Wednesday, July 18, 2007
SEC Chair Cox is expected, in a speech today, to call on Congress to strengthen the Government Accounting Standards Board, which sets accounting standards for state and local governments, in light of the size, importance and complexity of the municipal bond market. San Diego recently settled charges with the SEC that it failed to disclose completely information about its health-care and pension obligations. Among the Board's weaknesses: compliance with its standards is voluntary, and it has no independent funding source. In addition, public access to governmental financial information is limited. Chair Cox is also expected to announce that the SEC will review brokerage firms for its compliance with rules banning "pay to play," or the practice of making political donations to get municipal bond business. NYTimes, S.E.C. Chief Seeks New Clout for Board Overseeing States; WSJ, SEC Chief Wants to Boost Oversight of Muni Market.