The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: a Cost-Benefit Analysis Using the U.S. Banking Industry

3138 Words Mar 13th, 2013 13 Pages
The Journal of Applied Business Research – January/February 2010

Volume 26, Number 1

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: A Cost-Benefit Analysis Using The U.S. Banking Industry
Philip H. Siegel, Augusta State University, USA David P. Franz, San Francisco State University, USA John O’Shaughnessy, San Francisco State University, USA

ABSTRACT There are many analyses of the economic effects that regulations, in general, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act, in particular, have had on American business. This analysis looks at the effect that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has had on the American banking industry. The return on assets and return on equity were obtained from the Federal Reserve Bank for all SEC-registered and nonregistered banks for the period 2000
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According to Benston (1977) an unaware public pays for government-required accounting disclosure. Sunstein (1999) claims that disclosure of information allows the federal government to control public and private conduct. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Over the decades accounting regulations have come from various sources. The Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Internal Revenue Service and Interstate Commerce Commission are examples of regulatory bodies that promulgate accounting regulations. A more recent example occurred during the 1970s. During the Watergate era there were a number of investigations, some of which affected American business. One of the investigations, conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1975, revealed that 19 publiclyheld corporations had made illegal campaign contributions and that these contributions were made from cash accounts that had not been recorded on the corporation’s books. (Heldack, 1977) This prompted the SEC to launch an investigation into what were considered ―questionable payments.‖ What came out of the investigation was that many U.S. multinational corporations were making hundreds of millions of dollars in ―questionable payments‖ to foreign officials to obtain business. As a result, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) was unanimously adopted by Congress in 1977. Bribery of foreign officials to obtain business for the corporation

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