Oxley Says Sarbox Enactment Wasn't Rushed, Took Nearly a Year

Lora Bentley

More than once since the financial markets crisis has dominated the news, observers have suggested Congress should take care not to rush additional regulation so that we don't end up with another Sarbanes-Oxley-like compliance burden.


Just last week, retired Congressman Michael Oxley took issue with a Wall Street Journal writer who made the suggestion that Sarbanes-Oxley was passed "in a matter of days." He pointed out:

Enron filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 2, 2001. The first congressional hearing was held on Dec. 12 of that year in the House Committee on Financial Services. That was the beginning of a legislative process that culminated in the bill's enactment on July 30, 2002 ... While I guess one could say that Congress passed Sarbanes-Oxley "in a matter of days," the actual number of days was 230.

Whether legislation is rushed or not can only be determined in the context of the events surrounding its enactment, I think. And in a crisis, sometimes "rushed" is the only option.

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