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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sarbanes-Oxley and the Law of Unintended Consequences (part 3,249)

Most legislators never learn about the Law of Unintended Consequences. As far as Sarbanes-Oxley goes, we've only just begun seeing the effects of this legislation on the capital markets. We already know that the increased costs associated with SOX have resulted in many companies choosing to go private. Now, it seems that these costs also affect the decision to go public (from the Wall Street Journal):

Some public companies have groused that the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-governance law has them thinking they ought to go private. Now some young companies say the same legislation is slowing their trip to stock market.

Citing additional costs and requirements stemming from the 2002 law -- which, among other things, requires chief executives to sign off on financial statements -- some of these companies are taking private-equity money rather than opting for a fast initial public offering of stock. While they are still aiming for an eventual IPO, the companies are taking extra time to make sure their houses are in order.
Click here for the whole article (note: online subscription required).

At least it's given academics a whole new set of questions to examine (and write papers on).

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