U.S. More Competitive than Sarbox Critics May Think

Lora Bentley

Since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act became law in 2002, critics have complained that it does more harm than good.


It costs too much to implement -- both in cash and in man hours. It's causing foreign companies to delist and private companies to remain private -- or to head for markets like London or Hong Kong. All in all, they've said, it's causing the U.S. to lose its place at or near the top of the economic ladder.


Though Sarbanes-Oxley and an overly-complicated patent law system do make it harder for smaller businesses to compete, an article in U.S. News and World Report suggests the U.S. has certainly not lost its competitiveness. Here's an excerpt:

...fearful reports and media headlines don't capture the whole picture: In the World Economic Forum's latest Global Competitiveness Report, the U.S. placed first. U.S. universities continue to dominate: In the latest ranking of world universities compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, American schools took eight of the top 10 spots. And though China and India produce many engineers, they struggle to match U.S. quality.

Moreover, regulators and legislators continue to address the concerns of small businesses. The SEC extended the Sarbox compliance deadline for small businesses so that a committee of experts could study the costs and benefits of compliance. And, as the U.S. News piece indicates, Congress and the president approved the America Competes Act last year to provide improved science research and education.

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