Who knew that muddying the political waters could also include muddying the financial waters?
President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations. Notice of the development came in a brief entry in the Federal Register, dated May 5, 2006, that was opaque to the untrained eye.
Unbeknownst to almost all of Washington and the financial world, Bush and every other President since Jimmy Carter have had the authority to exempt companies working on certain top-secret defense projects from portions of the 1934 Securities Exchange Act. Administration officials told BusinessWeek that they believe this is the first time a President has ever delegated the authority to someone outside the Oval Office. It couldn’t be immediately determined whether any company has received a waiver under this provision.
I’m (not really) sure there is some logical national security reason for this provision, but why am I not surprised that the current president would be all too comfortable delegating such a decision to a subordinate?
Lying Misinformation seems to be the only consistent m.o. for the decider in chief. It’s not surprising he’d use his unlimited wartime powers to encourage more of it.