Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Come Sarbane Oxley Didn't Prevent the Wall Street Crisis

Several years ago, Congress implemented Sarbane-Oxley (SOX).

In a nutshell and according to Wikepedia, "The legislation establishes new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards, management, and public accounting firms. It does not apply to privately held companies. The Act contains 11 titles, or sections, ranging from additional Corporate Board responsibilities to criminal penalties, and requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement rulings on requirements to comply with the new law. Debate continues over the perceived benefits and costs of SOX. Supporters contend that the legislation was necessary and has played a useful role in restoring public confidence in the nation's capital markets by, among other things, strengthening corporate accounting controls. Opponents of the bill claim that it has reduced America's international competitive edge against foreign financial service providers, claiming that SOX has introduced an overly complex and regulatory environment into U.S. financial markets.

The Act establishes a new quasi-public agency, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, which is charged with overseeing, regulating, inspecting, and disciplining accounting firms in their roles as auditors of public companies. The Act also covers issues such as auditor independence, corporate governance, internal control assessment, and enhanced financial disclosure."

So can someone tell me why SOX didn't prevent what happened on Wall Street? Is the outsourcing of so many IT jobs the reason that many foreign programmers do the work but not being US citizens they care less about our regulatory laws?

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