From: Chris Lish
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Chair Mary Jo White
Subject: Public Companies Should be Honest with Shareholders -- Business and Financial Disclosure Required by Regulation S-K (S7-06-16)
Dear Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White,
I’m writing as a member of the public and a retail investor in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s request for comments on S7-06-16. I am deeply concerned that, because of the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, publicly traded corporations can spend investor's money on political activity in secret. I strongly encourage the Securities and Exchange Commission to require U.S. corporations to disclose all of their foreign subsidiaries, and the amount of taxes those subsidiaries owe the United States.
Investors deserve to know the ways corporations are buying elections, polluting our environment, affecting our economy, and more. And while corporations have little to no accountability to even their shareholders, disclosure is one solution that requires companies to consider the consequences--and the interests of their shareholders--before making decisions that affect their shareholders and regular Americans.
It’s time for corporations to be honest with their investors and the American people. We need to end the secrecy and give investors the information they deserve. I urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a rule requiring publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose all their political spending. Ideally, both shareholders and the public should be fully informed as to how much corporations spend on politics, and which candidates are being promoted or attacked. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SEC's web site.
Corporations should also be required to publicly disclose each year on a country-by-country basis their foreign subsidiaries and those subsidiaries’ revenues, profits, income tax paid, effective tax rate, accumulated profits, and number of employees.
It is critical that investors, lawmakers, and the general public have access to this information. We need to know where U.S. corporations are operating, whether they claim to be making significant profits in tax havens, how much tax--if any--they are paying on those profits, and the taxes they owe the United States.
Thank you for your consideration of my comments. Please do NOT add my name to your mailing list. I will learn about future developments on this issue from other sources.