Monday, July 26, 2010
Financial regulations have become onerous to the point that German firms that once sought listings on the New York Stock Exchange in order to benefit from America's business climate are now fleeing -- to the relative freedom of their home country:
The double-digit costs [in millions --ed] of SEC compliance, however, are paltry compared the hundreds of millions of dollars in liability -- either through lawsuits or investigations and prosecutions -- to which a US listing can expose foreign firms. Shareholders can take companies to court far more easily under SEC regulations than those of Germany's stock market regulator. And the US Justice Department and the SEC have been more assertive in investigating publicly traded companies following a wave of investment fraud schemes...As reader Dismuke put it in an email, "[A]ll of this is because of laws Bush signed into effect. God help us all by the time the recently signed Wall Street 'reform' kicks in."
"All it takes is one person in the company to make a mistake and (an executive) can go to jail." Executives who sign off on incorrect financial statements can face a sentence of up to 20 years. [one minor edit]
Several Interesting Posts
Part of why the Paul Graham article I encountered over the weekend resonated so much with me is that I'm being tugged in several directions mentally (and will be for several more weeks) -- right after a couple of weeks that saw me away from my computer most of the time.
If, like me, you haven't been by ReasonPharm or Thrutch in some time, go to either and start scrolling.
At ReasonPharm, I particularly recommend Stella Zawistowski's post on fetal damage:
Here's the problem I have: once the child is born, an actual human being has been harmed by the actions of its mother. Suppose, say, a woman were being treated for multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, with thalidomide. (Yes, that thalidomide, the stuff that caused babies to be born with grotesque deformities in the '60s -- it also works against certain types of cancer.) Suppose further that she's of the right age to get pregnant and she ignores her doctor's warnings about the risk of birth defects. Nine months later, she gives birth to a baby with no arms. In that, case, it was the woman's action that directly caused an actual human being to have no arms. According to Dr. Peikoff, such an action would be monstrous and immoral (agreed!) but shouldn't be legally punishable (here's where I'm not sure).I have to admit that this is something I haven't considered before. Paul Hsieh's suggestion that tort law might provide a solution sounds reasonable to me.
But, to me that's a case for why the state must leave a woman alone during her pregnancy, ... However, if she takes a particular drug during her pregnancy and it can be proven after the child is born that her actions caused it irreparable harm, I maintain that a crime has been committed.
And, over at Thrutch, it's orchid time again. I always enjoy the orchid pictures.
Paul Hsieh on ...
... "Donald Berwick, the Pro-Gun Control Lobby, and Paternalism," this time.
Lordy mercy! He's writing 'em faster than I can read them now.
New Blog Feature
Keep a sharp eye out for a new blog feature based on reader questions from Formspring. In a minor moment of inspiration yesterday evening, I came up with a good name for it, but that's a surprise. Until then, I didn't really have a particular plan in mind for these, but I do now.
If I keep getting questions like the three I got over the weekend, it ought to be fun.
Alfred Hitchcock did it with more finesse.
That's what she said.