Legislative / Regulatory

Sarbanes-Oxley: A corporate cure-all?

ThumbsupThere doesn't seem to be much middle ground when it comes to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: You either love it or hate it. Commentary tends to fall into one of two camps: (a) SOX  has helped corporate America by re-establishing trust in our markets in the years since Enron; or (b) SOX has hurt corporate America through its huge complaince costs, in terms of both time and money.

You can file this Wall Street Journal op-ed piece under (a) above.

In "Sarbox Was the Right Medicine," author Thomas J. Healey -- a retired Goldman, Sachs & Co. partner who served as assistant Treasury secretary under President Ronald Reagan -- says Sarbanes-Oxley is exactly what the business world needs.

"The last five years have made it irrefutably clear," Healey writes. "Sarbanes-Oxley is a textbook case of how regulation should ideally work in a democracy: A scandal is addressed through strong legislative reaction, followed by fine-tuning by relevant agencies (in this case, the SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board). Is it any wonder that variations of Sarbox and its rigorous internal controls are being adopted in Japan, France, China, Canada and other countries around the world?"

An earlier post featured an article that offered similar opinions. But what do you think? Has Sarbanes-Oxley lived up to the hype?


Bill Sheridan