In a rebuttal to sharp criticism of accounting regulation from
US Chamber of Commerce this week, the US
market regulator’s chairman has defended the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
SEC chairman Christopher Cox said there was no need to
change the law, which has been criticised for placing stiff compliance burdens
upon businesses: ‘Yours is not the first, nor will it be the last, outside group
to tell us that there are significant direct and indirect costs that come along
with the benefits of Sarbanes-Oxley… it is wrong to conflate the implementation
problems of s404 with the entirety of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. While it’s a handy
whipping boy, overall the law has had important positive effects.
‘It may fairly be credited with correcting the most serious problems that
beset our markets just a few years ago. It has played a significant and valuable
role in restoring integrity to our markets. Remember where we were, and what
happened. We needed decisive action. Sarbanes-Oxley delivered,’ Cox said.
He was retaliating to a report issued earlier in the week by the chamber,
which blamed the slippage of the US markets on burdensome US accounting rules.
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