A few weeks ago, we told you about a new SEC Web tool that allowed investors to identify companies that do business in countries that have been identified as “state sponsors of terrorism.”
Now comes word that, after extraordinary criticism from politicians and businesses alike, the SEC has removed the tool from its Web site — for the time being, anyway.
“The tool drew ire from companies, business lobby groups, and the House Committee on Financial Services, which argued that it had unfairly ‘blacklisted’ companies for having exposure to five countries deemed to be state sponsors of terrorism,” states this CFO.com article. “Critics said that some of the relationships were negligible or outdated.”
In a statement posted on the SEC Web site, SEC Chair Christopher Cox did not rule out bringing back a revamped version of the tool. He also acknowledged that new technologies might make such a tool obsolete.
“We will work to improve the Web tool so that it meets the various concerns that have been expressed,” Cox wrote. “Alternatively, our staff is considering whether the use of interactive data tags applied by companies themselves could permit investors, analysts and others to easily discover this disclosure without need of an SEC-provided web tool at all.”
What do you think? Did the SEC made the right move in taking down the tool?