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November 12, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission's new board to oversee the accounting industry may step aside because of questions about his involvement with a failed investment firm. Former FBI Director William H. Webster told the Wall Street Journal that he was concerned about "his value to the board at this point." But Webster said he had not made a final decision to quit. "I don't have to prove anything to myself," Webster told the Journal. "I just have to do what I think is right."
November 20, 2002 | From Bloomberg News
As expected, the SEC on Tuesday proposed new rules governing corporate accounting, including a plan to bar auditors from providing corporate clients with consulting services that may pose conflicts of interest. The proposals implement prohibitions against auditors providing information technology and eight other consulting services that were detailed in a federal corporate governance law enacted in July.
October 22, 2002 | Associated Press
The White House defended on Monday its request for Congress to give the Securities and Exchange Commission $200 million less than was demanded by a new law to fight corporate fraud. Democratic lawmakers and consumer advocates assailed the Bush budget request as an attempt to undercut the corporate crackdown law enacted this summer in response to a wave of accounting scandals.
August 12, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a revamped rule Friday that would require companies to provide compensation details for top-paid nonexecutives who make "significant policy decisions." The proposal would for the first time require companies to disclose the pay of as many as three nonexecutive employees in addition to the compensation of five top managers.
February 22, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
A proposal to exempt 80% of public companies from having auditors certify their internal controls "simply goes too far," former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt told regulators. In a Feb. 13 letter to the SEC, a group including Volcker and Levitt said the proposal would undercut the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act by failing to safeguard against future accounting and company fraud.
March 16, 2006 | Rebecca Trounson, Times Staff Writer
University of California President Robert C. Dynes, under fire for an executive compensation controversy at the public university, on Wednesday announced steps aimed at strengthening controls over UC pay practices and reiterated his commitment to fixing the problems. Addressing UC's Board of Regents at the beginning of a two-day meeting at UCLA, a somber-looking Dynes said he was "intent on ... tightening up the system so the things that have happened do not happen again."
September 14, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
The Securities and Exchange Commission should look at ways to make it easier for shareholders to nominate corporate directors as it amends corporate proxy-access rules, SEC Commissioner Annette L. Nazareth said Wednesday. "I'm quite certain that all the commissioners are interested in having effective shareholder democracy," Nazareth told reporters after giving a speech in Arlington, Va. "The question is: What is the mechanism to have effective shareholder democracy?"
August 11, 2002 | Tom Petruno
One of the biggest issues companies face in deciding whether to expense the cost of stock options is that there is no agreement on how best to calculate that cost. The ultimate cost of an option, after all, is unknown--it will depend on how the stock performs in the market and how many options are exercised by executives and other employees.
Amid the controversy about whether companies should treat employee stock options as a normal cost, only about 50 of the nation's 13,500 publicly traded companies--that's 0.4%--have announced plans to voluntarily make the switch. And it's by no means certain that the trickle will become a torrent any time soon. Standing in the way is the debate raging over the effect the accounting change might have on the companies' financial results, their stock prices and their employees.
The Securities and Exchange Commission continued to scramble Thursday to deal with the rush of sworn statements by executives certifying their companies' earnings, as required by an SEC edict. "We're back into the paper age, with all its chaos," said SEC spokesman John Heine in Washington, when asked why a number of companies that said they filed their certifications had not been listed as such on the agency's Web site at midday Thursday.
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