Copyright (c) 2003 Wayne State University Law School
The Wayne Law Review
THE INTEGRATION CONUNDRUM: 1 DEBILITATING FAILURES OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION MUST BE ADDRESSED AS U.S. CORPORATE MALFEASANCE IS "GETTING SERIOUS, SO SERIOUS" 2
48 Wayne L. Rev. 1305
andre douglas pond cummings +
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has come under intense scrutiny in recent months 3 as the United States capital markets have vacillated wildly on the heels of the collapse of U.S. corporate giants Enron Corporation and WorldCom Inc. and big five accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP. 4 Enron's board of directors and management have been criminally charged and vilified 5 and the energy giant has, for all intents and purposes, collapsed; 6 Arthur Andersen, Enron's accountant, has been criminally charged, convicted and ruined; 7 and WorldCom has had fraud charges levied against it by the SEC and faces a grueling bankruptcy, 8 and at the same time the SEC has similarly come under severe criticism. The harsh criticisms lodged against the SEC malign the government agency for its failure to appropriately monitor the accounting profession, 9 detect particular reporting illegalities or irregularities in various collapsing public companies, 10 and ultimately for its failure to honor its charge to protect the United States investing public and secure the integrity of the U.S. capital markets. 11
At this volatile economic time and at a time when consumer and investor confidence is severely shaken, 12 former SEC chairperson Harvey L. Pitt openly acknowledged the weaknesses of the SEC and the need for immediate reforms within his agency, particularly with regard to monitoring and regulating the accounting profession. 13 Former chairman Pitt has stated decisively that "restoring public confidence" is one of the SEC's most urgent priorities. 14 Meanwhile, others have ...
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