Sez Oxley: "Never Mind"


One-half of the duo that created the most suffocating piece of anti-business legislation in recent history is backtracking:

Was Oxley aware, his questioners asked, that the law that he and Senator Paul Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, rushed onto the books five years ago after the collapse of Enron and WorldCom had contributed to a sharp decline in listings on U.S. stock exchanges? And, knowing what he knows now about the cost and effects of the law, would Oxley — who retired in January after 25 years in Congress — have done it any differently?

"Absolutely," Oxley answered. "Frankly, I would have written it differently, and he would have written it differently," he added, referring to Sarbanes. "But it was not normal times."

Good to know. So because of a code-3 case of the "do somethings," rashly-enacted, reactionary legislation is causing the U.S. to lose new listings to London and Hong Kong, corporations that are here face enormous compliance costs, stifled innovation, and a fear of risk, and all we get in consolation is Oxley's mea culpa at a rubber chicken dinner.

Reason symposium on SarBox here .