In July, President Bush called for a â€œnew era of corporate integrity,â€? offering potential solutions to the corporate corruption and scandals that marred the first half of 2002. Just in time. According to a June 2002 Gallup poll, a majority of Americans favor reform. Their priorities include simplifying the stock rating system of financial services firms (59 percent favor), increasing funding and authority for the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide stricter oversight of analysts (57 percent) and prohibiting analysts from receiving compensation as a result of investment banking deals (56 percent). And while more Americans favor enforcing existing laws over creating new ones, according to a July 2002 Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 59 percent also say they're afraid â€œregulators will not go far enough toward raising the standards of accountability and restoring confidence in the markets and U.S. corporations.â€?
Americans are more in favor of government regulations than they were seven years ago.
What is your view of government regulations: Most are necessary and protect consumers or the environment, or most are unnecessary and harm the economy?
|Most are necessary||52%||40%|
|Most are unnecessary||30%||47%|
|Some of both||13%||6%|
Which statement do you agree with more concerning the current corporate accounting scandals?
|The President and Congress should pass tougher new laws and regulations to prevent corporate fraud and questionable accounting practices.||33%|
|The President and Congress should not pass new laws, but instead should focus on enforcing existing laws and investigating and prosecuting firms and corporate officials that have broken the rules.||63%|
Source: Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, July 2002