December 11, 2008 / 9:11 AM / 11 years ago

Government must exit private enterprise in time: SEC head

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Christopher Cox testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington October 23, 2008. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

(Reuters) - The U.S. Government must create strategies to eventually dilute its involvement with private enterprise, Chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission Christopher Cox said in the Wall Street Journal.

Focusing on exit strategies is vital to avoid “far greater financial exposure for the American people, and a far worse situation for America’s taxpayers and investors,” Cox wrote in an opinion piece.

In an attempt to boost a severely weakened economy, U.S. officials have doled out billions of dollars in bailouts — in the process making the U.S. government a major shareholder in banking and financial institutions and other private companies across the United States.

Cox said if prolonged, this will threaten private ownership, which is directly tied to America’s dedication to individual freedom and its rise to being a global superpower.

“Maintaining the arm’s length relationship between government, as the regulator, and business, as the regulated, is essential,” Cox added.

He wrote that federal policy makers must ensure measures implemented by the government during the financial crisis are “understood to be temporary” and that there is in place a “deliberate design to eliminate them.”

Cox is also a member of the oversight boards for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).

Reporting by Eric Yep in Bangalore; Editing by David Holmes

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