文章链接：Political connections and SEC enforcement
作者信息：Maria M.Correia @ London Business School
现在的会计学在对SEC影响的研究上略显苍白，尽管现在有了针对于SEC的研究课题 AAERs, 大部分现有研究也没有对SEC政策的对象有足够深入的发掘。本文弥补了这个研究方向上的空缺。
（The accounting literature has not dedicated much attention to SEC enforcement. In fact, while many studies rely on the SEC's Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases (AAERs) to examine the determinants of accounting fraud, they ignore the choice of enforcement targets by the SEC and the impact of political influence on this choice.）
(The main contribution of this paper is to study SEC enforcement and how it is affected by political influence. The paper also provides additional evidence on whether firms can influence the enforcement decisions of an independent agency through political expenditures.)
下图为SEC Enforcement的典型时间线，参考至 Karpoff et al. (2008a).
(The SEC has limited resources. As a result, it cannot monitor all firms or investigate all leads. Both the SEC staff and the commissioners have discretion regarding enforcement outcomes)
(An enforcement action typically begins with a trigger event, such as a restatement, that the staff decides to investigate. At the end of the investigation, the staff can make an enforcement recommendation to the commission that can in turn authorize the filing of a civil or administrative action. If an action is authorized, then a complaint or an order is filed that describes the misconduct and the sanction or remedial action sought. The staff has more discretion at the initial stages of the process on which leads to pursue, whether to start an investigation, and on the final enforcement recommendations made to the commission (SEC, 2013). In turn, the commissioners must decide whether to file a civil or administrative action, which penalties to demand, and whether to warn the Department of Justice (DoJ) (SEC, 2013). The commission also serves as a first appellate court in administrative proceedings and contributes to the definition of enforcement priorities, which constrain to some degree the staff's resource allocation choices in the initial stage.)
政策性通过企业的 PAC 贡献和游说开支表现。
(I measure political connections by the amount of PAC contributions and lobbying expenditures made by the firm.)
A PAC is a political committee that is organized to raise money to elect or defeat candidates.
PAC 数据的贡献来源于 the Federal Election Commission's website (链接可能需要科学上网)
(The data on PAC contributions comes from the Federal Election Commission's (FEC) website (www.fec.gov).)
Above matching allows us to track the committee assignments for each candidate over time.
Over the sample period (1980–2006), the contributing firms spent an average of $39,756 in PAC contributions to 32 candidates per year, with some spending more than $2 million and contributing to more than 500 candidates. Over a five-year period, the contributing firms on average give $155,106 in PAC contributions.
Lobbying is the strategic transmission of politically relevant information. Firms spend large amounts of money to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Lobbying typically takes place behind the scenes and occurs at the highest levels of the organizations (usually by the CEO and other executives). Unlike PACs, lobbying expenditures are not capped.
数据来源：The CRP compiles the lobbying data from the quarterly lobbying disclosure reports filed with the Secretary of the Senate's Office of Public Records (SOPR). This data is available from 1998 onwards. Lobbying expenses cannot be traced to specific politicians. If a firm lobbies an individual congressman, the disclosure report indicates that the firm lobbied the “U.S. House of Representatives” or the “U.S. Senate.” If a firm lobbies bureaucratic agencies, these must be listed in the report. I use this information to identify firms that have a history of lobbying the SEC. The determination of the amount of expenses that were allocated to lobbing each agency is not possible, as firms are not required to disclose this information.
Classify a lobbying firm as having a link to the SEC if one of the following conditions is met:
1) the firm employs a lobbyist who has previously worked at the SEC
2) one of the current SEC commissioners or staff members previously worked for one of the lobbyists employed by the company.
There are 2,623 firms that lobbied from 1998 to 2006 (and that I could match to Compustat manually by name) that spent an average of $772,444 per year (Table 1, Panel B). During the sample period, the firms lobbied an average of six agencies per year on five issues, and 1.67% of these issues were related to accounting. However, lobbying on other issues also related to the SEC, such as finance issues, is more frequent, occurring in 12% of the cases. Direct lobbying of the SEC and the DoJ occurs in 3.5% and 8.6% of the observations respectively. Each year, 16.87% of the lobbying firms employ at least one lobbyist linked to the SEC. They pay $125,031 on average to these linked lobbyists. Over a three-year period, the firms spend over $1 million on average for lobbying of which $265,137 is spent on lobbyists linked to the SEC. Over the same period, 9.75% of the firms on average lobby the SEC. I compute long-term lobbying expenditures over a three- rather than a five-year period for consistency with the remainder of the paper. For the enforcement and penalty analysis, calculating lobbying expenses over a five-year period substantially reduces the sample size given that lobbying data is only available from 1998.
Lobbying and PAC contributions exhibit a correlation of 0.405 (Panel C) and occur in 4.71% of the sample firm-years. In fact, PAC contributions can be used to obtain access to politicians in order to lobby them (Milyo et al., 2000). However, lobbying often occurs without PAC contributions and vice versa (in 8.47% and 2.4% of the sample years respectively).
This paper rely on an extensive database of enforcement actions by Karpoff, Lee, and Martin (hereafter KLM). This database contains detailed information on the SEC enforcement actions for financial misrepresentation starting in 1978.
数据来源： KLM (404 Not Found)
Table 2 contains the descriptive statistics for the different penalties. There is disgorgement of ill-gotten gains in 36.29% of the cases and fines in approximately 48% of the cases. Most of these are imposed on individual respondents. The firm only had to disgorge in 5.76% of the cases and pay fines in 9.66% of the cases. These percentages occur in part because monetary penalties on the firm ultimately fall on shareholders, something that the SEC likes to avoid. In 35.98% of the cases, there is some type of accountant bar/censure; and in 32.24% of the cases, respondents are barred from serving as officers and directors either for a short period of time or indefinitely. There are prison sentences in 16.67% of the cases.