Speech by SEC Commissioner:
Open Meeting to Consider Securities Act Reform
Paul S. Atkins
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
October 26, 2004
Thank you Mr. Chairman. I agree with the comments made today about the staff and this proposal, one that I am particularly enthusiastic to support. This is a wonderful piece of work. Despite the heft of the proposal, we are actually lessening regulatory burdens and obstacles for the business community. So, once the lawyers and others pour over it and explain its significance to the marketplace, I expect (and hope) that you will receive a collective round of applause for your efforts.
There are many things that I like about this proposal - a few of which I want to highlight. First, it is a thoughtful attempt to bring our regulatory structure into the 21st century. Until now, our capital raising regulatory regime, the 1933 Act process, has proceeded along on a track independent of our periodic reporting regime under the 1934 Act. Of course, this is inefficient and nonsensical. This proposal attempts to rationalize this problem and, for lack of a better word, "credit" 1934 Act reporting companies in the capital raising regime. If the marketplace has the information it needs due to 1934 Act reporting, it does not make sense to have a company repeat similar information in a 1933 Act filing.
Second, this proposal should be a model for all future proposals on how the cost-benefit analysis and paperwork reduction act sections of our releases should read. The effort, thought, and consideration given in these sections are clear. Further, it is also clear that you have utilized our economists in crafting this proposal and the benefit from this collaborative effort is plain to see. This proposal's philosophy is on rock-solid footing and it is very transparent.
Lastly, the number of questions asked and the level of detail in the questions makes clear that you take the comment process seriously and that commenters will have clear direction on how to make this proposal even better at the final stages.
I would like to make one additional comment. I think it is fair to state that this proposal builds on a lot of work done by a whole host of former Corporation Finance Division staffers, including former Directors Brian Lane, David Martin and the late Linda Quinn, whom we all miss. They helped get the ball rolling on a lot of these ideas and I am thrilled to see that you have advanced the ball that much further. Congratulations to you, this is a proposal that you should be very proud of. I eagerly await the comments.