MADISON, Wis. -- Paul Sarbanes, the former Democratic Senate Banking Committee chairman from Maryland and co-author of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, will keynote the World Council of Credit Unions' 2008 World Credit Union Conference. This year's event takes place in Hong Kong July 13-16.
Sarbanes and then-House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-Ohio) co-authored the 2002 bill that created a strong independent oversight board that monitors the auditors of public companies, sets accounting standards and investigates and disciplines accountants. The ensuing law holds corporate leaders personally responsible for the accuracy of their company's financial reports.
Created in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom failures, it also is credited for transforming the business world and restoring worldwide public confidence in Wall Street by holding companies liable for unethical actions.
The longtime credit union supporter's address will focus on the importance of good governance in today's business world. Sarbanes will discuss the events that led up to the passage of his bill, and its implications for businesses worldwide.
"The bottom-line message is that everyone should be interested in honesty and accountability, not only consumers but businesses as well," Sarbanes said. "The small percentage of business people who operate dishonestly can have a profound impact. They tarnish everyone and their actions can have widespread economic consequences."