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August 31, 2004

Sarbanes-Oxley Is Defended by Nasdaq CEO

By Editorial Staff

The Public Investor Protection Act of 2002, better known as Sarbanes-Oxley, works and, despite complaints, should not be reformed. That is the opinion of Robert Greifeld, president and chief executive of Nasdaq, who recently wrote an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal.

"Unlike some others on Wall Street, I support Sarbanes-Oxley. It a good thing," Greifeld wrote. He added that the reform didn't need to be reformed.

The law, which came about during a plethora of corporate scandals, called for stronger powers for corporate audit committees. It also provides for greater corporate disclosure, requiring tougher internal controls. Some of Sarbanes-Oxley's provisions have discouraged companies from going public, according to critics. Still, Greifeld disagreed. "There are 150 companies in the pipeline who have filed to list their IPOs with us," he said. "Year-to-date, more than 92 companies have gone public on Nasdaq, compared with just 10 in the same period in 2003. The executives of these companies understand they'll be governed by Sarbanes-Oxley."