The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 9, 2002

Summary: A New Ethic of Corporate Responsibility

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A New Ethic of Corporate Responsibility

Today in New York President Bush will call for a new ethic of responsibility in America's corporate community. The President wants to expose and punish acts of corruption, move corporate accounting out of the shadows, and protect small investors and pension holders. The President will unveil tough new criminal penalties and enforcement provisions to punish those who refuse to play by the rules and threaten to undermine the integrity of our financial markets:

The Administration's Strong Record of Enforcement & Reform

The President's Comprehensive Corporate Reform Agenda

Today's tough new enforcement initiatives build on the 10-point reform plan the President announced in March. The President has an aggressive corporate reform agenda:

Exposing and Punishing Acts of Corruption -- Holding Corporate Officers More Accountable
The Administration will use the full weight of the law to expose and punish corruption. Corporate officers hold offices of high trust and they should face stiffer penalties when they break the law. Corporate leaders who violate the public trust should never be given that trust again. The President proposes to:

Moving Corporate Accounting out of the Shadows
The investing public needs a true, fair, timely and accurate picture of the assets, liabilities and income of publicly-traded companies. Greater transparency will expose bad companies and protect the reputations of good ones. Firms must attract investment by demonstrating their strengths, not by hiding their weaknesses.

Protecting small investors and pension holders & Improving Investor Information
More than 80 million Americans own stock and many of them are new to the market. Buying stock gives Americans the opportunity to build wealth over the long term and create brighter futures for themselves and their families. To encourage stock ownership, we must make sure that analysts give honest advice, based on honest accounting, and honest and timely information. In addition, employees should be afforded protections in the administration of their 401(K) plans so that they have meaningful information, flexibility and confidence in their holdings.

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