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SEC Special Studies Archive: 2003

The Commission or Commission staff often undertake special projects to study and report on current trends and issues facing the securities industry. These files will be updated on a periodic basis.

Studies currently available include:

Additional Archives

Date Study
Oct 21, 2003 Report on Administrative Proceedings for the Period April 1, 2003 through September 30, 2003
Sep. 29, 2003 Implications of the Growth of Hedge Funds
At the request of the Commission, the staff conducted a comprehensive study of hedge funds, their operations, their service providers and their interactions with investors and the markets. The Report outlines the staff's factual findings from the study, identifies concerns and recommends certain regulatory and other modifications to improve the current system of hedge fund regulation and oversight.
Jul. 25, 2003 Study Pursuant to Section 108(d) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 on the Adoption by the United States Financial Reporting System of a Principles-Based Accounting System
Section 108(d) directs the Commission to study the adoption of a more principles-based approach to standard setting in the U.S. The staff study concludes that objectives-oriented standards meet the objectives of principles-based standards and would, if properly implemented, result in more transparent information being provide to investors while holding management and auditors responsible for providing financial information which conforms to the objectives of the accounting standards.
Jul. 15, 2003 Review of the Proxy Process Regarding the Nomination and Election of Directors
In April 2003, the Commission directed the Division of Corporation Finance to formulate possible changes in the proxy rules and regulations and their interpretations regarding procedures for the election of corporate directors. This staff report summarizes prior Commission action and discusses alternatives for increasing shareholder participation in the proxy process regarding the nomination and election of directors and otherwise improving the proxy process in this area.
* Review of the Proxy Process and Appendix A - Summary of Comments (in HTML)
* Review of the Proxy Process (in PDF Format)
* Appendix A - Summary of Comments (in PDF Format)
Apr. 15, 2003 Report on Administrative Proceedings for Period October 1, 2002 through March 31, 2003
Apr. 7, 2003 Interagency Paper on Sound Practices to Strengthen the Resilience of the U.S. Financial System
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission identified sound practices to strengthen the resilience of critical U.S. financial markets and minimize the immediate systemic effects of a wide-scale disruption. The paper applies most directly to the clearing and settlement activities of a limited number of financial institutions.
Mar. 11, 2003 Staff Report: Joint SEC/NASD/NYSE Report of Examinations of Broker-Dealers Regarding Discounts on Front-End Sales Charges on Mutual Funds
Report of the Staff from the Securities and Exchange Commission, NASD and the New York Stock Exchange regarding whether investors are receiving the benefit of available discounts on front-end sales charges in mutual fund transactions. This report contains Staff's findings, conclusions and remedial actions.
Feb. 3, 2003 Staff Report: Enhancing Disclosure in the Mortgage-Backed Securities Markets
Report of the Task Force formed by staff of the Department of Treasury, Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight and the SEC to conduct a study of disclosures in offerings of mortgage-backed securities ("MBS"). The purpose of the joint study was to evaluate current disclosure practices and consider whether disclosure enhancements are desirable in assisting investors to make informed investment decisions. This report contains the Task Force's findings, conclusions, and recommendations regarding enhanced MBS disclosures.
Jan. 24, 2003 Report on the Role and Function of Credit Rating Agencies in the Operation of the Securities Markets
Report Pursuant to Section 702 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 — regarding the role and function of credit rating agencies in the operation of the securities markets. Specifically, the report addresses the role of credit rating agencies in the evaluation of issuers of securities; the importance of that role to investors and the functioning of the securities markets; any impediments to the accurate appraisal by credit rating agencies of the financial resources and risks of issuers of securities; any barriers to entry into the business of acting as a credit rating agency, and any measures needed to remove such barriers; any measures which may be required to improve the dissemination of information concerning such resources and risks when credit rating agencies announce credit ratings; and any conflicts of interest in the operation of credit rating agencies and measures to prevent such conflicts or ameliorate the consequences of such conflicts.
Jan. 24, 2003 Study and Report on Violations by Securities Professionals
Report Pursuant to Section 703 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 – Regarding the number of securities professionals practicing before the Commission who 1) have aided and abetted a violation of the Federal securities laws but who have not been sanctioned, disciplined, or otherwise penalized as a primary violator in any administrative action or civil proceeding, and 2) have been primary violators of the Federal securities laws between 1998 and 2001.
Jan. 24, 2003 Report Pursuant to Section 308(c) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
Regarding enforcement actions by the Commission that have included proceedings to obtain civil penalties or disgorgements over the past five years, and other methods to more efficiently, effectively, and fairly provide restitution to injured investors and to improve the collection rates for civil penalties and disgorgement
Jan. 24, 2003 Report Pursuant to Section 704 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
Regarding enforcement actions by the Commission involving violations of reporting requirements imposed under the securities laws, and restatements of financial statements over the past five years, to identify areas of reporting that are most susceptible to fraud, inappropriate manipulation, or inappropriate earnings management.

Modified: 04/28/2009