Many commentators these days, both progressive and conservative, decry a lack of opportunities for the American middle class, the concentration of certain industries under a few owners, and the tilt of startup funding toward a few large cities. An underlying cause of much of this is a bipartisan corporate-reform law enacted 20 years ago Saturday.
On July 30, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The bill had cleared the Senate 99-0 and passed the House 423-3, with only Republican Reps. Mac Collins of Georgia, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Ron Paul of Texas dissenting. Coming on the heels of scandals at Enron and WorldCom, it was touted as a method for cracking down on accounting fraud at big companies and firms.
Twenty years later, legitimate entrepreneurs and ordinary investors are punished by the law’s costly mandates. Sarbanes-Oxley has permanently altered the landscape of business growth and development.
Read the full article at the Wall Street Journal.