Securities and Exchange Commission
proposed sweeping new corporate disclosure rules that would require faster and more extensive reporting of hidden debt obligations and ratings changes.
In a list replete with the hot-button issues surrounding
collapse, the SEC said it will also seek to require companies publicize insider securities transactions, "including transactions with the company," in real time.
The SEC will propose expansion of the list of so-called "significant events" that must be disclosed in 8-K filings to include "changes in ratings agency decisions, obligations that are not currently disclosed and lock-out periods affecting employee stock-ownership plans."
The last issue calls to mind
disclosure Monday that its chief financial officer had left the company after making inappropriate trades in mutual funds that held company shares.
The SEC said it would also seek to require company officials to make real-time filings when they sell stock back to a company -- a rule reminiscent of transactions at
that drew investors' ire.
Another proposal would shorten the time companies have to file their annual reports to 60 days from 90 days, and the time in which they have to file quarterly reports to 30 days from 45 days.
In addition, the SEC will seek to have the list of disclosable events expanded to include ratings changes, insider transactions, defaults, equity offerings that aren't in company prospectuses, waivers of corporate ethics or conduct rules for insiders, changes in the rights of securities holders, definitive agreements, loss or gain of important contracts, and restructurings.
"Given the significance of current disclosure of these events to participants in the secondary markets, the commission intends to propose that companies file reports of these events no later than the second business day following their occurrence," it said. "The commission also is considering whether some of these events require filing by the opening of business on the day after the occurrence of the event."