Risk & Compliance

Top Ten Signs the Pendulum Has Swung

With Sarbanes-Oxley under fire, regulators, Congress, and the courts seem primed to ease up on post-scandal reforms.
David KatzJanuary 30, 2007

One after another, the stars are lining up. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board beat retreats from bright-line strictures on internal controls. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson sets up a kitchen cabinet of deregulators in hopes of preventing the flight of U.S. public issuers. On the legal front, auditors mount a strong push for tort reform. Here, David Letterman style, are ten signals that rulemakers and politicians are in a distinctly deregulatory mood when it comes to matters of corporate finance:

10.
Shareholders can’t sue your auditors anymore.

9.
Katie Couric seems underpaid.

8.
The SEC is becoming a material girl.

7.
Arlen Specter wants to protect your privacy.

6.
Steve Jobs gets to keep his job.

5.
Internal controls don’t keep you up at night.

4.
Prosecutors get all mellow about attorney-client privilege.

3.
Courtrooms are empty.

2.
Hank Paulson applauds the retirements of Sarbanes and Oxley.

1.
Enron, who?

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