Can the SEC Cut Down on Foreign Corruption?
Resource-rich developing countries have long struggled to overcome the “resource curse,” which includes a strong streak of corruption, but now they’re getting a little help from the SEC. Here‘s Jeff Colgan of Foreign Policy:
[T]he SEC finally enacted long-overdue regulations requiring any oil company that is publicly listed on a U.S. stock exchange to report the tax, royalty, and other payments it shells out to foreign governments where it operates. Previously, companies were able to conceal this information, enabling a culture of corrupt payoffs that kept the petrodollars flowing into authoritarian leaders’ coffers — even where it directly contravened U.S. interests.
Colgan argues that in addition to helping developing countries, the regulation will reduce violence, which is good news for the U.S. as well. “Research shows that oil-producing states led by revolutionary governments like that of ousted Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi are more than three times as likely to instigate militarized international conflicts as a typical state,” he writes.