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Abstract

This article will discuss corporate financial regulatory legislation and its enforcement at the federal level in light of interest group politics and will seek to develop a better understanding of how federal corporate financial regulatory legislation is enacted by examining legislative history. The goal of this article is to provide an overview of the legislative history of two important laws (the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Sarbanes Oxley Act) and how interest group politics affected their passage. “Business” interests (in general) are different from the interests of the accounting industry, and both interest groups will be considered. Unlike most large corporations, the accounting industry, specifically, stood to benefit from additional regulation. Legislative history gives insight into the motivations of many groups, but can also show that some interest groups are more motivated than others to persuade policymakers to adopt their view – or at least, reject a less desirable policy position.

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