SOX it to me? Alan Greenspan thinks SarbOx went too far, and specifically that it is driving public companies away from the US equity markets. What we don't know yet is whether investors' capital will follow them, which is the ultimate test. Some form of oversight on Enron-style fraud was inevitable, the question is whether in the event the ongoing compliance burdens swamp the overall benefits of a more trustworthy market. Since there is a market-in-markets, we'll find out.
I'm glad to see Greenspan is still out there working, too. It would be a screaming shame for that much accumulated experience to just end up on a beach, though he's certainly earned that if he wants it. I'll miss his dry as dust erudite delivery in hearings; one of the best at making huffing-and-puffing Congresscritters look just as idiotic as they were acting.
SOX is rippling through the consulting, investment and IT worlds, sort of a slow-mo Y2K event, displacing other investments in technology deployments, audit and consulting outlays, and startup formation. Good or bad, it's hard to tell yet. Need for more oversight on business units and finances pushes more data towards centralization and/or integration. In turn piling up more risks of compromise, a potentially business threatening event itself. Some of the IT architect types are kicking around compliance oriented architecture as a description for what needs to happen, essentially building in identity, security and auditability at the same time as reconstructing systems to a message-based services oriented architecture. Without commenting on the merits of any particular proposal, there are some interesting implications. On the upside, over time this could result in more intrinsic security in systems, rather than having it scabbed on (often ineffectively) afterwards. On the downside, architectures that had taken security (or other exogenous requirements) as their primary focus, as opposed to usability or business benefits, have a nasty way of cratering in expensive ways.
Lots of good citizens' journalism stuff out there this week. Michael Yon heads to Afghanistan. Michael Totten takes a gonzo roadtrip across Turkey into the Kurdish north of Iraq. (Anyone who thought we were really going to launch all of 4ID into northern Iraq should contemplate the logistics implications of that drive.) The Marine Corps' artist-in-residence (who knew?) has some reflections on his service and choice words on 'backing the troops', leading to an interesting debate.
The Big Pharaoh is moving up to a bigger pyramid. One of the most interesting (and funny) ME bloggers now has his own domain safely off of splog-ridden blogspot. (Can we give Google a prize for worst-follow-though-on-a-smart-acquisition yet?)
Chewy tech link: CoFE - an open source collaborative filtering engine in Java. HT: Marc Danziger.