Last week at a conference on financial regulation, a Georgetown University law professor suggested the Securities and Exchange Commission could stand to learn a few things about information gathering from the Central Intelligence Agency. According to CFO.com, Donald Langevoort said CIA-style investigations, including meeting contacts in the field and people "poring over data" would be "absolutely necessary" given the financial crisis in the U.S.
Langevoort, who teaches securities law, also suggested the SEC focus its probes more on individual executives involved in wrongdoing rather than firms and that it shouldn't be so quick to settle cases, which often allows executives to get off too easily.
Finally, Langevoort argued that the "clawback" provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley section 304 should be rewritten to make it enforceable rather than encouraging executives not to make restatements in order "not to trigger section 304." Corporate shareholder attorney Jay Eisenhofer added that shareholders should also be allowed to initiate clawback proceedings under section 304.