Shearson Loeb Rhoades. In 1978 Levitt was named Chairman of the American Stock Exchange.
In addition to his financial career, Levitt also owned Roll Call, which was a newspaper that covered politics on Capitol Hill. In 1989 Levitt became Chairman of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and in 1993 Levitt joined the SEC and remained Chairman until 2001.
Since leaving the SEC, Levitt followed the usual practice of moving back and forth between the regulated and the regulators as is so often the case in these high circles where public and private positions are somewhat interchangeable in the hidden world of the wealthy power elite. It is called Regulatory Capture and it appears as though Levitt has been captured.
Levitt was named a special advisor to the American International Group (AIG) Board of Directors in 2005 following Chairman Hank Greenberg being forced out by then NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. After the SEC, Levitt has also served as an advisor to Goldman Sachs and the Carlyle Group and a consultant to Kroll, Inc. Levitt has even served as a Director of Bloomberg LP.