It seemed inevitable that Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz would be accused of lying in a CNBC interview two days before the firm vaporized–not because he lied (we don’t think he did) but because it would seem inconceivable that, as the firm’s CEO, he didn’t know it was about to implode.
But now Alan Schwartz has been saved! And by none other than Christopher Cox, the head of the SEC.
According to the Post, Cox just sent a letter to Swiss bank regulators saying that Bear Stearns was in great shape until just before it collapsed:
The “fate of Bear Stearns was a lack of confidence, not a lack of capital,” Cox, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, wrote in a five-page letter sent to a Swiss regulator Thursday.
Bear’s broker-dealer capital and holding company capital “exceeded supervisory standards” by as much as two-fold during the crisis, Cox said.
Hard to imagine the SEC (or anyone else) charging Schwartz with anything now. Which, at least, gives him one less problem to deal with.
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