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June 30, 2003

Spitzer Strikes Another Blow

By Gregory Bresiger

The compliance departments at Wall Street firms took it on the chin again from New York's combative attorney general Eliot Spitzer.

Spitzer said some of the problems at brokerage firms during the last bull market stem from the role played by the compliance departments at major brokerages.

That's what he told a gathering at the SEC Historical Society's annual meeting.

Spitzer urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to evaluate the part played by firm's internal compliance units. Still, he also told reporters that he wasn't hinting at the elimination of these firm's policing themselves. Indeed, despite Spitzer's relentless and public strictures of Wall Street, he has not proposed a replacement compliance system. Wall Street, he implied, has to clean itself up.