July 19, 2011

President Obama Directs SEC & Other Agencies to Review Their Regulations

As noted in Jim Hamilton’s blog, President Obama issued an Executive Order two weeks ago asking the SEC, CFTC and other independent agencies to follow the cost-saving, burden-reducing principles when proposing and adopting regulations as outlined in an earlier Executive Order issued in January that was addressed to other federal agencies (at that time, other agencies were encouraged to follow this order – but none of the independent agencies have submitted an action plan, so hence this new non-binding Order to push them). This new Executive Order also asks the independent agencies to analyze existing regulations to identify any that are outdated or too burdensome. The agencies have 120 days to report their findings to the Office of Management and Budget.

The SEC & the “Plain Writing Act of 2010”

A few days ago, I had just sat down to draft a blog about the Plain Writing Act of 2010 when Dominic Jones thankfully beat me to the punch with this “Coming soon: SEC advice you can (maybe) understand.” I say “thankfully” because I had never heard of the Act nor have I seen anyone else write about it (other than this piece by Lois Yurow) even though implementation is due in a few months, i.e. October 13th. Here’s the SEC’s report on implementing the Act – and here’s the SEC’s Plain Writing Initiative.

Dominic writes that investors are unlikely to benefit from simpler prose in disclosure documents under the Act and I agree that is important. But I would even take that a step further and simplify how documents on Edgar are presented, long a pet peeve of mine. How can ordinary investors understand what a “DEFA14A” means? Or even a “Form 10-K” for that matter? The SEC’s forms and schedules should have labels that more clearly identify what they are…

More on “The Mentor Blog”

We continue to post new items daily on our blog – “The Mentor Blog” – for members. Members can sign up to get that blog pushed out to them via email whenever there is a new entry by simply inputting their email address on the left side of that blog. Here are some of the latest entries:

– Is Going Public Going Out of Style?
– Corporate Political Spending Post-Citizens United
– A 12-Step Program to Truly Good Corporate Governance
– Study: “Bridging Board Gaps”
– Fifth Call Objectives, and Incremental Alternatives

– Broc Romanek