Accounting and Disclosure After Enron

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting me to appear today to discuss accounting and disclosure issues in the wake of the Enron failure.

I come to you with a somewhat different background than many of those who have appeared before you so far—not as a professional accountant or securities regulator, but as an individual who has spent most of his career in a policy research setting and in government working on a variety of issues, some of which have touched on Enron-related questions. In particular, much of my research has focused on the financial services industry, while in my years in government, I have helped enforce the nation’s antitrust laws and overseen or worked with the budgets with a number of federal agencies, including the SEC. Of perhaps greater relevance to the current hearing, I have co-authored a book with my colleague from AEI here today, Peter Wallison, on what we believe to be some of the cutting edge issues in accounting and disclosure, and am in the process of co-authoring another book on disclosure policy in a world of increasingly global capital markets. I hope through these various experiences and endeavors I can provide the Committee with some fresh insight into the challenges it and the entire Congress now confront.

(The complete testimony is available using the View Full Testimony link above.)