SEC’s work never more urgent, says Cox

SEC chairman Christopher Cox said that the work of the watchdog has never
been more urgent as he opened roundtable discussions on transparency in the
financial markets.

As the regulator gathered market stakeholders together to discuss how
companies can improve disclosure and reduce hidden risks, Cox opened the session
with a stark warning on the importance of the task.

‘When the SEC was founded nearly 75 years ago, a fundamental purpose was to
restore investor confidence in our capital markets by providing investors and
the markets with more reliable information,’ he said. ‘Never in this agency’s
history has this fundamental mission been more relevant, and more urgent. The
current credit crisis has shown the importance of transparency to a healthy
marketplace – and how costly hidden risk can be.’

The roundtable discussed a new project called the 21st Century Disclosure
Initiative, which the SEC is using to re-evaluate the way company financial data
is collected.

The SEC has also begun its study into mark-to-market accounting as part of
the financial rescue bill that was approved last week, which is due to be
completed before 9 January next year.

Related reading