Carper: Bush Plan Falls Short in Restoring Investor Confidence

WASHINGTON, DC – President Bush’s speech to Wall Street today sounded the right notes but did not go far enough to restore investor confidence, Senator Tom Carper said. Carper, who is a member of the Senate Banking Committee that reported out tough accounting reform legislation, said a truly independent board is needed to oversee the accounting industry. Carper issued the following statement on the President’s speech: “Our goal must be to restore investor confidence and get this economy moving again. With all due respect, the President’s plan falls short of that goal,” Carper said. “The increased criminal penalties for executives that commit fraud that he proposes are fine. I support them. All of us should. However, more punishment after the fact does not fully address the systemic problems raised by recent financial scandals.” “We must act now to restore investor confidence in our markets by creating a framework that will make it harder for fraud to occur in the first place. Investors rely on financial statements to make investment decisions. They rely on auditors to ensure that these financial statements are accurate. The Sarbanes legislation creates a truly independent board to oversee public accountants who perform this important function,” Carper said. “This new oversight is necessary to restore investor confidence and to help prevent more investors from being defrauded. I believe that the Senate will likely pass this much-needed bill this week. I fervently hope that the President will sign it,” Carper said.