Survey results released this week by NYSE Group, Inc. found that only 6 percent of respondents -- CEOs from more than 200 companies -- think that Sarbanes-Oxley benefits investors, but that 57 percent of respondents think Sarbox does benefit their companies.
Somehow those responses seem incongruous to us. If complying with the requirements benefits a company, by improving processes, for instance, shouldn't the end result -- a better-run, more efficient business -- necessarily benefit investors?
Then again, we must also keep the source of the survey in mind. The NYSE and other Sarbox opponents are up in arms because the high cost of compliance is driving companies to drop their U.S. listings or forego listing in the U.S. altogether. If they can argue their point in terms of the investors' losses, so much the better for them.
We've said it before, but it bears repeating: Where you come down on this issue depends on your agenda.