One after another, the stars are lining up. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board beat retreats from bright-line strictures on internal controls. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson sets up a kitchen cabinet of deregulators in hopes of preventing the flight of U.S. public issuers. On the legal front, auditors mount a strong push for tort reform. Here, David Letterman style, are ten signals that rulemakers and politicians are in a distinctly deregulatory mood when it comes to matters of corporate finance:
Shareholders can’t sue your auditors anymore.
Katie Couric seems underpaid.
The SEC is becoming a material girl.
Arlen Specter wants to protect your privacy.
Steve Jobs gets to keep his job.
Internal controls don’t keep you up at night.
Prosecutors get all mellow about attorney-client privilege.
Courtrooms are empty.
Hank Paulson applauds the retirements of Sarbanes and Oxley.