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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Takes Action To Facilitate Reopening of Fair and Orderly Equities Markets



Washington, D.C., September 14, 2001 – The Commission today announced that it has taken the following steps to facilitate the planned reopening of U.S. equities markets on Monday, September 17, 2001. These markets are the world's strongest and most vibrant, in spite of the heinous acts of last Tuesday.

The Commission has used, for the first time, its emergency powers to ease certain regulatory restrictions temporarily. The key actions are the following:

  • Public companies may repurchase their own securities without meeting the volume and timing restrictions that ordinarily would apply.
  • Public companies that repurchase their shares will not have adverse accounting consequences.
  • Brokerage firms may calculate net capital without considering the days the market was closed.
  • Mutual funds may borrow from and lend to related parties.
  • In order to facilitate mutual fund board meetings, the Commission has relaxed requirements for in-person meetings.
  • Accounting firms may provide bookkeeping services to and help recover records for clients with offices in and around the World Trade Center, without violating auditor independence rules.

Copies of the orders and interpretive release are available on the Commission's website, at www.sec.gov.

The SEC has placed additional information for investors and market participants on its website, and established information telephone lines for each. Investors can e-mail questions to the SEC staff at help@sec.gov. The toll-free investor telephone number is 1-800-SEC-0330. Firms seeking additional relief under the Financial Responsibility Rules should call the SEC staff at 202-942-7891, 202-942-7892 or 202-942-7893. All other firm inquiries should be directed to 202-942-0069.

The Commission will monitor the situation. Investors should be assured that U.S. markets will function effectively and fairly, and that market and investor protections are squarely in place. Market participants should be assured that the Commission and its staff will be available to respond to issues raised by the extraordinary circumstances of this week.

Regulatory and Interpretive Releases

   *   Emergency Order: Issuer Repurchase of Securities
   *   Mutual Fund Exemptive Order
   *   Interpretive Release on Auditor Assistance to Clients
   *   Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change: Temporary Use by Amex of NYSE Facilities
   *   Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Changes: Temporary Trading of Amex Options on the Phlx to Respond to Market Developments
   *   Accelerated Approval of CBOE Proposed Rule Change: Temporary Access of Amex Members to Respond to Market Developments
   *   Notice of Immediate Effectiveness of CBOE Proposed Rule Change Regarding the Temporary Use by Amex of NYSE Facilities
   *   Calculation of Average Weekly Trading Volume under Rule 144 and Termination of a Rule 10b5-1 Trading Plan



Modified: 09/21/2001