Saturday, January 27, 2007

Spitzer and the Schumer/Bloomberg/McKinsey Report: Irony to make your eyebrows bleed

Unfortunately, I haven't yet had the chance to wade through the 141-page McKinsey report on New York's financial competitiveness. (Believe it or not, I have a real job.) However, U of Illinois professor Larry Ribstein, bless his Sarbanes-Oxley-hating heart, notes that NY governor and former attorney general Eliot Spitzer showed up with the report's sponsors, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, to help unveil the report:

Bloomberg and Schumer were joined at today's press conference by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who said the cost of complying with Sarbanes-Oxley is ``simply too great'' for small companies. ``That is why some reasonable changes there and elsewhere in the statute can and should be embraced,'' he said.
(See Bloomberg, Schumer Warn U.S. May Lose Financial Lead.)

However, Ribstein also quotes a WSJ op-ed that Spitzer made sure that the report didn't recommend anything about constraining states attorneys general from creating their own securities regulation through lawsuits and settlement agreements:
The study, however, didn't support making state attorneys general give up jurisdiction in some financial-services cases, an idea that Mr. Spitzer criticized when it was included in the report by the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation. Mr. Spitzer said he made sure the Bloomberg-Schumer recommendations didn't include such a provision.
Even for a New York politician, this level of hypocrasy is breathtaking. My hat is off to you, sir!

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