Backstage at the Pardon: Tensions and Tipoffs

It was Friday, Jan. 19, 2001, the day before the end of the Clinton Administration. ARTHUR LEVITT, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, was sitting in his Washington office. "I got a call from a very senior White House official," Levitt told TIME, "to ask what I knew about PINKY GREEN and MARC RICH." After touching base with his enforcement team, Levitt spoke again with the White House. He reported that the SEC had no jurisdiction over the pair because their business was commodities, not securities. Then Levitt says he took it upon himself to express a view about the...

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