I started my career in the private sector and then became U.S. attorney. I think I was a stronger U.S. attorney, and I frankly think I am a stronger Chair of the SEC, because of that experience.
You ask every conceivable question after Sept. 11 in terms of what more could have been done, what could have been done differently. My impression from working on these cases and investigations for almost nine years was that an awful lot of people were working over time to connect dots.
The Trade Center itself held - and holds - a special place, I think, in the hearts and minds of people in law enforcement - the fact that it did not fall in 1993. Ramzi Yousef's goal was to topple the Twin Towers into each other so that more people died than had died at Hiroshima.
I think what I brought from the private sector was a real appreciation of how much leverage - respect, if you will - that the SEC has. Major companies, in particular, really don't want to be at war with their primary regulator. The SEC may not have appreciated just how great our leverage is.
As a former prosecutor, sometimes people refer to me as 'Attila the Hun.' I understand how people can get a reputation sometimes.
The 1993 Trade Center bombing was obviously frightening. It could have been much worse than it was.
In terms of the breadth of the threat of Al Qaeda itself - it's not the only terrorist organization, and it works with others as cells around the world in at least 60 countries. You potentially are talking about tens of thousands of followers who can be conscripted into service to carry out a terrorist plot.
I'm literally an independent. Apolitical. So that I am not always going to be with the Left's perceived interests or the Right's perceived interests.