The SEC's lateral thinking

Author: | Published: 1 Aug 2007

Years after the adoption and implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the competitiveness of US capital markets in the face of increasing globalization has become a national political issue. But rather than wring its hands over how to make the US market the best in the world, the Securities and Exchange Commission has come up with a lateral solution. By opening up to the rest of the world, it will make the US a more important, if not critical, place to operate. And it will enable it to lead the worldwide debate on regulatory standards.

The debate over US competitiveness has its origins in a speech given in November 2006 by US treasury secretary Henry Paulson at the New York Economic Club, after news reports of the decline in foreign company IPOs in the US. Paulson stressed that the US capital markets are the deepest, most efficient, and most transparent in...