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After the Enron and other business scandals in the early 2000s, the United States passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, adding a number of rules and reporting requirements for U.S. corporations. The business community argues that these reporting requirements are extremely costly and cumbersome with only minimal benefit. Most companies, they argue, were not engaged in illegal or unethical behavior, and they are being punished because of a few. One apparent impact of this law is that in 2005, "of the top 25 global initial public offer ings (when companies first offer their stock to the general market for purchase), only one was in the United States."6 This is business lost to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ. Are these kinds of compliance costs established by Sarbanes-Oxley fixed or variable costs? Why would firms care so much about these regulations? Can we expect to see the NYSE and NASDAQ try to buy or merge with other foreign stock exchanges in the near future?

Microeconomics, Economics

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