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American Corporate Reform Abroad: Sarbanes-Oxley and the Foreign Private Issuer

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 January 2004

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After Enron, WorldCom, and other US business scandals, politicians in Washington faced enormous pressure to take swift action to address seemingly widespread malfeasance at US corporations. So only twenty-nine days from the disclosure of the accounting irregularities at WorldCom, Congress passed with near unanimity the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. When President Bush signed the law, he claimed it was one of ‘the most far-reaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.’ The President significantly understated the case, however, because the Act does much more than reform the laws applicable to US-based issuers – a substantial number of the Act's provisions reach overseas to affect foreign private issuers whose securities trade in the United States.

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© T.M.C. Asser Press 2003

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