Appointed to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2002, Paul Atkins was a persistent-and unfortunately prescient-critic of the agency's failure to execute its regulatory functions in an efficient and effective manner.

Instead of working to make financial markets more transparent, argues Atkins, who stepped down from his post earlier this year, the SEC spent its time and resources focusing on irrelevant or secondary issues, allowing all sorts of problematic behavior to flourish and grow.

In December, Atkins sat down with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch for a wide-ranging 45-minute conversation about the proper role of government oversight in a free enterprise system, the dangers of regulation, and what's likely to unfold as the Democrats take over the White House.

To watch video of this interview, go here or click below.