Remarks at the Final Global Settlement Press Conference
Chairman and CEO
Let me first thank and acknowledge Chairman Donaldson; Steve Cutler, his very able Enforcement Director who led these negotiations; Eliot Spitzer and Beth Golden and their first-rate team; Dick Grasso and David Doherty; Christine Bruenn who so capably represented all the states; and from NASD, our Vice Chairman Mary Schapiro and our team of investigators and enforcement attorneys led by Barry Goldsmith -- many of whom are here today -- whose substantive contribution to this matter was second to none.
Today marks an ending, but even more, a beginning. Because in finalizing this settlement, we take a giant step on the road to restoring and renewing investor confidence.
The final resolution we announce today is a good one for everyone, everywhere, who has a stake in the integrity of the U.S. capital markets.
The sanctions on the firms and individuals involved in this settlement are among the strongest and most substantial in the history of securities enforcement.
In levying these fines and ordering these structural changes, we have sent an unmistakable signal that analyst research cannot be merely a servant of investment banking, and that hot IPOs cannot be doled out to corporate insiders as virtual commercial bribes.
We have also underscored that firms act through individuals, and that individuals will be held accountable for their misdeeds.
Consistent with these principles, beginning in 2000, NASD has investigated and brought charges in more than a dozen other important analyst and IPO allocation cases against individuals as well as firms. Indeed, two cases against individuals are settled as part of this global settlement. And we are continuing to investigate and develop cases against those who have violated their supervisory or individual responsibilities to the investing public.
Today's settlement, along with these enforcement cases and the new rules that are in force or on the way regarding initial public offerings as well as analyst research, will go a long way toward ensuring that these problems are solved -- not only at the large investment houses that are party to this settlement, but throughout a diverse industry.
Building on these efforts, NASD will now look at additional rules that will make good regulatory sense and work throughout our capital markets to assure that markets are honest and are capable of continuing to raise capital for companies that need it.
Let me say in closing that if there is one thing that is proved by today's settlement -- together with all the attendant publicity and lost investor confidence -- it is that playing by the rules is more than good ethics, it is good business. That is a hard lesson, but it is one the participants in this settlement now understand clearly.
And that is good news for every investor and issuer who wants to participate in the most liquid and developed capital markets in the world.