Yesterday I was on NPR's Talk of the Nation to discuss "The Worst Ideas of the Decade," a Washington Post forum to which I contributed a piece about Sarbanes-Oxley. Also appearing: Dahlia Lithwick of Slate and Clive Thompson of Wired. The host was Rebecca Roberts.
Some snippets from the transcript:
Mr. GILLESPIE:…[Sarbanes-Oxley] has made it much more difficult for smaller companies, with now with much harsher accounting requirements, to compete with bigger companies that can absorb those costs. It has not, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, done anything to minimize fraud or fooling around with financial statements. They've actually said that they've seen more mismanaged accounting statements and fraud going on after Sarbanes-Oxley was passed, and it also hurts companies that have to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley versus ones who don't; keeps companies private, which deprives them not only of capital but of investors possibly investing in publicly traded companies.
So overhaul, just a bad, hysterical piece of legislation that doesn't accomplish its basic goal….
The Patriot Act is probably the most serious bit of legislation in this vein, and also one of the most telling—where it's a bill that everybody knows, and you know, if you listen to people who were there—like Congressman, or former Congressman, Bob Barr—nobody but nobody had any time to read that legislation before they passed it—something which, again, is replaying, right now, in health care reform.
Whatever you think of health care reform, there is something deeply, deeply troubling with the notion that it is becoming increasingly common that legislators pass massively long transformational pieces of legislation without even taking the time to actually parse through them. Very disturbing….
Lighter topics discussed include the BCS system for college football and what I call the "tyranny of hardwood floors." Whole transcript and audio here.