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Someplace Like AmericaTales from the New Great Depression$
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Dale Maharidge

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262478

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262478.001.0001

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The Big Boys

The Big Boys

Chapter:
(p.168) 22 The Big Boys
Source:
Someplace Like America
Author(s):

Dale Maharidge

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520262478.003.0024

Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff to U.S. President Barack Obama, had worked hard to lobby Congress to weaken the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, nicknamed “Sarbox” in business circles. This act had been passed in 2002, after the WorldCom and Enron scandals, to protect investors against fraud by ensuring proper auditing. It became law under George W. Bush, when Republicans controlled the U.S. House of Representatives, and was termed the most “pro-investor” act in a quarter century. The Obama administration, wanting to appear friendly to small business going into the 2010 mid-term elections, was backing a proposal to exempt smaller corporations from Sarbox requirements. Arthur Levitt, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, told the New York Times that he found it “surreal” that Democrats were trying to destroy that reform. Without giving investors transparency, Levitt said, “the whole system is worthless.”

Keywords:   Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama, Congress, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Sarbox, fraud, George W. Bush, Arthur Levitt, Securities and Exchange Commission, reform

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