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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Questions for the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation

At the Financial Times, there is an "Ask the expert: US capital markets" where you can ask Glenn Hubbard questions about the recent report recommending that regulations be changed to, among other things, make it more difficult for shareholders to file lawsuits:

Ask the expert: US capital markets: Q&A: US capital markets The committee on capital markets regulation, chaired by Glenn Hubbard, a former economic adviser to President George W. Bush, has recommended that companies and auditors should be better protected against costly shareholder lawsuits to stem the tide of litigation endangering the competitiveness of US markets

The findings of the influential group are part of wide-ranging efforts by business leaders and politicians to rein in a regulatory and legal system they say is stifling the ability of the US to compete with financial centres such as London and Hong Kong.

The committee also calls for excluding small companies from some of the more demanding provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.

Mr Hubbard will be online for an hour on Tuesday from 12pm GMT (7am US eastern time) to answer readers’ questions on why US capital markets have fallen behind.

Post a question now to ask@ft.com or use the online submissions form below.

I used the submission form:

Dear Dr. Hubbard:

Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions. I have several:

1. Given that the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation received $500,000 from the C.V. Starr Foundation, a group with strong ties to Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, the former AIG chief who is fighting civil charges filed by the New York attorney general, and given that two other committee members, Wilbur L. Ross Jr and Kenneth C. Griffin, contributed a few hundred thousand dollars more, why should we believe the Committee was independent? Is it a coincidence that the committee's findings are favorable to the donors?

2. Can you describe how the interests of investors, the public, businesses, etc. were represented in the make-up on the Committee? For example, who represented the interests of individual shareholders on the Committee?

3. What empirical work is available to support the Committee's recommendations beyond what is in the report? Is there a substantial body of work published in academic journals to support these recommendations? Or are they based upon a narrower set of papers that have not been thoroughly checked for robustness?

4. Echoing Larry Summers, will you encourage the administration to "focus as intensely on helping the American manufacturing, American agriculture and American health-care industries as it is on this particular aspect of financial services"? What steps can you point to that the administration has taken to help with these problems?

Thank you,

Mark Thoma
Eugene, Oregon

I have more questions, but didn't want to overdo it. If you have questions for Dr. Hubbard, the form is here.

    Posted by on Saturday, December 2, 2006 at 06:30 PM in Economics, Politics, Regulation | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (12)


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