Presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) was one of only three members of Congress to vote against the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when it was still under consideration in 2002. This week, to commemorate the act's upcoming fifth anniversary, editors at Audit Trail asked Paul whether he had changed his mind in the past five years. The short answer: No.
In fact, Paul indicated that Sarbox reform is near the top of his agenda. He says:
Reform, or even repeal, of Sarbanes-Oxley remains one of my top priorities. As a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, I intend to continue to be an active participant in the debate over Sarbanes-Oxley and similar legislation.
Why? Paul made that clear early in the interview:
The damage inflicted on American businesses and capitol markets by Sarbanes-Oxley has strengthened my conviction that this legislation should be repealed. In 2000, nine of every 10 dollars raised by foreign companies were raised in the United States. In 2005, nine of the 10 largest offerings were not registered in the United States, and, of the largest 25 global offerings, only one took place in the United States. The number of public companies going private increased from 143 in 2001 to 245 in 2004. Sarbanes-Oxley is a, if not the, major reason companies are fleeing America's capital markets. Furthermore, according to some estimates, Sarbanes-Oxley has cost the very investors the law claims to protect at least $1.4 trillion.