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Professor John Coffee Addresses Lawmakers on 10th Anniversary of Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Acclaimed Securities Law Expert Addresses Urgent Questions Surrounding Investor Confidence and Proposed Regulatory Reforms

Media Contact: Public Affairs, 212-854-2650 or publicaffairs@law.columbia.edu

July 26, 2012—Professor John C. Coffee Jr. testified before Congress on Thursday about the negative impact of waning investor confidence on capital markets and job creation in the United States.

Coffee’s testimony to the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises came on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a law passed in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom collapses that aimed to improve the quality of corporate financial reporting.

In his remarks before lawmakers, Coffee addressed increased investor skepticism amid recent controversies in global finance, including allegations that major U.S. and international banks colluded in fixing the critical Libor benchmark rate. 

Coffee, the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, also criticized the proposed Fostering Innovation Act, a bill that would relieve companies from certain regulations in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The planned bill, he said, “confers immunity on mature companies that may have a dubious regulatory history” and contains provisions that will “be gamed by some issuers.”

A copy of Coffee’s testimony can be viewed here.

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