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Harvard Professor Issues Scathing Rebuke to U.S. Chamber in SEC Comment


Business  (tags: abuse, americans, business, corporate, corruption, dishonesty, economy, ethics, finance, government, investments, investors, law, lies, marketing, money, politics, society, usa )

JL
- 587 days ago - citizenvox.org
Harvard Law professor John Coates earlier this month took the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to task for a comment that the corporate lobby group made on the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) website.



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JL A. (275)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 9:37 am

February11
Harvard professor issues scathing rebuke to U.S. Chamber in SEC comment

By: Rick Claypool

the logo for the Securities and Exchange CommissionNow this is a rebuttal.

Harvard Law professor John Coates earlier this month took the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to task for a comment that the corporate lobby group made on the Securities and Exchange Commissionís (SEC) website.

In its comment to the SEC, the U.S. Chamber sought to discredit the research of Professor Coates and other academics whose work shows a correlation between corporate political spending and lowered shareholder value.

Professor Coates submitted his rebuttal to the Chamber as a comment to the SEC as well. Coatesí critique Ė rooted primarily in the Chamberís dependence on flawed analysis by the Manhattan Institute Ė is well worth reading, both for its passion and its scholarly rigor.

Hereís how Coates opens his argument:

The Chamberís comment relies primarily on ‒ and indeed, largely tracks ‒ a non-peer-reviewed, privately published white paper from the Manhattan Institute (the MI-lobbyist paper) written by a lobbyist who concludes, perhaps not surprisingly, that lobbying is worth paying for. However, neither the MI-lobbyist paper nor the Chamberís comment present any new evidence, nor does either advance any new thinking relevant to corporate political activity, nor could either be fairly described as a ďcomprehensive study of the economic literature in this areaĒ (as they describe their work). Instead the MI-lobbyist paper selectively reviewed otherís research on the topic, and misreported the tenor of prior research. None of that prior research demonstrated, and little even supported, the claim that corporate political activity benefits shareholders. Rather, the vast bulk of that research occasionally supported the much weaker claim that corporate political activity can sometimes generate favorable political results. But this conclusion is not the important one for the SECís purposes. The SEC should want to know whether corporate political activity is benefiting shareholders, not whether itís producing results that benefit others, or producing benefits that are below the cost of that activity.

You can read Coatesí full argument by following this link. All comments to the SEC on the corporate political spending disclosure rule can be found here.

And, while youíre fired up about fighting for disclosure of corporate political spending, you can use this Public Citizen page to submit your own comment to the SEC.

Rick Claypool is Online Director for Public Citizenís Congress Watch division
 

Roger Garin-michaud (63)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 1:38 pm
noted, thanks !
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 4:28 pm
You are welcome Roger
 

Helen Porter (40)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 5:32 pm
Scath them, Professor!

Scath them.
 

Mitchell D. (131)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:09 pm
You go, Professor!
The U. S. Chamber of Commerce, like all lobbying groups, the NRA, for one, engages in spreading propaganda that benefits itself and the corporate interests they represent. Period, end of story! It's like the old saying, "When is an addict lying? Any time he/she opens his/her mouth."
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:10 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Zee because you have done so within the last week.
So true Mitchell! You cannot currently send a star to Mitchell because you have done so within the last week.
 

John B. (215)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:35 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post, and the link to the public comments. Kudos to Professor Coates for rebutting the Chamber's flawed comment. I'd say he kicked butt! Read and noted.
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:40 pm
You are welcome John. He does deserve kudos. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.
 

Jaime A. (32)
Friday February 22, 2013, 1:44 am
Noted.
 
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