Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me begin, again, by commending the thorough approach this Committee is taking under your leadership.
While the work of this Committee may not attract the headlines that we see when the Ken Lays and Andrew Fastows of the world are subpoenaed to appear before Congress, I believe that the careful and deliberative work of this Committee is what will ultimately reform the shortcomings in our current accounting system.
Mr. Chairman, I have approached the issues before us with an open mind and have no pre-determined conclusions. I appreciate the interesting and diverse opinions of the witnesses we have had so far. And, I welcome the witnesses before us today.
We need to continue to explore the serious policy questions at hand.
In particular, we have heard repeatedly that there is a culture of gamesmanship where earnings management is commonplace. We should explore this issue further. Changing a culture is a lot more complicated than changing the law.
In addition, I hope we will continue to examine:
I also think it is worth exploring what should be done to help whistleblowers who are trapped in a corporate culture that discourages dissent, and to ask what more needs to be done to promote investor education.
All of these issues are complicated. There are differing points of view on many of these matters and we must carefully consider how best to proceed. However, I have every confidence that by working cooperatively, we can put an end to the problems in the industry and we can re-assure the American people that our securities market is the best in the world.
Thank you, Chairman Sarbanes.