Yup, it’s over. Know how we know? Because for the third time this week, the Washington Post has run an editorial that comes down foursquare on our side of the issue. This pretty much equals the amount of all like-minded editorials in the Post since the dawn of civilization. Time to head for the hills, wait for The Big One.
In — a(nother) — fairly extraordinary missive entitled, “Fine Tuning Finance” the Post this time makes the case for — are you sitting down? — revisiting the Sarbanes-Oxley law, especially the dreaded “Section 404”. Citing an upcoming article in the Yale Law Review (see? you just have to get into publications that they actually read….) by Roberta Romano, the Post spells out many ills and shortcomings of Sarbanes-Oxley, ills that every publicly-held company has been well aware of since the law’s enactment in 2002. Among these are the burden of compliance costs (big bucks, little bang) and the stifling of innovation that has come from the tacit incentive for companies to remain private. It ends by concluding that while new, correcting legislation by Congress might not be desirable, that the SEC, under its new incoming Chairman, Chris Cox, should wade into some serious fine-tuning of this well-intentioned but over-reaching law. No matter that the Post was at the head of the feeding frenzy back in 2002 when the law first passed. We applaud their late conversion.
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