Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



In the 1970s, Congress reacted to the financial wrongdoing of Lockheed Corp. and others by enacting § 102 of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which (1) requires corporations to keep records that accurately reflect financial transactions and (2) mandates a system of internal accounting controls. Going a step further in 2002, Congress responded to the Enron scandal by imposing personal accountability on chief executive officers in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOA). After recounting responses prior to the existence of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to corporate abuses and the historical background of the SEC's requirements for corporate financial reporting and disclosure, the Authors examine whether lessons can be drawn from the FCPA experience regarding the deterrent effect of the SOA's corresponding provisions against fraudulent and unethical behavior.