(July 30, 2002) - “Signing The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is a critical step toward restoring investor confidence in our securities markets,” said Joseph Borg, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association and director of the Alabama Securities Commission. “We commend President Bush and the House and Senate leadership. The Act improves oversight of the accounting industry, forces corporate officers to stand by their financial statements, allows prosecutors to seek stiffer punishment of those who defraud investors and prevents certain securities related debts from being discharged in bankruptcy proceedings.
“We are also pleased that a provision we advocated in our comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission in April – a ban on retaliation by Wall Street firms against analysts who criticize current or potential investment banking clients – will be included in rules soon to be developed by the Commission.
“While stiffer penalties are helpful, failure to put white-collar criminals in jail will undermine even the toughest standards and put us back where we are today. To make this happen, legislators need to ensure that regulators and prosecutors — local, state and federal — have sufficient staff and resources to bring cases.”