SEC Commissioner Christopher Cox chose his speech to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers to disclose that the regulatory agency was thinking about requiring companies to disclose more tax information, according to an Associated Press report.
According to an article written by AP reporter Joshua Freed, “SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said he discussed the subject over lunch recently with Mark Everson, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. Cox stressed that the idea is not a formal proposal. But if it’s enacted it would give investors a major new tool for evaluating the financial health of publicly traded companies.
“Cox mentioned the possibility of requiring additional tax disclosures at the end of remarks at the annual meeting of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
“He said he and Everson ‘recently had lunch to discuss in part whether or not side-by-side presentation of tax reporting and financial reporting would be beneficial for investors. And that topic is what I would call right now intellectual R&D,’ or research and development.
“‘I don’t want to broadcast to all these journalists that we’re about to do something on that. But I want you to be aware that that conversation takes place,’ he said. ‘The object has to be clarity, so we want to make sure that whatever we do in this respect adds clarity, and doesn’t just add a lot more facts and details that creates a problem.’
Read more here.
According to this MarketWatch story, Cox also said that the SEC is mulling more hedge fund regulation.
The MarketWatch story also included this quote from Cox on reporter subpoenas: “Sometimes journalists being human beings, are themselves going to be the focus of law-enforcement attention. We will not always be able to guarantee that journalists will be hermetically sealed from their responsibilities as ordinary citizens.”
A Reuters story using part of the same quote and discussing the subpoena issue in more depth can be found here.