Friday, December 01, 2006

Sarbox Reform

(From last night's Sarbox discussion on Kudlow & Company)

Kudlow: There's a statistic out there, 700 corporate crimes have been punished with 250 million in fines since 2002, since Enron, essentially. Now all of that is based on pre-Sarbox laws and regulations. All of that is based on existing laws on the books of the United States. So I just want to ask why is it that we needed Sarbanes-Oxley in the first place?

...The problem with Sarbanes-Oxley is that it's too big, too many regulations, too many costs. Some conservatives like myself would call that the law of unintended consequences. Whenever you have these massive federal regulatory bills coming out of Congress, you get unintended consequences. It's the same story with spending and entitlements. So here we are, you're trying to tweak this system a little bit. I think business people, particularly men and women operating in small business, I think they really want bigger than a tweak...

Mike Holland: I'd like to put a fact in here. Before Sarbanes-Oxley, 50 percent of all IPOs around the world listed in the United States. Would anyone, including Herb, like to guess how many since Sarbanes-Oxley have listed in the U.S.?

Herb Greenberg: Give me the number.

Mike Holland: It's 8 percent. And the last 25 largest IPOs, they all listed abroad. I was in Europe a couple weeks ago--they're talking about erecting statues to Sarbanes and Oxley in London's financial center.

Kudlow: Yes. Absolutely. We tore down the statue of Lenin and they're putting Sarbox up in Red Square and Moscow. That's what people don't understand. We're going to lose competitiveness.