The globalization theme I mentioned in my previous entry continued when Michael Oxley (yes, the SOX guy) took the stage for a lunchtime address. He talked about how amazing it is to see emerging markets, like China, make such an impact on capital markets and how the spread of the capital markets into these markets is improving the lots of people living in those countries. While he praised the US system for its resiliency and commented on the investor culture we’ve become over the past 30 years, he said more needs to be done in light of the subprime mortgage crisis. He predicts that there will be more legislation to address the issues of transparency and accountability that still linger.
Prior to Mr. Oxley (now a vice chairman at the NASDAQ), John White, director of the division of corporation finance for the SEC, took the stage to talk about the SEC’s focus on communications. Technology, including the Internet, is changing the way people communicate, including IROs, White said. However he cautioned everyone — rather seriously — against ignoring regulation in online communication. “Web site disclosures are no different from paper [disclosures],” he said.
Finally, I’ll end the day with two quotes that I found particularly interesting: Jerre Stead, chairman and CEO, IHS: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you realize why.”
Jeff Morgan, president and CEO, NIRI, quoting what he said is a popular saying in Washington: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”