SEC Bows to Pressure – Pulls List of Those Linked to Terrorists

A month ago the SEC rolled out a list of companies officially linked to countries designated by the U.S. Secretary of State as state sponsors of terrorism. The SEC’s published list, which included Halliburton and other large companies, received more than 150,000 Internet hits. It also stirred a firestorm from business groups and lobbyists.

Under such pressure, the SEC has suspended publication of the controversial list indefinitely. In a release, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said that, while the agency “received many positive comments” over its listing, it also received negative comments regarding the lack of updated information.

Cox justified removal of the list by citing the agency’s commitment to “complete, accurate, and timely disclosure,” rather than simply admitting it succumbed to political pressure. Cox also questioned the need for a SEC list, stating that the issuers’ disclosures regarding their business contacts in the five named countries–Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria–“will continue to be available through the SEC’s EDGAR database.”

I ask the Commission: Doesn’t having the same information available on your site, although only available via a far more difficult search route, defy your excuse of a commitment to accuracy? Face it – you caved!

Shepherd Smith and Edwards represents investors nationwide in claims against members of the securities industry. If you, your firm or your pension fund has sustained losses as a result of fraud, negligence or other wrongdoing contact us to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Text of the commission’s statement is available here.