Table: A Timetable of Reform
New rules governing research analysts, proposed by the stock exchanges and adopted by the Securities & Exchange Commission, took effect. Among the changes: Wall Street firms may no longer pay analysts for work on specific investment-banking deals, and investment bankers are prohibited from influencing stock ratings.
The New York Stock Exchange board votes on whether to adopt proposed new corporate governance standards. Among the proposals: independent directors must comprise a majority of boards; audit, compensation, and nominating committees must be composed of independent directors only; shareholders must approve all stock option plans.
CEOs and CFOs of companies with more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue must certify the accuracy of all financial statements since 2001.
The SEC could begin hiring new enforcement officers, and replacing outdated technology, if Congress allocates an extra $100 million, as the President is requesting. That would be on top of $487 million already budgeted for the 2003 fiscal year.
Wall Street firms must disclose if they own 1% or more of the stock of any company that is the subject of an analyst's research.
Accounting-reform legislation now moving in the Senate calls for a new oversight board to be in place 90 days after passage, or by mid-November if President Bush signs the measure by the August congressional recess.