NASAA statement on WorldCom, Wall Street investigations, SEC resources, investor confidence

The following is a statement from NASAA President and Alabama Securities Director Joseph Borg (June 26, 2002):

“The latest Wall Street revelation, that WorldCom manipulated its revenues and profits, continues to undermine investor confidence. Who can blame investors for feeling skittish or scared — when they read about phony accounting numbers, double talking stock analysts and misleading equity research?

“How to rebuild investor confidence? Not by effectively shutting down investigations, which Morgan Stanley and others are trying to do with the states` investigations into whether Wall Street analysts misled investors. You rebuild investor confidence not by cover-up but by uncovering the truth, finding problems, fixing them, and holding those responsible for wrongdoing to account.

“To do that, all securities regulators — especially the federal regulators — need more resources. Even before Enron, Global Crossing and now WorldCom, the SEC was stretched thin. The administration and Congress need to give the SEC the money to do its job. We are spending tens of billions of dollars to fight a war to protect our national security. Surely we can afford to invest several hundred million additional dollars to protect our financial security.

“Policy makers and lawmakers should remember that in this market investor confidence is as important as consumer confidence.”

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2002 Headlines, Newsroom