SEC Faces Questions About Tipster Policy [WSJ]
The Securities and Exchange Commission faced fresh questions about its efforts to attract whistleblowers who might help regulators uncover wrongdoing on Wall Street, following revelations that the agency unwittingly revealed a tipster's identity during a probe. The agency's disclosure of a whistleblower's identity, as reported in a page-one story in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, prompted Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, to request that the SEC detail its policies to protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers and others who share information, often at risk to their jobs or careers. "Whistleblowers are essential to root out fraud and malfeasance," the senator wrote in a letter sent Wednesday afternoon to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and reviewed by the Journal. "I am concerned that the SEC may not be properly protecting the identity of whistleblowers and others who come to the SEC with information on securities law violations." John Nester, an SEC spokesman said, "Contrary to the assertions in the Journal article, no cooperating witness was revealed as a cooperating witness in the course of our investigation."
Shareholders of scandal-plagued Olympus last week roundly rebuffed former chief executive Michael Woodford in his attempt to "hold the company accountable" for an accounting scandal he helped expose. The vote is being presented as an abject failure of corporate governance. But let's give investors a little more credit for understanding their best interests.
The use of XBRL data-tagging technology has been catching on globally, including in the United States, where it was mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for the financial filings of public companies in recent years. In the U.S., the Financial Accounting Standards Board oversees the XBRL taxonomy for U.S. GAAP, while the IASB is involved with the XBRL taxonomy for International Financial Reporting Standards. Speaking at the 2012 IFRS Taxonomy Annual Convention in London, Hoogervorst, a former Dutch finance minister who took over the chairmanship of the IASB last year, admitted that he had become “something of an expert on XBRL.”
The Grumpies are just getting warmed up.